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Sports Museum to host Pittsburgh premiere of "Bruno Sammartino" Film


Last updated 9/16/2022 at 12:47pm

The Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum – part of the Senator John Heinz History Center's family of museums – will host the Pittsburgh premiere screening of the film "Bruno Sammartino" on Thursday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m.

As told through the experiences of the world champion himself and those closest to him, "Bruno Sammartino" details the remarkable life journey of a humble Italian immigrant from Pizzoferrato, Abruzzo, Italy, who became one of the best known and most respected wrestlers to step into the ring.

The documentary follows Sammartino's improbable rise as a man who held honor above fame and dignity above fortune. After fleeing the Nazis with his family as a young boy during World War II, he arrived in Pittsburgh and started a new life. This WWWF World Champion and Hall of Fame honoree became one of the most successful professional wrestlers of his time, selling out Madison Square Garden a staggering 188 times. He also held the World Heavyweight title twice.

Narrated by KDKA-AM radio host Larry Richert, "Bruno Sammartino" features interviews with the champion, family members, and close friends, including emotional comments from superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger, who inducted Sammartino into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013. The program will feature commentary by Richert and by Darryl Sammartino, Bruno's son.

The event is co-presented by the Sports Museum and the History Center's Italian American Program, which is dedicated to preserving the history and culture of Italian Americans in Western Pennsylvania. Founded in 1990, the Italian American collection is one of the largest in the country and home to artifacts, archival materials, and oral histories that document the pivotal role Italian Americans play in shaping the region.

Tickets to the film screening are $15 for adults, $10 for members, and $5 for children. Advanced registration is available online at The screening will be held in the Mueller Center on the museum's fifth floor.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and attendees can explore Pittsburgh's rich boxing and wrestling history inside the two-floor Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum prior to the event.

The Senator John Heinz History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and the largest history museum in Pennsylvania, presents American history with a Western Pennsylvania connection. The Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum is a museum within a museum, comprehensively presenting the region's remarkable sports story through hundreds of artifacts and interactive experiences for visitors of all ages.

The History Center and Sports Museum are located at 1212 Smallman Street in the city's Strip District. The History Center's family of museums includes the Sports Museum; the Fort Pitt Museum in historic Point State Park; and Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, a National Historic Landmark located in Avella, Pa., in Washington County. More information is available at


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