South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Big Bird creator will be at Hollywood Theater for special screening of movie


The historic Hollywood Theater in Dormont and Horror Realm have announced a delightful visit from legendary puppeteer Caroll Spinney, made famous for bringing the characters of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch to life on “Sesame Street.”

Mr. Spinney will be at the theater for a special screening of the 1985 family road movie “Sesame Street Presents: Follow that Bird.” The event, sponsored by WQED, starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, July 25.

When discussing cultural icons, Mr. Spinney’s name has to be somewhere near the top. His characters on the much-loved “Sesame Street” series were two of the most popular, and still share the same kind of love from children and the parents who grew up with Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. He manned both characters, and still does to this day at the age of 81.

He was discovered by the late great Jim Henson in 1962, and quickly became a regular in an everlasting world of creativity that captivated so many. Mr. Spinney’s story was recently told in the touching 2014 documentary “I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story.”

In 1985, Mr. Spinney was front and center for the family musical comedy “Sesame Street Presents: Follow that Bird,” a road movie that found the feathered one trying to find his way back to Sesame Street.

A social worker sends Big Bird to Illinois to live with a family of dodos because she thinks he’d be happier among his own kind. Big Bird misses his friends on Sesame Street too much, so he decides to head home. But, which way to go? The critically acclaimed film featured cameos from Chevy Chase, Waylon Jennings, John Candy and Sandra Bernhard. It would be the final Muppet film to be released before the death of Henson.

Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. for the event, and Mr. Spinney will have autographs and merchandise on sale in the lobby from 9-10:30 a.m. He will have a short Q&A before introducing the film, which starts at 11 a.m. Tickets for the all-age show are $10 for adults and $5 for children. No free passes or discounts will be accepted.   

Tickets are on sale now at 

The Hollywood Theater is at 1449 Potomac Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15216. For more information go to, or call the theater’s box office at 412-563-0368. 


Reader Comments(0)


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2021

Rendered 05/16/2022 15:09