By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Bob Baker Marionette Theater, the oldest puppet arts theater in the country, said Tuesday that it is in immediate danger of closing permanently due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In March, just four months after opening its new Highland Park location, all live performances had to be canceled due to the pandemic — resulting in a loss of $500,000, the theater said Tuesday in a statement.

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And, despite a quick pivot to safe virtual and socially distant performances, the theater said it continues to lose $30,000 per month — putting the theater in “severe danger” of closing.

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In order to survive throughout 2021, the theater said it urgently needed to raise $365,000 to ensure the preservation of the theater and the thousands of puppets that call it home.

“People have the power to advocate for the version of Los Angeles they want to see in 2021 and in years to come,” the theater said. “Ensure that this historic, irreplaceable Los Angeles institution is in LA to stay with a tax-deductible donation today and by sharing BBMT’s message to “Keep Imagination Alive.'”

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Those interested in making a donation can do so by visiting the theater’s website.