About Us

Big House Studios is one of Pittsburghʼs finest and most unique rental facilities where you can find a full-scale production of a TV commercial going on one day and an executive business meeting the next. Big House has hosted everything from print photography shoots, testimonial interviews, award ceremonies, art shows and even Fantasy Football draft parties. Take one look at this space and let the creative juices flow. The brain child of Director/Photographer Tom Cwenar, Big House Studios was developed with creative in mind. From the art collection to the comfy leather couches and chairs, the entire space has been designed to foster creative thinking.

The studio has 17ʼ ceilings and can be accessed through a 14ʼX14ʼ garage door, making it easy to bring in and unload production vehicles. You wonʼt find an easier load-in situation in the city of Pittsburgh. The studio has 200 amp, 3-phase AC power with cam lock connectors, high speed WiFi, heating/air conditoning and 21 spaces for on-site parking. The large and inviting kitchen, also frequently used as a set, has ample space for food prep and craft services. It is a great place to kick back and watch some TV. There are 2 bathrooms adjacent to the makeup and wardrobe area, just a few steps off the studio floor. The nearby conference room is a great space to meet with clients. The client lounge is perfect for celebrating a successful production with a glass of wine by the fireplace, or even a friendly game of pool or shuffleboard.


We call it “Big House” for two reasons:

  • it is BIG – housed within a 12,000′ building, the studio offers 3,000′ of dedicated shooting space
  • it used to be a jail situated in the Birmingham district of the historic South Side

In the early 1900ʼs, when Pittsburghʼs South Side was a blue collar, shot-and-a-beer neighborhood, a portion of our building was the local jail. After a hard day in the mills, some of the areaʼs more rowdy and shady residents would spend a night or longer within the walls of the Big House. Today, the steel mills of old are gone and the only rowdies who do time here are staff and clients. After its time as a jail, the building has since served as an apple slicing factory, a butcher shop, a stained glass factory and is currently the home of Cwenar Studios.