The Muppets and Historic Preservation

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Thank you to the wonderful staffers at the National Trust for Historic Preservation for allowing me to repost their piece.

Preservation Alert! Preservation Alert!

The Muppet Theater is in danger of being destroyed! That’s right – the beloved theater of Kermit, Miss Piggy and their friends is threatened with demolition.

At least, that’s the premise behind the newest Muppets movie. If you haven’t checked out this preservation thriller, make time this week to catch a showing at your local theater.

In the flick, the furry local preservationists band together to save their beloved Muppet Theater from a greedy oil tycoon, Tex Richman (Chris Cooper), who plans to demolish it in order to drill for oil under the building. The original Muppet cast and their new friends Walter, Gary (Jason Segel) and Mary (Amy Adams) reunite to produce one more show, with the hopes of raising $10 million dollars to buy the building back from Richman. Like the original Muppet movie, this film captures the essence of why place making and community building are so important.

Their struggle to save a community landmark raises several questions that real-life preservationists encounter every day. If you’ve seen the film already, what were your reactions to the Muppets’ experiences?

 

(Spoiler alert!!! Do not scroll down if you don’t want the movie spoiled for you.)

 

 

 

Here were some of our reactions and questions for the group:

  • In the movie, the only way for the Muppets to save the building is by raising cold, hard cash. Is that usually the best way to save places that matter?
  • At the end of the movie, Richman suddenly has a change of heart and decides not to destroy the Muppet Theater. How often does this happen in real life and what could/should the Muppets have done if he hadn’t decided to be so charitable?
  • The real hero of the movie was the local community and how they made an effort to come out in support of the theater. In the end, that’s what preservation is all about – neighbors working together to create a community that matters to us.

 

From your friends at the Trust,

Allie Freeman
Rebecca Yarbrough
Erika Brown

 

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