Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Film Pioneer Lois Weber to be Honored This Week

The North Side native, believed to be the first female movie director, will receive a historical marker and a program at the History Center.

Photo courtesy Sen. John Heinz History Center

The Sen. John Heinz History Center is honoring North Side native Lois Weber — just in time for what would be the early filmmaker’s 140th birthday.

By unveiling a historical marker and showcasing a special program, the History Center will pay homage to the silver-screen pioneer, who was born in 1879 on Federal Street.

“Lois was the first American woman film director,” says Lauren Uhl, a curator at the Heinz History Center. “In order to be the first, she really was an innovator. She was certainly on par with D.W. Griffith and Cecil DeMille.”

Weber made more than 200 films over the course of her career, but unfortunately, most of them were lost to time. Despite her ingenuity and progressive subject matter — her films tackled drug addiction, abortion and wage equality — Weber has largely faded from public consciousness.

“There’s not much left of her,” Uhl says. But she hopes that’s about to change.

At 7 p.m. on June 13, the Heinz History Center will host a program entitled “Lois Weber: Film Pioneer.” The program is set to feature Turner Classic Movies host Illeana Douglas and film historian Dr. Shelley Stamp.

“I thought that [Douglas and Stamp] would be a great pairing,” Uhl says. “I keep calling them my dream team.”

Douglas and Stamp previously collaborated on the New York Film Critics Award-winning DVD box set, “Pioneers: First Female Filmmakers,” as executive producer and curator, respectively. Weber, of course, was featured in the collection.

The goal, as Uhl puts it, is to reintroduce Weber to a world that has all but forgotten her.

“I think [Weber’s] star is slowly beginning to rise,” Uhl says. “When people talk about famous Pittsburghers, Lois ought to be one that rolls off your tongue.”

At 2 p.m. on June 13, hours before the program, a new state historical marker will be unveiled in Weber’s childhood neighborhood, outside of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Allegheny (North Side) branch. A reception will follow.

“While the program will come and go in an evening, the marker will speak for generations to come,” Uhl says.

While the unveiling and reception are free and open to the public, the evening program will cost $20; you can register for it online at the History Center’s website.


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Can't Miss Concerts in Pittsburgh in July

This month's lineup includes Belle and Sebastian, Kurt Vile and actor-turned-rockstar Billy Bob Thornton and his band The Boxmasters.

Recommended Pittsburgh Eating: 3 Recent Dishes I Loved

PM dining critic Hal B. Klein is eating seasonal salads, sushi and sandwiches.

Transit May Improve Thanks to New Technology

Public transit users may luck out if Port Authority’s wristband ticketing service experiment goes well.

The 400-Word Review: Toy Story 4

Pixar's signature series comes up with an enjoyable fourth chapter. Just don't set your expectations too high.

The Latest Restaurant Openings In Pittsburgh

We say hello to three new Galley Group concepts, plus Con Alma, Over Eden and Inner Groove Brewing.

The Business of Building Cookie Table Bridges

After her cookie table bridges proved to be a hit at her own wedding, a Pittsburgh bride has taken her idea to the next level.

All You Need to Know About Fireworks in Pennsylvania

With new state fireworks laws in place, Pennsylvanians will get a little more freedom to celebrate this Fourth of July.

July 2019: Best of Culture in Pittsburgh

Check out some of the finest plays, dance performances and exhibits taking place this month in Pittsburgh.

What We're Reading in July: The Pioneers

The Pioneers is historian and Point Breeze native David McCullough’s retelling of the settlement of the wilderness northwest of the Ohio River, which contained the future states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Perspectives: On Caring to See

A teacher at the University of Pittsburgh learns a lesson about street medicine.

PPG Paints Singin' the Blues for 2020 Color of the Year

Meant to offer relief from the anxieties of today’s fast-paced lifestyle, Chinese Porcelain is a mix of cobalt and ink blue. Here’s why you can expect to see more of it in the coming year.

Watch: The Best of Three Rivers Arts Festival

The 60th Three Rivers Arts Festival is history, but you can still soak in the memories of the music, art and food.

This Brit Fell in Love with Pittsburgh's Dirt

During the Civil War, a British writer was enchanted by Pittsburgh’s dirt and soot.

Artist Invites Public to Add to Time Capsule at Arts Festival

Toby Fraley’s love for historical photos inspired him to take the next step for Pittsburgh’s future.

New Dimensions: The Comic Book Store's Surprise Move

Comic-book (store) avengers. How a sprawling comic-book shop moved out of its longtime home — and reopened for business mere hours later.