Bobo, Eartha Kitty, and Aloysius the Birthday Dog took their final bows at the original Bob Baker Marionette Theater in Echo Park last November and, after a brief run at the Pasadena Playhouse and a residency at the Southern California Children’s Museum, are close to debuting their new permanent home in Highland Park this summer.
Cleaning out and packing up the old space uncovered countless treasures squirreled away by the industrious Mr. Baker, who transformed household objects and craft store finds into iconic characters beloved by generations. This Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., you’ll have a chance to revisit the historic building and take home vintage artifacts, puppet parts, and even a chunk of the original building at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater Yard Sale.
Everything that is not going to the new stage—from thousands of Easter eggs and unending strings of Christmas lights to cans of powdered tempera from 1950—will be for sale. A special early bird ticket ($20) will allow early pickers entrance from 8 to 9 a.m. Proceeds benefit the puppets and their new home on York Boulevard.
We asked the theater’s Winona Bechtle to share some of her favorite items up for sale.
“When we took down the stars that lined the Theater walls, inevitably lots of dust, sparkles, and tinsel fell off. Not a place to let things go to waste…we gathered up the loose ends of the Bob Baker light-up stars on the walls and have little bags ready to sell!”
“We’ve come across lots of vintage beauty products at the Theater while we’ve been packing. Who knows if they’re for the puppets or the people.”
“It wouldn’t be a historic puppet theater without 7 decades of art supplies. From pastels to paints– dust them off and paint like it’s 1963!”
“Our “lighted ice” lightbulbs illuminated the original daisy chandeliers in our party room back when it used to be in our present-day workshop.”
“It’s just not a Bob Baker birthday party without Roylies! Good thing we have 10,000 in storage!”
“After making 3,000 puppets over the years, you have quite a few scraps left over. Take home a piece of the sparkle and fluff and glitter that make your favorite Bob Baker stars SHINE!”
“Although we have already painstakingly re-created our classic Bob Baker painted curtains in our new Theater, we couldn’t resist cutting out 1 foot squares of the original drywall to commemorate the literal walls where the magic happened. We will have squares for sale at the yard sale.”
Bob Baker Marionette Theater Yard Sale, Sun., May 18, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; 1345 W. 1st St., Echo Park.
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