If you want a sign that downtown revitalization can happen, there’s this: The Warnors Center for the Performing Arts, the nonprofit organization that operates the Warnors Theatre and the accompanying venues and commercial spaces, ended the fiscal year in the black.
The amount was minimal, for sure, but it’s the first time anyone can remember the nonprofit making money since it took over, says Christopher Dutrey, acting executive director and interim CEO for the complex. Dutrey took over when Dan Fitzpatrick left at the end of last year.
The turnaround comes mostly from increased public awareness of the complex, especially Frank’s Place, which hosted live music on Thursday-Saturday nights for most of 2013. The success of the businesses along Tuolumne Ave. (Raizana Teas, Misc. Trading Co. and Modern Farm) has also helped, Dutrey says.
Historic nature aside, the complex is versatile and probably still underused. Along with multiple commercial spaces, there are three separate performing-arts venues that can be used for multiple purposes — from afternoon ball dances and late-night rock and roll at Frank’s Place, to quinceanera celebrations and Gothic raves at Star Palace and silent movie screening in the theater itself.
On New Year’s Eve for example, there were separate events at each of the Warnor’s venues each with its own unique crowd and atmosphere. The push in 2014 will be booking the theater, Dutrey says.