Stanley Theater


Stanley Theater
Casa Italiana
Father Vincent Monella Center of Italian Culture at Seton Hall University


The Stanley Theater is located in the Vailsburg section of Newark and was commissioned by the Stanley-Fabian company. Designed by local architect Frank Grad in the "atmospheric" style, this theater is important because it exemplifies a stage of movie-going experience that relied on architectural effects and trompe l'oeil to allude to the fantasy of the cinematic medium. The front facade and the whole theater are based on recreating a Spanish atmosphere. At the front facade, the central bay is articulated through its shaped gable that culminates in a broken bonnet parapet. The front entrance is covered with a prominent marquee suspended from two rods springing from terra-cotta oculi. The decorations in terra-cotta extend to the arcuated gallery colonnettes on side bays and solomonic columns framing side entrances. Wood brackets support overhanging eaves while above them extends a mission-tile covered roof. Inside, the theater is well-known for its lavish decorations and thematization, with a main auditorium that has a distinctive proscenium arch. Here, there is a clear similarity with the Stanley theater of Jersey City.






Condition History

A ballroom was added when the building was acquired by the Father Vincent Monella Center of Italian Culture in the late 1960s.



National Register of Historic Places, Stanley Theater, Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, National Register #86001957


Gordon, Mark W., and Anthony Schuman, editors. Newark Landmark Treasures: A Guide to the Landmark Buildings, Parks, Public Art & Historic Districts in New Jersey’s Metropolis. Newark Preservation and Landmarks Committee, 2016, p. 16.

Sexton, R W, and B F. Betts. American Theatres of Today. New York: Architectural Book Pub. Co, 1927.


Mission/Spanish Revival


Related Entries

Item Relations

Item: Frank Grad creator of This Item


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