Bob Baker Marionette Theater

Los Angeles, California | C.1963

Photo Credit: Kayla Heersink

The Bob Baker Marionette Theater, located in Los Angeles, California, was founded by Bob Baker and Alton Wood in 1963. It is the longest-running children’s theater company in Los Angeles.

At age six, Baker saw his first puppet show and decided to dedicate his life to puppetry. Two years later, he began training with several puppetry companies and gave his first professional performance. While in high school, he even began making toy marionettes that were sold in both the U.S. and Europe.

After World War II, Baker served as an animation advisor for many film and television studios, including Disney. His puppetry was featured on numerous television shows including Bewitched, Star Trek, Land of the Giants and NCIS; and in films including Disney’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

When Baker partnered with Alton, they purchased a run-down scenic shop in 1961 believed to have belonged to Oscar-winning special effects artist M.B. Paul. Over two years, they transformed the shop into The Bob Baker Marionette Theater, which served as both the live theater and home to Baker’s three thousand hand-crafted marionettes.

In 2014, Baker passed away at the age of 90, but his legacy continues to live on. The City of Los Angeles designated the Theater as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, and the live theater has relocated to a new location in Highland Park where it puts on puppet shows for children.

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