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Thursday November 15th 2018

Dogma | 1999

Dogma filming location: Grand Concourse Restaurant, Station Square, Pittsburgh
Dogma location: Metatron makes an astonishing revelation: Grand Concourse Restaurant, Station Square, Pittsburgh

Provocative director Kevin Smith risked causing grave offence to platypus lovers with the preamble to his rambling but imaginative satire, which sees Loki and Bartleby (Matt Damon and Ben Affleck), a pair of dispossessed angels, attempting to re-enter Heaven via a loophole in Catholic doctrine.

There are only glimpses of Smith’s usual stomping ground of Red Bank and Asbury Park – at the beginning of the movie, the old man is battered by three strange kids on the Asbury Park Boardwalk, alongside the Paramount Theatre, 1200 Ocean Avenue, but, although the movie is set in New Jersey and Illinois, most of it was, in fact, shot around Pittsburgh.

For instance, ‘General Mitchell Airport, Milwaukee’, where Loki and Bartleby tempt a nun to go AWOL, is Pittsburgh International Airport.

Dogma filming location: Everlasting Covenant Cathedral, Larimer Avenue, East Liberty, Pittsburgh
Dogma location: St Michael’s Church, supposedly in ‘Red Bank, New Jersey’: Sts Peter and Paul Church, Larimer Avenue, East Liberty, Pittsburgh

World-weary angel Metatron (Alan Rickman) explains the awesome mission laid on the doubting Bethany (Linda Fiorentino) over tequilas at Mexican restaurant Franklin Inn, 2313 Rochester Road, Franklin Park, northwest Pittsburgh.

It’s in Laverne’s Diner, 113 South Main Street, that prophets and John Hughes fans Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith) tell Bethany about their fruitless journey to find ‘Shermer, Illinois’.

Movie location buffs won’t need to be reminded that ‘Shermer’, the North Shore setting of many Hughes films, is fictitious (though the name was inspired by Shermerville, the original name of Northbrook).

Dogma filming location: Crazy Mocha, East North Avenue, Pittsburgh
Dogma location: Serendipity performs as a pole dancer: Crazy Mocha, East North Avenue, Pittsburgh

On Pittsburgh’s North Side, muse Serendipity (Salma Hayek) wows ’em as a stripper in silver bra and specs at the Park View Cafe – now Crazy Mocha, 2 East North Avenue at Federal Street.

Down southwest of the city in Dormont was ‘Mooby’s Fast Food’ joint, an old Burger King restaurant, the site of Rufus’s (Chris Rock) revelations about the real Christ, which is now a Rite Aid drugstore at 3210 Banksville Road, Highway 19, opposite Dormont Park.

Dogma filming location: USX Tower, Grant Street, Pittsburgh
Dogma location: the ‘Mooby Corp Building’: US Steel Tower, Grant Street, Pittsburgh

In downtown Pittsburgh itself you can’t miss the ‘Mooby Corp Building’, which is US Steel Tower, 600 Grant Street – it’s the city’s tallest skyscraper.

Dogma filming location: Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon University,  Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh
Dogma location: the ‘Mooby Corp Building’ boardroom: Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon University, Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh

The Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon University, 4500 Fifth Avenue between Dithridge and Craig Streets, supplied the ‘Mooby’ boardroom, where Loki guns down the sinful directors. Incidentally, the side entrance to the institute on Dithridge Street became the entrance to to ‘Blackgate Prison’, from which Bane releases the criminals in The Dark Knight Rises (which used Pittsburgh as ‘Gotham City’).

The posh restaurant in which Metatron makes the astonishing revelation that God has gone missing, is the Grand Concourse Restaurant, 100 West Station Square Drive, the restored waiting room of Pittsburgh’s old Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad Station in Station Square.

Dogma filming location: Everlasting Covenant Cathedral, Larimer Avenue, East Liberty, Pittsburgh
Dogma location: Loki and Bartleby attempt to get back into Heaven: Sts Peter and Paul Church, Larimer Avenue, East Liberty, Pittsburgh

St Michael’s Church, supposedly in ‘Red Bank, New Jersey’, where the Catholicism WOW! movement launched by Cardinal Glick (George Carlin) replaces the depressing crucifix with the upbeat Buddy Christ – and site of the apocalyptic climax – is the Sts Peter and Paul Church, 130 Larimer Avenue in East Liberty, currently empty and in a state of disrepair.