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Online campaign seeks to save Santa Monica Puppetry Center

August 13, 2009 | 12:30 pm

Puppetry Last week Culture Monster reported on the impending closure of the Santa Monica Puppetry Center, the much-loved theater that has presented marionette and other puppet-based entertainment for close to 12 years.

Now an online campaign is afoot to raise the money needed to save the theater. The site, which was launched by a fan of the center, is seeking to raise the approximately $14,000 needed to keep the theater at its current location at 1014 Broadway.

Steven Meltzer, who runs the Santa Monica Puppetry Center, said he will close the doors Sunday because the recent downturn in business has made it impossible to pay the rent.

Tonight there will be a booth at the Santa Monica Pier (as part of the Twilight Dance Series) where people can donate money and show their support for the center. Meltzer is scheduled to be on hand to perform with his Giant Clown marionette. 

The organizer of the campaign, Kayla Darcy-Goldrick, told Culture Monster that she became a supporter of the center because her son began taking puppetry lessons there.

In her letter of appeal sent to fans of the theater, she wrote: "Children today are being bombarded with TV, the Internet, iPod and other technology.  We need to keep puppetry alive for future generations, after all, it is the basis for so many types of entertainment today."    

-- David Ng

Photo: Steve Meltzer, with friends. Credit: Los Angeles Times