The mission of the Warner Theatre Center for Arts Education is to provide high-quality and affordable training in theatre arts for all members of the community. The Center is committed to making the arts an integral part of every student’s life and accomplishes this by offering a wide variety of courses, all taught by a professional faculty. Whether a student is exploring an area of artistic interest for the first time or is seeking more comprehensive training, the Warner Theatre Center for Arts Education is Northwest Connecticut’s premier resource for arts education.
Built by Warner Brothers Studios and opened in 1931 as a movie palace, the Warner Theatre was described then as "Connecticut's Most Beautiful Theatre". The theatre was sold in the 1950's as part of a federally mandated divestment and damaged extensively in the 1955 Flood. With business declining, the invention of television and expenses soaring through the 1960's and 1970's, deferred maintenance began to take its toll. Facing certain foreclosure in 1981, the owners closed the Warner and in March of that year put the property on the market for $275,000. With the theatre slated for demolition in 1982, a concerned group of citizens formed the non-profit Northwest Connecticut Association for the Arts, Inc. (NWCAA) to save the theatre. This group led a dramatic grass-roots campaign successfully raising the money necessary to purchase the Warner Theatre. The shared vision of those individuals is the foundation for the A Star is Reborn Campaign to restore and expand the Warner Theatre.