Small donation has big impact on theater

small_donation_11Thinking and acting locally is all part of the equation for Daniel Gugnoni, owner of Troy Brook Visions Inc., a maker of fine furniture in Litchfield, Conn. Gugnoni recently designed and created a custom podium for the Warner Theatre in Torrington, Conn., which he donated to help renovation efforts for the historic theater and illustrate his enthusiasm for what the theater represents.

"We are thrilled to have this work of art grace our stage and truly appreciate the generous donation of talent and craftsmanship," says James Patrick, executive director of the Warner Theatre, which accepted the podium in May from Gugnoni.

Gugnoni grew up in the western Connecticut town and says the Warner Theatre was the only movie theater in the area when he was a child. He remembers the last movie shown was "Superman" before it shut down and was neglected thereafter. It got to the point where the building was going to be demolished, until a group of concerned citizens got together and started a fund to rebuild it.

"I remember attending movies at the theater before it closed in the early 1980s and am so happy that it has been renovated and restored to its original 1931 glory," says Gugnoni.

The theater is almost fully restored after an extensive 20-year renovation project in the Art Deco-style. Gugnoni built the podium specifically because it was what the theater needed for the project. It is made of African ribbon-cut mahogany with tiger maple inlays, and the distinctive Warner Theatre marquee logo was reproduced in black walnut and tiger maple. The piece complements the architecture of the interior of the theater.

"It's a way of giving back to the community. Your local name counts as much as anything, so this helps to get your name out there, but it's also a way of showing your work, a way of giving back. For me, it was a way of getting something into their permanent collection that's being used all of the time. I'm big into things being used and not just decorative," says Gugnoni.

Gugnoni has been designing and creating custom art furniture for the last two decades.

Contact: Daniel Gugnoni, 14 Cobble Court, P.O. Box 359, Litchfield, CT 06759. Tel: 860-567-2310. www.troybrookvisions.com

This article originally appeared in the August 2009 issue.