From Las Vegas comes this surprising story of a rare autographed movie script that found its way to a Catholic Charities thrift store.
This is how Diane Hutton, who runs one of the largest thrift store operations in town, ended up on the hit cable TV show “Pawn Stars” on Monday night.
A while back she was explaining to one of the workers in the warehouse at Catholic Charities how to spot valuable books. The fellow was staring at six months’ worth of donated books that had yet to find their way onto the shelves at the charity’s main store on North Rancho Drive near Vegas Drive.
Yes, she told him never to judge a book by its cover.
“I showed him how to flip through the pages and look for money. I’ve found lots of cash in books,” said Hutton, director of retail operations for Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada. “And I told him to be on the lookout for old, first-edition books, and for anything signed by an author.”
The conversation was prompted because Hutton had realized the worker had thrown away a set of 18 Dr. Seuss books — first editions from 1953 and 1958. “He said he thought they were just junkie kid books,” Hutton said. Oops.
She retrieved them and will display them behind glass, for sale, at Catholic Charities’ newest thrift store, opening Saturday at Rainbow and Charleston boulevards.
“And then I told him to open the cover and look to see if it was signed by an author, or if there is a note in the book.”
A little while later, the worker approached Hutton with a book in his hand. “Like this?” he asked.
He handed Hutton an inch-thick book, bound in burgundy leather, with “The Godfather” and the name Robert Evans embossed on the front. She quickly flipped it open (there was no loose cash) and found the title: “The Godfather: Screenplay by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola.” At the bottom of the first page, a typed note read, “Third Draft, March 29 1971.”
At the time, Evans was head of production at Paramount Studios, where the epic 1972 film was made.
Hutton went back to the inside cover page, then turned to the next page. There was a note: “Bob — It cost me a lot … but there’s one thing that I got … ulcers — Thanks — Al.”
One of the stars of the movie, Al Pacino?