Pittsburgh turns into NYC for filming of Tom Hanks’ Mr. Rogers film |

Pittsburgh turns into NYC for filming of Tom Hanks’ Mr. Rogers film

Bob Bauder
Crews have begun turning Pittsburgh into New York City as filming begins for ‘You Are My Friend’ starring Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers.
Crews have begun turning Pittsburgh into New York City as filming begins for ‘You Are My Friend’ starring Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers.
AFP/Getty Images/PBS
Tom Hanks will play Fred Rogers in new movie now filming in Downtown Pittsburgh about the children’s TV icon.

Streets throughout Pittsburgh’s Golden Triangle may be closed or have traffic restrictions over the next few days for the filming of a movie about Mr. Rogers starring Tom Hanks.

Scenes for “You Are My Friend” will be shot in Pittsburgh in September and October.

Film crews have transformed areas around Ninth Street to look like scenes from New York City, including creating fake, iconic NYC subway stops and street signs for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Holland Tunnel.

The Port Authority of Allegheny County jokingly tweeted that its light-rail trains will not be servicing the fake stops.

Crews Friday morning were setting equipment in place and preparing to shoot later in the day. Electric cords stretched along Ninth and adjoining streets. Large Haddad’s Inc. equipment trucks were parked at various locations. Security guards posted on street corners and alleyways kept watch over the equipment. Haddad’s is a Pleasant Hills company that supplies production equipment to the film industry.

The Pittsburgh Film Office announced the following street closures:

• Southbound lane of Ninth Street between Fort Duquesne Boulevard and Penn Avenue from 5 a.m. to midnight Friday and 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. Northbound lanes will remain open for Pittsburgh CAPA buses and general traffic.

• Ninth Street between Penn and Liberty avenues from 9 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday and Wednesday from 7 a.m. until noon.

• Inbound traffic on Penn will be diverted into a bike lane between Eighth and Ninth streets from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Monday and Tuesday.

• Exchange Way between 10th Street and Tito Way and Garrison Place between Penn and Liberty from 9 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to noon on Wednesday.

The movie is slated for release on Oct. 18, 2019. “You Are My Friend” is directed by “Diary of a Teenage Girl’s” Marielle Heller and based on a relationship between Latrobe native Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod, who wrote a long-form biography of Rogers for Esquire in 1998.

It stars Hanks as Rogers and Matthew Rhys of “The Americans” as Junod.

Hanks has been spotted in Westmoreland County doing research for the film. He visited the Fred Rogers Center at Saint Vincent College in Unity for some quiet time in the archive. Hanks also may have grabbed a drink at a Starbucks in Greensburg.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter @bobbauder.

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