Opening Warnors' Vault

September 18, 2008 8:33:49 PM PDT
A historic Fresno downtown theater is opening its vaults and putting a massive collection on the auction block. Suzi Acree is a theater volunteer and unveils a glittering chandelier that once graced a Fresno building. Acree said, "They all have cut crystal prisms on them." Antiques are everywhere in the Warnors Theater. They have of course a lot of costumes, unusual furniture and tons of old movie posters. Acree said, "This Clark Gabel was in the theater lobby for one of the 'Gone with the Wind' posters." Volunteers hope to raise about $100,000 from the auction. There are a lot of valuable items in the main building, but to find the real treasures, you must underground to what's known as the vault of history. Acree shows us 6 underground storage rooms all packed with everything and anything you can imagine. Acree said, "This is an old Wheel of Fortune machine. You'd put your nickels in here all in a row and turn the crank."

Next weekend, theater staff will hold an auction to raise money to fully restore the 80-year-old building. Dick Caglia's late father Frank owned the theater. Dick said the family wants the collectibles sold for a great cause.

Ann Vermel is the executive director of Warnors Theater. Vermel said, "Where we are standing now, she's a grand ol' dame who has seen better days." Vermel runs the nonprofit group now operating the facility. She hopes the fundraiser will bring the Warnors Theater a step closer to being downtown's crowning jewel.

Auction Information

Auction Preview :
Friday, September 26, 5:00 to 7:30 pm at Warnors Theater.
Ticket donations are $25.00.

Auction: Saturday, September 27, at 8:00 am at Warnors Theater with bidding starting at 10:00 am.

For tickets or information call the Theater at 559-264-2848 or go to www.warnors.org

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