Bob Baker Marionette Theater in Highland Park moves performances online amid pandemic

Catching a show at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater in Highland Park has never been easier. They're now offering Instagram Live and Zoom shows.
HIGHLAND PARK (KABC) -- Alex Evans is the Executive Director and Head Puppeteer at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater in Highland Park.

"I saw a show and I fell in love. And 13 years later, I am still tangled up in it," said Evans.

Legendary puppeteer Bob Baker opened the original marionette theater in Downtown LA in 1963.

Baker passed away at the age of 90 in 2014. But his work has had a major impact in Hollywood. He served as an animation and puppet advisor to many film and TV studios throughout his career, including Disney.

In a pre-pandemic world, the theater could fit 120 audience members.

"It's truly a child's imagination come to life," said Evans.

And there are thousands of puppets.

"Bob would say, 'Oh, we have 5,000 puppets.' If you truly counted, it's probably like close to 2,000," Evans said.

As a way to keep the theater afloat during this time, the puppeteers adapted quickly to the digital world with Instagram Live shows and Zoom birthday parties.

"We do Zoom birthdays now. So essentially, you can have your birthday like on Zoom, invite all your friends from across the country and see a puppet show," Evans said.

Though it might seem like a global pandemic would be this theater's last curtain call, Evans said the show must go on.

"If anyone's been following the theater over the past, like decades ... it's been thrown into bankruptcy or they got evicted from our old location, and so on and so forth. So, if it is anything we're used to it's going into a crisis," said Evans.

The theater is located at 4949 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042.

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