The Warner theatre was built in 1931 as an art deco Warner Brothers movie palace. As traditional movie theatres were built and the golden age of cinema faded, the Warner Theatre continued to screen movies as a privately-owned venue. When the Great Flood of 1955 tore through Torrington, the theatre was heavily damaged; the orchestra pit and stage flooded completely, and the gorgeous walls soaked ...up the filthy water, damaging the orange “monkey fur” and the intricate embellishments throughout the theatre. While the movie palace reopened after the flood, it remained in a state of disrepair for decades, until finally it was slated for demolition in the early 80s. It was then that a concerned group of citizens – historical advocates and arts lovers alike – banded together to form the non-profit, the Northwest Connecticut Association for the Arts, Inc. Together, they saved the theatre from demolition and began the process of fundraising to restore it. In 2001 after the Warner Stage Company production of Annie, the theatre went dark while massive restorations were underway. In 2002, the fully-restored movie palace reopened its doors as a full-fledged, 1800-seat Performing Arts Center. Today, the Warner presents more than 170 shows each year from concerts to Broadway-style musicals, and has grown to include the Warner Theatre Center for Arts Education and the 300-seat Nancy Marine Studio Theatre in the adjacent Mertz building.
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