Pay what you wish for a costume at Waterville Opera House

WATERVILLE, Maine (WABI) The Waterville Opera House has been Central Maine's cultural center since 1902, treating audiences of all ages to the magic of the performing arts.

Each year, the variety of performances draws roughly 30-thousand people to the venue.

A recent $4.5 million renovation at the Opera House will extend its tenure as a major destination for the arts in Maine, but it also means it's time for a purge.

The Opera House has been host to theatrical productions, ballet performances, concerts, vaudeville, and much more, and with those performances come costumes.

Michelle Sweet, Assistant Executive Director of the Waterville Opera House says, "We've been here for a very long time, so the amount of items that we have built, bought, and just generally accumulated over the years was pretty overwhelming."

So, it was time to do a little spring or fall cleaning if you will and that led to an intriguing idea.

Sweet says, "This weekend, we are doing a pay what you wish costume sale."

Rather than throw away these beautiful costumes, the Opera House is first selling to schools and community theatre programs and then opening it up to the public this Saturday.

Sweet says, "If you come and find something wonderful that you just can't live without, pay what you feel it is valued at, and all of the donations will go to the Waterville Opera House."

They have a little bit of everything.

"There's some fantastic vintage clothing. Some sort of over the top theatrical pieces, some interesting items without a doubt."

The public sale will be held on Saturday from 1:00 pm. to 4:00 p.m.

Organizers ask you to bring your own bag for costumes and be aware there are no changing rooms.

Sweet says, "We've got lots of fun pieces where you can build a costume piece by piece or dive right into the theatrical section. We're hoping to be completely overwhelmed and wiped out by Saturday."