Bob Baker's The Circus: Sideshow Spectaculars is a series of special, one time only events!

Featuring, inspired by, and diving deeper into the carnival of imagination that is Bob Baker’s The Circus. Animal acts, film screenings, clowns, music, discussions and decades dormant puppet numbers will bring to life this magnificent era of enthralling entertainment in Bob Baker's historic marionette theater!


IMAGE: Original poster for Big Top Pee-Wee, 1988, directed by Randal Kleiser.

Big Top Pee-wee

(with a special introduction by Pee-wee's Playhouse designer and voice of Vance the Pig WAYNE WHITE!)

Friday, May 11 at 7:30pm

Join us for the 1988 classic, Big Top Pee-Wee! In this sequel to Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Pee-wee Herman is now a small-town farmer with a fiancée, but when a traveling circus comes to town, he finds himself falling for the trapeze artist!

This screening of Big Top Pee-Wee includes an introduction by artist/puppeteer/designer of Pee-wee's Playhouse, Wayne White!


Lawrence Jordan's Three Ring Circus

Friday, May 18 at 8:00pm

Featuring three shorts by the mid-century, Bay Area-based avant-garde filmmaker Lawrence Jordan on 16mm! Plus puppet performances, an alt-clowning act, and more short-form cinematic acts! 

Plus puppet performances, a mime act from Honeybuns (500 Clown, iO, Second City, Redmoon, Chicago Children’s Theater, Collaboraction, the Actor’s Gymnasium), and more short-form cinematic sideshows!

“Select films co-curated by KJ Relth (UCLA Film & TV Archive) and Taylor Rowley (Windmills of Your Mind, KXLU)” 

IMAGE:  Our Lady of the Sphere , dir. Larry Jordan, 1972.

IMAGE: Our Lady of the Sphere, dir. Larry Jordan, 1972.

IMAGES: (top)  Mister Prokouk, Acroba t, dir. Karel Zeman, 1959. (bottom)  The Little Umbrella , dir. Břetislav Pojar, 1957.

IMAGES: (top) Mister Prokouk, Acrobat, dir. Karel Zeman, 1959.
(bottom) The Little Umbrella, dir. Břetislav Pojar, 1957.

animals and animation night!

featuring Animation Breakdown’s “The Greatest Shorts on Earth!: Animated Circus Films from Eastern Europe” + Live Animal Acts!

Saturday, May 19 at 6:00pm

Come one, come all! Bring the whole family for an evening of furry and feathered derring-do’s, puppet acrobatics, and vintage big top shorts from some of world animation’s greatest ringleaders. Little seen in the US, the films of Eastern Europe’s mid century maestros stand as some of the most inventive, beautiful and charming children’s films of all time, and the 1950s yielded several Czech and Polish shorts celebrating the magic of the three-ring spectacle. Featuring a cast of enchanted toys, clumsy clowns, an ice-skating lion and many more, all rendered in gorgeous stop-motion and cut-out animation and sure to delight children of all ages.

And, ladies and gentleman, that’s not all! The evening’s extravaganza comes complete with both musical interludes from the Bob Baker Marionettes, performances by Madison and Tucker the Terrific Terrier, and Bill Perron and Cookie the Psychic Dog!


Charlie chaplin's the circus

Sunday, May 20 at 5:30pm

The Circus is a 1928 silent film written and directed by Charlie Chaplin. The film stars Chaplin, Al Ernest Garcia, Merna Kennedy, Harry Crocker, George Davis and Henry Bergman. The ringmaster of an impoverished circus hires Chaplin's Little Tramp as a clown, but discovers that he can only be funny unintentionally, not on purpose.....

Join us for this incredible screening, plus some very special Bob Baker Circus numbers!

IMAGE: Original poster for  The Circus , dir. Charlie Chaplin, 1928.

IMAGE: Original poster for The Circus, dir. Charlie Chaplin, 1928.

IMAGE: Poster from  Parade , dir. Jacques Tati, 1986.

IMAGE: Poster from Parade, dir. Jacques Tati, 1986.

Jacque Tati's Parade

Saturday, June 2 at 5:30pm

Combining music, circus acts and pantomime, much-loved French comedian and director Jacques Tati entertains a live Swedish audience in his last film. The circus acts range from clowns to magicians, but Tati also returns to his roots with a series of miming sessions, which include imitating a goalie, a tennis player and a fisherman. 

And no screening would be complete without a special performance from the Bob Baker Marionettes and a special act Joe & Asa from Cirque de Loon!