How great was the feeling when big actors like Christian Bale, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Anne Hathaway stepped foot on Pittsburgh's gyro stained streets in 2012 for the production of Christopher Nolan's final story in the epic Batman saga? For those of you still thinking about the question, it was great! A large amount of residents might remember curiously driving or walking by the set, some even crowding around the set, filling streets, feeling a sense of Hollywood-esque glamour. 'Yes! This is what it must feel like to live in LA or Hollywood.'
Not only does having major motion pictures like Warner Bros. Picture, and notable studios like Legendary Pictures attract a lot of attention to the city and Pittsburgh Film Office, it also increases the amount of sales for local small businesses; bars, restaurants movie theaters,etc. Sometimes even small business chains like shopping mall and complexes might also see a growth in revenue. Local small business man Bobby Bilder, owner and executive chef of Melange Bistro Bar located right in downtown Pittsburgh just off Penn Ave, exclaimed his joy and booming business when the set members from the Dark Knight Rises came down to his bar. After befriending Gordon-Levitt, the bar always seemed to be packed with set members every time they had breaks or days off. Bobby exclaimed, 'This was before Inception, and no one really knew Levitt like that. But he was sitting down at the other end of the bar, maybe the second to last bar stool, and no one really recognized him. I did! Why, because one of my favorite movies growing up was Angels in the Outfield and he was in it.'
The West Virginia University graduate lit up as he revisited that night through his own account of the encounter. 'There were even points were if he felt' barraged by over eager fanatics, 'he would give me the signal from the movie, and it would be my job to draw him out of the situation.' even though Bobby was thoroughly enjoying the feeling of nostalgia Levitt brought to Melange that night, he didn't forget why they were there; to drink, eat, and be merry. Levitt and some set members even had a chance to sample Bobby's famous cheeseburger. 'Oh he was dope, and I was lucky to meet him.' This hardworking entrepreneur has two major things going for him: one, managing one of the classiest and hottest bar downtown; and two, holding the award for best cheeseburger in Pittsburgh. Just another great story to add to the books.
Boy--I'm sure if that same opportunity rose again, Bobby would capitalize on it. Not just Bobby, but a lot of small business owners would appreciate the crowd and potential revenue increases that accompany that crowd. Its facile to understand why real estate has the phrase 'Its all about location'; but if we apply that same mind frame to the relationship in-between small businesses and movie production location, the connection is easy to point out.