Amargosa Opera House

The ghost town of Death Valley Junction, on the California/Nevada border near the National Park, was built in 1923-1925 as a company town by the Pacific Coast Borax Company. It included a recreation hall used for dances, movies, and town meetings. In July of 1968, Marta Becket, a transplanted dancer from New York, discovered the recreation hall and began its transformation into the Amargosa Opera House. It took her six years to complete her murals on all the walls and ceiling. She painted an entire audience (see interior VR), filled with characters who might have attended a 16th century opera. You can learn more about Marta Becket and the Opera house here, or here.
My photographs were made on April 25-26, 2009. Marta Becket was photographed onstage following her performance that Saturday evening. I composited her image onto the VR photography I shot the following morning. Marta Becket retired from her stage performances in February 2012.

Click and drag to explore the Amargosa Opera House.
For the phone/tablet version, touch here.


    One Response to “Amargosa Opera House”

    1. Luke Howe says:

      Hi –
      Very fun piece of work. Congratulations on helping preserve a bit of Americana that so many esteem. Attended a performance in 2010 with Marta sitting on stage while a younger thespian provided the entertainment. I understand that Marta has reverted to a solo and is able to do only limited work. Comments or further info on what’s happening now? I took a recently-retired to Henderson friend to DVJ for MLK day. Enjoyed a pleasant meal at the Cafe but no performance that night. Will send this link along to those worthy to know more. Luke Howe

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