Bob Baker Marionette Theater closing in November but taking the puppet show on the road

Echo Park –– For more than 50 years, kids and their parents have trekked to a cinderblock building at the southern edge of Echo Park to attend the magical productions created by the late puppeteer Bob Baker. But that tradition will soon come to an end: The Bob Baker Marionette Theater has announced it’s closing after Thanksgiving.

“We feel the collective loss in losing a space that has hosted so many memories,” said Executive Director and Head Puppeteer Alex Evans in an announcement on Facebook. “I think it is okay to take a moment to be sad about this and be ready to move on to the next act.”

The decision was made as a developer prepares to transform the building at Glendale Boulevard and 1st Street into a residential projects with 104 units. There had been plans and talk about resuming some type of performances at the site in addition to opening a small museum and workshops once  construction was completed. But now the theater company intends to find a new location as they stage productions around the city.

Evans said that the theater “will be best served at a new location – where we will continue to showcase Bob Baker shows as Bob and his team made them, expand our programming and partnerships, build new shows and puppets, properly preserve and restore the endless pieces of art, and most of all open our doors to share the incredible resource that I so gleefully enjoy.”

The last performance at the theater’s longtime home will be held on November 23. But new performances have been scheduled to take place at the Pasadena Playhouse, the Santa Monica Pier and other locations.

Baker died in 2014 at age 90.

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  1. One of my fondest childhood memories is my seventh birthday at Bob Baker, in the late-1960’s. Bob Baker was THE place to hold a birthday party in L.A. in those days!

    After a wonderful show, we toured backstage and saw the puppet workshop, which to my seven-year-old self was immensely fascinating. It really helped spark an interest in art and drama that lives on to this day. I’m so glad they have found a new home.

    • But they haven’t found a new home, and I won’t breathe a sigh of relief until they do. I’ll keep my fingers crossed until then.

  2. Cultural landmarks -zero. Obscenely overpriced housing – who could possibly keep track?

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