Fresno landmark celebrates its 90th birthday

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A historical landmark in Fresno is turning 90-years-old and the downtown community is coming together to celebrate. (KFSN)

A historical landmark in Fresno is turning 90-years-old and the downtown community is coming together to celebrate.

For nearly a century the Wilson Theater has been witness to the history of Fresno. "You'll always see those who will come in and stop and look around, and you'll see them pointing at different seats. What they're doing is they're saying 'you know when I was a kid, that's where I used to sit when I came to the movies or the matinee,'" said Pastor Jim Franklin, Cornerstone Church.

Pastor Franklin stands on the stage every Sunday, but he's stood behind the historic Wilson Theater since the late 90's and has helped the once decaying building flourish into the landmark it is now. "We found this theater that was not being used-- we'd had a good relationship with the owner. We'd rented this thing before, and so it was just a perfect fit for us to be able to come in and stay to our mission of downtown Fresno because that's really where we started."

The church has poured in millions of dollars to repair the facility through the years. It's been used for hundreds of concerts, and just recently, presidential hopeful Ben Carson took the stage. "This building has so much history and so much heritage here in our community, that's why we want to be sure we preserve and take a piece of Fresno's past and make it a part of our future," said Franklin.

On Thursday night during Art Hop, the staff will offer guided tours. But the real celebration comes this Saturday where a car show, vendors, and live performers will take to the streets right outside the building.

Related Topics:
societytheaterfresnobirthdayhistoryFresno - Downtown
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