HELP........... Posted by StiqPuppet Productions on Nov 23, 2008
I had the pleasure to see a show this past summer and was awe strucked at the puppets that were hand built by Bob Baker himself.  I also was very impressed with some very young puppeteers who he has taught and employ who are very talented.  He also had three professional puppeteers among the group of performers of six.

I don't normally post such things but I think the historic value of this place and many performers devoted to this theatre it is really hard to hear that they may have to close it due to a small lack of money. 

Here are two okay pictures from this summer I have more on my friends camera since mine gave out at the very beginning of the show( Murphy's Law). I need to get them from her and post them on this site it was a very magical show.



Please read the two posts that I copied from a great blog, Puppeteers Unite.  One is an article on the crises facing the theatre and the second is a personal response/action plan from the Blog Owner.....Tom Stewart.....I want to thank him for bringing this information to the for front and hope that the lovers of puppets will help out any way they can to keep this legacy right where it needs to be.  I think anything will help but I do like the idea brought on by Tom Stewart read on to find out his creative idea.......

Taken  from Puppeteers Unite Blog site
A Difficult Situation…
November 21st, 2008

The following news article was posted in the Los Angeles Times by Elina Shatkin, Nov. 20, 2008.

MOCA isn’t the only prominent L.A. arts organization facing a financial crisis. The Bob Baker Marionette Theater urgently needs at least $30,000 to catch up on its mortgage. Located on a forlorn corner between the skyscrapers of downtown L.A. and the gentrifying neighborhood of Echo Park, the theater has been staging whimsical puppet shows under the careful hand of owner and master puppeteer Bob Baker for 49 years.The difficult situation was thrown into a tailspin last week when a well-meaning friend of the theater sent out a dire warning that if Baker didn’t come up with the money by Dec. 3, the theater would shut down.

“That’s not true!” Baker firmly says. “We’re not closing, we’re not selling the building and we’re not in foreclosure. We do need $30,000. But if we don’t get it by Dec. 3, the theater will NOT be sold.”

Baker said on Monday he paid off some of his debt and is negotiating a payment schedule with his creditors that would allow him to keep the theater open. But the tanking economy has exacerbated the theater’s financial woes.

“We had a new mortgage made up about a year ago. It was to get rid of a very bad mortgage, and it was a little higher than I anticipated. We anticipated the theater doing more business, but then the school budgets were cut. Our regular business also started to fall off because now people were dealing with the housing and financial crises,” Baker says.

Baker, a devout believer in the value of arts education for children, sells tickets to schools and educational groups for half the normal admission price, the main source of the theater’s income. He also gives away thousands of dollars of tickets every year to charity organizations that use them as prizes in fundraisers.

“In the meantime our expenses went on, and we got behind on our mortgage payments. Everything seemed to boomerang around that time, bills and personnel here at the theater. We had no reserves because we had been operating on a lower-scale price for [school tours]. There just wasn’t that extra amount of money from regular ticket sales,” he says.

There is a glimmer of hope. Money has started trickling in. On Saturday, the theater launched “Bob Baker’s The Nutcracker,” which will run through the holidays, traditionally the theater’s busiest season. Baker encourages fans of the theater to show their support by attending a performance. “The building is not for sale. The things that we’re selling are tickets.”

Despite the difficulties he faces, Baker remains unwavering in his determination to keep his puppets dancing. “We will never go under,” Baker says. “Never! Even if the bank took the building and put us out on the corner!”

Posted on Puppeteers Unite Blog

Let’s do it!
November 22nd, 2008

I wrote earlier today about Bob Baker- he is a 84-year-old puppeteer who has been in the craft for 45 years! He runs one of the oldest puppet theatres in the United States. The theater, at 1345 W. First St., has fallen into debt, and owner Bob Baker has been told by his mortgage holder that he must raise approximately $30,000 to avoid foreclosure proceedings.

This got me thinking…

If I can get 1000 people- only 1000 people to donate $30 (in cliche commercial terms: That’s just $1.00 a day for a month) we could save Bob and the theatre. Now is the time that Puppeteers Unite! and help Bob and his theatre.

In the times we live in today, with everyone in financial woes-  I believe that the solution is found only when we band together and help eachother. This holiday season ask someone to give you one less DVD and donate towards Bob’s theatre.

Please find it in your heart to support Bob.

Read more about OUR problem  HERE!

I contacted Bob and he is very gracious. He stated that the money is much needed and that anyone can contact him at

or contact their office at 213-250-9995 - they take visa or Mastercard.

Daryl H
Re: HELP........... Posted by Ron G. on Nov 23, 2008
Thanks for posting this here, Daryl. Bob Baker's marionettes are legendary. How cool for you to have been able to see them in person.

Ron G.
Re: HELP........... Posted by DrPuppet on Nov 23, 2008
Absolutely! I am green with envy!!!!
Follow-up Posted by Ron G. on Dec 03, 2008
I'm not sure if you have to be registered with the New York Times online to read the article, but here is more news about the Bob Baker marionettes and their difficulties:


Ron G.
Follow-up Posted by Ron G. on Feb 02, 2009
I just read that thanks to a "mysterious benefactor" the theater has been given a reprieve. I don't know if this means that they are out of the woods completely, but they have more time to try to make the operation sustainable.

For more recent news about the theater - including plan's to celebrate Bob Baker's 85th birthday, click here.


Ron G.
Re: HELP........... Posted by Billy D. Fuller on Feb 03, 2009
Thanks Ron ! and Daryl............................ these are times I wish I had lots of money.

Billy D.

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