New cinema suites move to West Penn


Photo by Gracey Evans

The new cinema editing suites on the second floor of West Penn are largely soundproof from the rest of the floor. Some of the rooms are painted gray for color correcting purposes.

Written By Sarah Gibson, Co-News Editor

As the impending end of Point Park’s lease with the Patterson building draws closer, the cinema suites – formerly housed on the fifth floor of Patterson – are currently being moved to the second floor of West Penn.

Point Park’s lease with the Patterson building officially ends on Dec. 31, 2018. The university has chosen not to renew its lease since they were able to move every department previously in the Patterson building to other existing spaces on campus.

Chris Hill, vice president of operations at the physical plant, said the move was beneficial since Point Park wouldn’t have to pay the operational costs for the Patterson building anymore.

Though the lease concludes in December, the cinema department thought it better to move sooner rather than later. Cara Friez, chair of the cinema department, noted that the department took students into account when considering when
to move.

“We thought about how we could do this the best way so it wouldn’t affect too many students,” Friez said. “To be honest, it’s better that it’s happening this semester than in the spring because the spring semester has even more productions

Point Park’s physical plant department is responsible for the initial design of the new suites, alongside an architectural firm. It also managed construction of the suites and the moving of materials from the Patterson building to West Penn.

Hill spoke of constant communication the physical plant had with the cinema department in order for the new suites to have everything they reasoned students needed.

“We collaborated every step of the way with cinema, so a lot of the input of what was needed was from cinema staff and faculty,” Hill said.

Despite cinema students currently working on their Production 3 (P3) films, none of the students were inconvenienced by the move. Friez said the smooth move was helped by production

“A lot of the P3 right now is going into production, so they are not in the [post-production] aspect of it,” Friez said. “A lot of the editors won’t start working on editing the projects until two weeks from now.”

Hill said the suites should become fully operational between Oct. 10
and Oct. 15.

Joey Tiberio, a junior P3 cinema student, got a look at the new production suites before they had officially became fully operational. His first impression of the new studio was a positive one.

“It’s really nice,” Tiberio said. “It’s not that the last place over in Patterson was bad by any means, but everything is so much cleaner; the rooms are pretty much brand new and suited for each thing.” Tiberio said the move also helps make the suites feel closer to campus.

According to Tiberio, his P3 film will be going into editing in the coming weeks – just in time for the new cinema suites to be used. He said the move hasn’t inconvenienced him at all as a cinema student.

Documents provided by the physical plant show the West Penn cinema suites are set to have everything from the Patterson plus a dedicated color correction studio, a dedicated mixing room and a new computer classroom. A majority of the new suites have also been fitted with brand new iMac computers.

The second floor of West Penn also holds cinema and animation classes, and will continue to do so alongside the new cinema additions. Tiberio said that it adds a sense of camaraderie to the setting.

“I think it’s just going to be really nice to have more of a cohesive space to work in,” Tiberio said. “Now it’s like the whole floor is like a cinema floor. There’s animation majors, there’s cinema students, and it’s like we can all work together.” 

Friez added that she thinks the added space and close proximity will allow for more opportunities in a classroom setting. Freiss has high hopes for the space.

“My hope is that more students will take advantage of it,” she said. “I feel like we can really grow within this space.”