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A Warehouse Full of Thrift Treasures : Just about every category is represented at the St. Vincent de Paul store. And Regal Rents plans its annual sale of party goods.

March 11, 1994|GERI COOK

OK, I admit it, I'm a junk junkie and so are many of my friends. Our idea of a great day is to munch and "junk." And if we uncover a treasure costing practically nothing, the day is a huge success. But even if we come home empty-handed, it's still been fun if the pickings are good.

There's nothing quite like the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store in Lincoln Heights for hunting down treasures at extremely low prices. This warehouse store has been here since 1968 and is so vast that it's hard to see all the merchandise in just one visit.

We started with the furniture--sofas for $30, chairs for $12, tables of all sizes for $8 to $80. One wall is devoted to lamps, and some pretty fair ones at that.

The bicycle department is awesome, whether you're looking for one to ride or one for exercising. There were 20 to 30 bicycles, priced from $7 to about $25.

Just about every category is represented at this shop--office equipment, furniture, housewares, toys, shoes and clothes for men, women and children. With 2,500 pieces of clothing coming on the floor each day, all neatly sorted by paid employees, the depth of the clothing inventory is vast, says Dorothy Llamas, the store director.

My shopping buddy found a wonderful, like-new black cashmere coat with the Pearsall's label for $22, and I uncovered a perfect Gucci scarf for 99 cents. We both left shopped-out, but happy as clams. We stopped in Chinatown for a meal on our way home and--voila!--a perfect day.

St. Vincent de Paul maintains a shelter on Skid Row, a rehabilitation center, a camp for underprivileged boys and girls, and is one of the charities helping disaster victims.

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Regal Rents, the jet-setters' party rental company, stages its once-a-year sale Saturday. The company sets up this annual event outside under tents, and people line up early for great buys in used (and some new) table linens, flatware, dishes, stemware, folding chairs and tables at prices about 50% to 80% off retail.

This year's blowout will offer an item the company has never sold before and doesn't plan to again--children's yellow plastic stack chairs for $3.95. Preschools should love that.

Some used, eight-foot folding tables will go for $19.95, and 90-inch round print tablecloths are $7.95. Solid napkins are 25 cents each.

Where and When What: St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store. Location: 210 N. Ave. 21, Lincoln Heights. Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, till 4:45 p.m. Sundays. Cards: MasterCard, Visa. Call: (213) 224-6280 or (800) 97-HELP-1. What: Regal Rents annual sale. Location: 9925 Jefferson Blvd., Culver City. Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Cards: American Express, MasterCard, Visa. Call: (310) 204-3382.

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