Amargosa Opera House

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.

Our photographs were made on April 25-26, 2009. Marta Becket was photographed onstage following her show that Saturday evening, when she performed her “sitting down show.” An audio excerpt of the performance is used in the VR environment. Becket retired in February 2012. She died on January 30, 2017 at the age of 92, at her home in Death Valley Junction, next to her beloved opera house.

Click and drag to explore the Amargosa Opera House.
For the HMD version, touch here.
Click the red target to enter the opera house.

1 Comment
  • Luke Howe
    Posted at 20:18h, 17 February Reply

    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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