FAQ

THEATER OPERATIONS

The Tull Family Theater is a 501 (c)3 Pennsylvania nonprofit. Because the Theater operates to benefit  the community, net revenues are reinvested into the facility and its programming. Tickets and concessions alone do not cover all operational and outreach expenses.

The Tull Family Theater is a film-based arts organization created to strengthen cultural, educational and entertainment experiences in the region northwest of Pittsburgh. The Theater fulfills this mission by:

  • Offering an intentional wide range of films and genres—new releases, classics, documentaries, educational and foreign films, plus art, music, opera and stage plays on screen.
  • Attracting thousands of patrons each month and hundreds more for events and free cultural performances from Allegheny, Beaver, Butler and Washington counties; West Virginia, Ohio and beyond.
  • Enabling hundreds of children from nearby underserved communities to attend screenings—many of them entering a cinema for the first time in their lives—by providing transportation, tickets and a full cinematic experience at no cost.
  • Pioneering sensory friendly screenings in the region northwest of Pittsburgh, opening new options to families, children and individuals impacted by autism and other special needs.
  • Launching free events designed for senior citizens, incorporating a film screening, live music and a panel discussion and Q&A session with experienced experts around relevant topics.

As a still-young nonprofit, The Tull Family Theater will continue to expand the ways in which it fulfills its mission.

The Tull Family Theater provides an 11,800-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility:

  • Two fully accessible screening rooms, the Huntington Bank Screening Room for 69 patrons and the Large Screening Room accommodating 169 patrons, with the naming rights available. These facilities with superior acoustics will enhance enjoyment for patrons. (By the way, personalized nameplates are going fast for individual theater seats!)
  • The flexible event/performance space of the 2,044-square-foot Esmark and Bouchard Family Community Room, which can accommodate approximately 150 people for small-scale performances, educational outreach, fundraisers, corporate and community meetings, and other special events. A catering kitchen is available for use by already-vetted caterers.
  • A spacious and sleek lobby including a one-stop customer service center for tickets and concessions.

The Tull Family Theater offers a wide spectrum of choices appealing to different audiences:

  • New releases
  • Independent films and documentaries
  • Classic Tuesdays
  • Educational programming; content and visual literacy and analysis sensory training for school children
  • First- and second-run films
  • Film/curtain talks
  • Regional premieres featuring prominent up-and-coming filmmakers
  • Student, regional, national and international film festivals
  • Partnerships with school districts, universities and other nonprofits to enrich these offerings and reach even broader audiences.

As a film-driven organization, The Tull Family Theater screens pictures as its core function. The Theater has offered options such as:

  • Sensory friendly screenings that empower families impacted by autism and special needs to watch films together in an adaptive environment
  • Cultural programming, such as theatrical performances and free live music and dance demonstrations that build community spirit and are open to the public
  • Free events geared toward senior citizens including a film screening, live music and a panel discussion with experts about relevant topics
  • Annual free admission for special screenings as part  of the Allegheny County RADical Days taxpayer “thank you”

Through the Theater’s outreach programming, developed in collaboration with other nonprofits and service organizations, hundreds of youth from nearby communities have entered the cinema, many of them for the first time.

Because many communities lack accessibility to public transportation, free tickets often are not enough to fulfill an outreach program. The Theater’s outreach programming provides a full cinematic experience: transportation, tickets, popcorn and a drink.

Through this program, the positive power of the arts is extended to children who otherwise would not have exposure to cinema—a jarring thought for those who consider film a cultural mass medium, a focal point for current cultural conversations, and an avenue enabling viewers to make sense of the world and their place within it.

Because of the vast numbers of senior citizens living in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler and Washington counties, the Theater launched similar outreach programming for senior citizens to promote mental stimulation, increase opportunities to breakdown social isolation and provide occasions to connect seniors with critical information on health topics that also could impact their quality of life.

The Tull Family Theater is interested in collaborating with organizations whose members would benefit from participating in a cinematic experience.

The Theater also works with donors who may have interest in benefiting particular groups or populations, whether for one screening or as a long-term sponsor.

Those interested in becoming outreach partners may contact Dr. Karen Ferrick-Roman, director of communications and education.

VISITING THE THEATER

Information about programming can be found:

  • On our website, www.thetullfamilytheater.org,  which is updated daily.
  • On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • Through our Weekly Update, emailed to subscribers every Tuesday; archives also are available on our website, under the About tab. To subscribe, sign up on the computer at the Theater’s concession area or online.
  • On a recorded phone line, which is updated every Tuesday, 412.259.8542. This includes the new pictures, which typically open on Fridays.
  • With special programming flyers, available in the lobby, online and through partner organizations. These include classics, holiday and cultural screenings for music and art.

Patrons at The Tull Family Theater have two options for booking:

  • Purchase at the box office, at show time or in advance, with any major credit or debit card or a gift card from The Tull Family Theater.
  • Buy in advance online with Master or Visa cards or a gift card from The Tull Family Theater on our Ticketing page. Just click the film and show time you want, the number of general admission tickets or discounted seniors 65+/college students/children 10 or younger tickets. Click the plus or minus sign to get to the correct number of tickets. If you get stuck, hit “tab” not “enter.”

You will be taken to a Payment Express page to complete your purchase with a Master or Visa card.

Enter your Master or Visa credit or debit card information, plus your name, phone number and email. The Theater does not store or share this information.

Each ticket purchased online has a $2 booking fee added to the price. You also may opt to add a donation to the Theater. When the transaction is complete, a confirmation code will be sent to your mobile device. Simply share the code or your name with the ticket taker.

Your ticket to see a film or event with us come with your agreement to follow our policies—which helps us to ensure that all patrons have a great theater experience!

As a nonprofit, The Tull Family Theater shares its search for funding with other nonprofits of all sizes that seek contributions from donors who believe in and support the cause. Revenues from tickets and concessions are not enough to cover programming costs, so the Theater will always rely on your patronage and financial support to sustain its programming. YOU are the reason the show goes on!

A registered 501 (c)(3) organization, The Tull Family Theater is eligible for and actively seeks grant funding. By obtaining ZIP Codes of its patrons, the Theater is able to share the geographic reach of its audience with potential funders.

Seating is provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Tull Family Theater is happy to refund tickets more than 24 hours in advance of the film’s show time.

If you need to change the time or title on a ticket, team members are happy to provide a “swap” if seats are still available. In instances where seats are no longer available, the Theater will provide a refund.

Gift cards are available can be used for both tickets and concessions. They can be purchased at the box office and online.

Gift cards from other cinemas and ticketing services cannot be accepted because the Theater is an independent cinema.

The Coming Soon section is a list of potential new releases to be screened. Some of them may not be made available to the Theater. Because the film industry is so fluid, this is the best option for sharing what may be headed to the Theater.

The Tull Family Theater’s JBL 7.1 Surround Sound and 4K projectors provide pictures and sound so crisp and clear that some patrons have told us they don’t need assistive listening devices or Closed Captioning. Other patrons, though, find these free assistive technologies very helpful.

Assistive listening devices are headsets that amplify sound for individuals with hearing loss or, in cases when films provide Audio Description, relate the action taking place on the screen, aiding individuals with low vision.

Closed Captioning devices are personal screens that fit into the theater seat’s cup holder and provide typed, low-contrast dialogue to enhance the cinematic experience. With the individualized size of the devices, they do not block any patrons’ view of the screen.

Yes! The Theater welcomes young patrons and is happy to provide booster seats upon request.

Traditional concessions are available at the Theater: popcorn, popped in coconut oil and topped with real butter; boxes of candy, specialty chocolates, Icees, fountain drinks, bottled water, bottled tea and Mexican Cokes made with pure cane sugar.

Please don’t. Sales from concessions help to support this Theater.

The Theater does not have a license to serve alcohol. We are exploring the possibilities of BYOB nights and special event licenses but also are hoping that Theater patrons will take time to enjoy nearby restaurants and pubs.

Street parking and municipal lots are near the Theater. For patrons with mobility challenges, a ramp connects the Theater directly to the municipal Green Street lot next door. A loading zone on Walnut Street, in front of the Theater, accommodates drop-offs and groups arriving by bus. As of Jan. 1, 2020, Sewickley Parking Authority has changed parking regulations:

  • Meters are strictly enforced from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays and can be paid at the kiosks by cash or credit card or through the Meter Feeder app.
  • Parking areas are separated into zones, each costing $1 per hour. A map of the zones can be found here.
  • Zone 1 next to the Theater has a 3-hour limit per transaction, though motorists using Zone 1 parking can add time in additional transactions.
  • In Zone 2, patrons can park all day (9 a.m. to 6 p.m., $9) in one transaction, according to the Sewickley Chamber of Commerce.

In consideration of timing, Theater patrons are advised to allot at least 10 minutes for previews in addition to film run times, which are listed for each title on our ticketing pages.

FREE parking is available:

  • After 6 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays
  • All day on Sundays and on major holidays.

Click here to visit the Sewickley Borough Parking Authority website.

INVOLVEMENT

The Tull Family Theater wants to share its support with the many different communities that support the Theater, but it has a very limited marketing budget and receives an overwhelming number of requests across the multi-county regions. We simply cannot fulfill every one of these calls to support worthwhile causes. The staff reviews every request received and urges you to have no hesitation in submitting your request at least two weeks in advance of your request.

The Theater appreciates the support of all of its patrons who choose to watch films with us! Patrons who give when buying tickets, whether its 25 cents or $25, help the Theater demonstrate patron support to possible grant and corporate funders.  

Other ways to support the Theater include:

  • Giving rave reviews on Yelp, Google and Facebook
  • Designating The Tull Family Theater as your charity of choice when purchasing items through Amazon Smile
  • Clicking the “Donate” button on our website to give through credit or debit cards or writing a check for an annual gift
  • Asking your employee, credit union or fraternal organization if they will match your donation
  • Purchasing an inscribed nameplate in honor of family or loved ones, or as a gift for the person who has everything
  • Remembering the Theater in your will or with insurance policies
  • Becoming part of the Sustaining Circle, a group of 100 donors committing major support to the Theater for multiple years.

The Theater appreciates the work provided by its volunteers, who assist with ushering, outreach and other events. More information is available online about volunteer opportunities.

Currently, the Theater does not accept on-screen advertising. Our patrons have been very vocal about how they appreciate heading straight into previews and the film, and our current Board of Directors supports this.

HISTORY AND GOVERNANCE

As a nonprofit, independent cinema, The Tull Family Theater does not have owners; instead, the Theater is a regional asset governed by a volunteer, unpaid Board of Directors and administered by an Executive Director who leads the team members.

Between 2011, when the idea of a cinema was floated, and the opening of the Theater in February 2017, Sewickley Borough and hundreds of families supported the Theater. The Tull Family Foundation sponsored the naming rights for the facility, now known as The Tull Family Theater. As a 501(3)(c) Pennsylvania nonprofit, the Theater has no owners. Besides its operating revenues, the Theater counts on financial support from the public—patrons, government, corporations, and foundations—to sustain this initiative for community vitality and expanded cultural options in the region. More on the organization’s history can be found here

Some of the Theater’s most generous supporters are listed in the lobby on the Founding Wall of Fame. Other Theater contributors have opted to purchase an inscribed nameplate on the Theater seats to honor their family or memorialize a loved one. A multi-year initiative, the Sustaining Circle, will position the Theater for years of service to the region. 

Fortunately, The Tull Family Foundation, created by Alba and Thomas Tull, founder of Legendary Pictures and part-owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, sponsored the naming rights for the facility.

Huntington Bank has sponsored naming rights for the 69-seat screening room. Similarly, Esmark and the Bouchard Family have sponsored the naming rights for the event performance space. Naming opportunities remain available at the Theater.

The Theater has a long-term lease agreement with Sewickley Borough. This lease involves only the Theater building and adjacent sidewalk. All of the other property, including the entranceway and the green space, is under the management of Sewickley Borough, so questions about using this space should be directed to borough offices.