A Beloved Children's Theater Reached Its ‘Stay Open' Goal

The Bob Baker Marionettes will dance into 2021, and "beyond," thanks to a huge grassroots fundraising effort.

Bob Baker Marionette Theater

What to Know

  • The Bob Baker Marionette Theater was founded in 1963
  • The theater is temporarily closed to in-person performances, but videos may be viewed online
  • A "groundswell of grassroots donations" means the troupe can continue to entertain families into 2021 "and beyond"

Oodles of auld-lang-syne-ing will be burbling up in households across the land in the coming days, as well as plenty of people looking in the direction of 2021 with hope-filled hearts.

The puppeteers, volunteers, and supporters of the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, one of our region's oldest and family-friendliest cultural venues, will have plenty of that hope as the new year arrives, for sunshine-filled news is afoot.

We won't "string" you along any longer, dear marionette aficionados: The Highland Park theater just met its urgent fundraising goal, which means it can stay open in 2021 and even "beyond."

The "irreplaceable fixture of LA past and present" raised the money it needed to keep its charming performance space through "a groundswell of grassroots donations."

After in-person performances were cancelled in March 2020, due to the pandemic, the theater had think creatively, offering online workshops and performances.

Still, it was losing around $30,000 a month, a significant loss at any time but especially just four months after the theater's move to its new Highland Park location (the original Bob Baker Marionette Theater was located just west of downtown).

"In a moment of crisis, BBMT turned to the community that they had served for more than 60 years and asked for help," shared the theater in an announcement.

"The response was a viral fundraising campaign that resulted in a cumulative $365,000 of funds designated towards the survival of a Los Angeles institution. With over half of the donations averaging $50, the BBMT community stepped in with tie-dye fundraisers, art auctions, DJ sets, and a variety of other support efforts."

"The Theater's entire annual goal for 2021 survival was met in under one month."

To celebrate the good news in a year of hard headlines, the Bob Baker Marionette Theater just shared the Bob Baker Christmas Eve Spectacular, for free, on Youtube.

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