Bob Baker, 84, Must Raise $30,000; Says Venue Will Not Close
by Anna Scott
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – The Bob Baker Marionette Theater, an easy-to-miss white box in City West, has entranced the young and young-at-heart with its string-operated figurines for 45 years. But the country’s oldest puppet theater finds itself in a financial tangle.
The theater, at 1345 W. First St., has fallen into debt, and 84-year-old owner Bob Baker has been told by his mortgage holder that he must raise approximately $30,000 to avoid foreclosure proceedings, said theater assistant manager Richard Shuler. A Dec. 3 deadline was recently extended, as negotiations are ongoing.
In an attempt to raise the funds, Baker earlier this month hired a real estate firm to put the property up for sale, hoping to find a buyer who would lease him back the space. By last Thursday, however, Baker’s spokesman said it was no longer on the market. Baker, who can still be found