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The Bob Baker Marionette Theater Could Become a Mixed-User

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Oh, the ups and downs that the enchanting Bob Baker Marionette Theater in Echo Park has seen in the last few years. Nearly foreclosed on, saved by a mysterious benefactor (ooooh!), named a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument—all in the last six years. Now there may be one more big hurdle facing the puppets. Eastsider LA reports that tomorrow, the city's Cultural Heritage Commission will hear a presentation on the 1953 building's "proposed rehabilitation and adaptive reuse as a multi-family residential and commercial property."

What that means for the theater, which opened in 1961, isn't clear at this point, but it seems unlikely that a second mysterious benefactor is behind the plans. Though the theater was landmarked in 2009, it was put up for sale in 2012 due to continuing financial troubles; it sold last year for $1.305 million, according to the city's zoning website, and whoever's pulling the strings now (records show the owner is a 1st Street Properties LLC) is apparently hoping to make some changes.
· The Puppet Lofts? Residential development proposed for Bob Baker Marionette Theater [ELA]
· Bob Baker Marionette Theater Will Live Another Day [Curbed LA]
· Downtown's Bob Baker Marionette Theater Facing Foreclosure [Curbed LA]