These are unedited images (with the exception of those that are titled) that give a general sense of this amazing place painted by Marta Becket. The paintings are all over-coated with a glaze or varnish which is highly reflective, giving interior shots red and yellow tones. The red reflects from the red paint used in most areas and the yellow from the incandescent lighting. Please contact Platinum Portraits through this website for information about edited images.
In early November 2011, we took a few days to fly to Las Vegas, spending one night in the surreal city. We didn't gamble but spent a lot of money on an excellent dinner there that night. The next day we drove two hours and spent the next three nights in Death Valley Junction, CA (Population 3), a place no less surreal than LV, but the complete opposite of it. We arrived in Death Valley Junction on Friday, after a stop at a little place in Nevada called Auntie Moe’s Trading Post.
The town of Death Valley Junction was never incorporated, built as a company town by a borax mining company, and consisted of a C-shaped structure with a theatre at one end, a cafe at the other and a hotel occupying the rest of it. There were dormitories and a few houses on the land behind the C, with a gas station and general store across the 2-lane highway.
Once the mining ended, the town began to dwindle. Now, nothing on the other side of the highway is in use and only about 15 rooms and the common areas of the hotel are used. The theatre, called the Amargosa Opera House, is completely painted on the inside by the woman who now owns the town, Marta Becket, and used for her performances.
Marta moved to Death Valley Junction 50 years ago from NYC and performs a show weekly Nov-May that has evolved over the decades as skits incorporating her ballet, dance, mime, acting and writing talents. At the age of 87, her performances are limited in movement but her spirit is limitless. The performance we saw was to a full house (about 120) and the hotel was full the night before the show. (Images are shown here.)
Overall, the trip was fun, mostly because it was so quirky. The theatre was amazing. The performance and food were amazing in their own right. The people were wonderful. The cellphone reception was nonexistent.
We went to Death Valley National Park Saturday morning. Scotty's Castle was too far to visit that day, though it looked like it would be really interesting. Our favorite part was Artists' Drive. The performance at the Opera House was mid-afternoon on Saturday. There were people from all over this country, Europe and Asia there to see the performance and theatre. On Sunday, we had breakfast at the Crow Bar in a nearby town, checked out a craft sale next door, then drove to China Ranch Date Farm for a date shake, a few pounds of dates and a little shopping in their resale shop. It was raining so we decided not to wander through the date palm grove. The next day, we left to head back to the Las Vegas airport and home.
© Terri St.Arnauld & Frank Yezer 2017