• Stay Connected

Stunning Art Deco Warner Theatre

warnertheatreconnecticutinteriorWarner Theatre in Torrington, Connecticut, figure out a date and go see it.

This is a 1,700 seat stunner, reminds me of Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

Built in 1931 by Warner Brothers, it first opened as a movie palace. Some who have written about it thru the years called it “Connecticut’s Most Beautiful Theatre.”

I got an in depth tour thru this lovely place by Lynn Gelormino who grew up being a part of the theater and can recite chapter and verse about its history. Gelormino wears many hats at the theater, tour guide, grants coordinator, public relations. That’s the thing with theaters, if you love being around such spaces, you do it all, whatever it takes to keep the arts vibrant. Being on the board of the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (The Kate) in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, I appreciate her love of the Warner.

In 1955, it was heavily damaged by flooding and had a date with the wrecking ball in the early 1980’s. That was halted, thanks to those who could see what a central part of the town this building was. It was purchased by the Northwest Connecticut Association for the Arts. Before it was fully restored in 2002, there was a fire. In 1999 a “ghost light” named ” Larry The Light” was left on by a cleaning crew and up in flames went the stage to the tune of three-hundred-thousand dollars in damages.

The place has been thru the mill and has survived and is thriving. The fact that it is also a school for students who want to sing and dance and act is really putting it on the map.

The Warner also now has a 300 seat black box theater and an extensive costume shop too. The Warner is a vibrant piece of the revitalization of downtown Torrington.

So, when you go to the Warner you will see reproductions of the carpeting ,the seats, the magnificent murals to make you think you are back in 1931, all restored for many more generations to come.

Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Ann Nyberg