I’m still in shock, and in tears over today’s announcement that the Rex Theater in Pittsburgh has closed it’s doors permanently.
When I came back to Pittsburgh in 2013 after making a name for myself as a journalist, I was broken mentally and spiritually following covering the Steubenville Rape Case. I lost everything. My home, my money, a condo, and walked 43 miles from West Virginia back to the burgh. I swore i’d never pick up my cameras again, and went about trying to get my life back. It was good friends like Smiling Lenny, Dan, Swerve and Stump who brought me to the Rex Theater, and the world of music. On Lenny’s suggestion, I started doing videos at the Rex for myself and the following I had built up over the years.
It was the wonderful folks of Grey Area Productions that provided a safe and loving environment for new friendships to blossom, music from across the country to be appreciated, and a place for everyone to feel welcomed and part of the family. The Rex Theater brought me back to life. The music and bands coming thru saved my life. These folks Taught me to love again. Everyone was a rock star inside The Rex. it was my home. My church, My sacred ground.
Like so many other businesses and venues in the United States, The Rex became a casualty of a crashed economy due to Covid-19 and mandated closures.
Days after the Save Our Stages act passed congress promising up to 10 billion dollars in grants to save theaters, performing arts, and music venues. The bill is currently in limbo with the Heroes Act and more financial aid for American citizens. The Rex certainly won’t be the last venue to fall.
Grey Area Productions and the Rex Theater allowed me to reinvent myself and my craft in their house leading to countless photo and video gigs across the country, and opportunities to work with artists and bands of all types of notoriety. I will be forever grateful to the Rex and Grey Area Productions for all they’ve done for me and this city.
They say that legends never die, and that the show must always go on. The show will go on at other venues if they ever reopen, and Grey Area Productions certainly isn’t done with the loss of the Rex. A large part of our hearts were ripped out today, and it’s a dark day in Pittsburgh.
The memories and the love will Live on forever, but it doesn’t take the sting away .