Skip to Main Content

Death Valley Junction, California: Amargosa Opera House

In the middle of the desert, an opera house preserved by a frustrated ballerina still hosts shows by local performers on Saturday nights.

Hwy 127, Death Valley Junction, CA
From LA, take I-15 N, past Barstow. At Baker take Hwy 127 north, through Shoshone, to Death Valley Junction, at the intersection Hwy 127 and Hwy 190.
Tours 9 am, 5 pm (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About Amargosa Opera House

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Amargosa Opera House

Amazing find. So glad this is on Roadside America! Shows set to resume February 2022! Maybe the cafe will reopen too, later next year, but the tour was definitely worth it. Tours at 9 and 5, $10 donation.

[Sanbotical, 12/12/2021]

Amargosa Opera House.

Amargosa Opera House

Worth the stop to see the beautiful opera building brought back to life. Definitely a ghost town as well.

[A. Dudley, 03/11/2020]

A flyer hanging next to the entrance doors advertises $5 opera house tours, but might be seasonal.

Amargosa Opera House

The opera house is a wonderful find. Try the little cafe attached to the hotel - it has great homemade coconut cream pie. And check out Amber's drawings. She works in the cafe and does pencil drawings as a hobby, and they are really excellent.

Overall, I loved Death Valley Junction. It's quirky, unique and very friendly.

[Fergus O'Callaghan, 12/14/2010]
Marta's Sidekick Dies; Amargosa Opera House to Go On

Death Valley's only opera house suffered a serious blow when owner/performer Marta Beckett's husband (and co-performer) Tim Willett, 77, died of a stroke on April 15, 2005. Tom was the Amargosa Opera House's comic relief, appearing on stage in a ballerina's tutu and other flamboyant outfits and roles....

[05/03/2005] Complete News Story

Amargosa Opera House.

Amargosa Opera House

We just visited Marta Beckett's Amargosa Opera House in Death Valley Junction, California. As an oft discussed topic in the Travel section of the New York Times, we decided to check it out ourselves. It was everything that we thought it would be -- an almost 80 year old ballerina formerly of New York City puts on a kooky, allegorical show with deeper references than our over-heated brains could process. Much of the show was her "dance pantomines" but in the last two acts, she dances on point. Thrilling and wonderfully refreshing. There's an honesty and innocence that's hard to describe.

You can't beat the location either -- a U-shaped complex of buildings sits alone in the desert, arising like a forgotten toy. The hotel is charming, clean, and filled with beautiful murals. The Opera House itself is overwhelming, filled to the brim with beautifully executed murals of an audience of nobles and commoners.

[Wendy Carr, 05/22/2004]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Big Bovine of the DesertBig Bovine of the Desert, Amargosa Valley, NV - 8 mi.
Massive PigMassive Pig, Amargosa Valley, NV - 8 mi.
World's Largest FirecrackerWorld's Largest Firecracker, Amargosa Valley, NV - 24 mi.
In the region:
Crossroads of the Planet, Shoshone, CA - 24 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Map and Plan Your Own Roadside Adventure ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

California Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum, Gibsland, Louisiana (May 20-26, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings