Bob Baker Marionette Theater | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Kenny Chang on Flickr

Bob Baker Marionette Theater

The Bob Baker Marionette Theater was originally built by an unknown architect or builder as a workshop for Academy Award-winning special effects artist M.B. Paul. In 1961, Bob Baker and his partner Alton Wood purchased the property for use as a live puppet theatre and permanent showcase for hand-crafted marionettes. The theatre opened in 1963 and has become a Los Angeles family entertainment institution.

The Bob Baker Marionette Theater is the longest-running live puppet theatre in the United States, entertaining thousands of children and adults over the years.

The theatre’s entrance originally featured a decorative awning and circus sculptures. Inside, the theatre contains a red-curtained performance room with clown figurines at each corner of the stage. Theatre seating is arranged in a U-shaped fashion around the stage.

Bob Baker, the founder of the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, was born in Los Angeles in 1924. After graduating from Hollywood High School, he began his extensive career in animation at the George Pal Studio. Following World War II, he served as an animation advisor at many film studios, including The Walt Disney Studios.

The Conservancy's Historic Theatre Committee successfully nominated the theatre for local landmark designation. In recognition of its association with the pioneering puppeteer and significant role in the development of the art form, the Los Angeles City Council designated the theatre as Historic-Cultural Monument #958 in June 2009. 

Photo by VPISteve on Flickr

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Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

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