The Cabazon Dinosaurs roadside attraction in Southern California recently gave one of its dinosaurs, Mr. Rex, a makeover inspired by the late actor Paul Reubens’ popular character, Pee-wee Herman.
Photos shared on social media show Mr. Rex dressed in a gray suit and red bowtie matching the signature Pee-wee Herman outfit. A heart with the name “Pee-wee” written inside was also painted on the dinosaur’s chest.
The Cabazon Dinosaurs were featured in the 1985 Pee-wee Herman film “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.” In the movie, the character of Pee-wee visits the dinosaurs during a cross-country trip to find his stolen bicycle.
One scene shows Pee-wee and the character Simone sitting inside the mouth of Mr. Rex watching the sunrise. Later, Simone’s boyfriend Andy discovers them together and chases Pee-wee through the park.
The Cabazon Dinosaurs first opened to visitors in the 1950s and 1960s. After falling into disrepair over the decades, they underwent restoration in the 1980s. Soon after, the site was used for filming Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.
Since the Pee-wee Herman film debuted, fans have visited the Cabazon Dinosaurs to see the filming location and re-create moments from the movie. The new Pee-wee-inspired makeover allows fans to continue connecting with the character at the roadside attraction.
Paul Reubens created the character Pee-wee Herman and portrayed him on stage, television, and film. Reubens passed away in 2022 at age 70.
The Cabazon Dinosaurs’ tribute honors Reubens’ legacy by dressing Mr. Rex in the classic Pee-wee Herman suit. The makeover will reportedly remain on the dinosaur through October 30 of this year.
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