[Image via You Are Here]
The puppets are saved, at least in the short term. The Bob Baker Marionette Theater at 1341 W. 1st Street was facing foreclosure last November, but thanks in part to a mysterious benefactor, the downtown puppet theater has been taken off the market, according to Richard Shuler, a theater manager. The 48-year-old theater got "a big chunk of a change" from a longtime patron about two months ago, according to Shuler. He declines to say who the benefactor was, but describes the individual as "very civic-minded." He adds: "I was shocked when I found out who it was." So the mystery deepens.
Also, a local businesswoman experienced in working with non-profits is now volunteering two to three days a week, helping the theater get its business in order. "This lady, she has done so much," says Shuler, who declines to give out her name. "She even organized the supply closet."
Additionally, Disney just placed a big order for over 200 Pinnochio puppets in honor of the film's 70th anniversary. "We were in dire straits," says Schuler. "Things are looking better now." And the theater will continue its efforts to raise more money, he adds. The theater's financial difficulties were first reported last fall; according to the LA Times, owner Bob Baker blamed part of the company's problems on so-called “scam loans."
· Downtown's Bob Baker Marionette Theater Facing Foreclosure [Curbed LA]