Stanley Theatre

983 S. Orange Avenue,
Newark, NJ 07106

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atmos on September 8, 2023 at 11:51 pm

The church must have vacated the premises some time ago but it is not in very good condition inside and is currently up for sale.

spectrum on December 4, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Their official website is at:

They have some good photos too – looks like the church is doing very well!

John314 on September 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm

I can remember going to the Stanley just about every Saturday afternoon in the late forties and early and mid fifties. I say just about because every once and awhile, the Mayfair Theatre which was two block further up South Orange Avenue, played something better. But that was very seldom and the Stanley was the kids theatre of choice as well the “the place to see and be seen.” Saturday afternoon (1:00 P.M. to be exact) was when I could go to the Stanley, see two full length features, usually either scary or a western, a bunch of cartoons and a serial. Not bad for twenty five cents. Right next door to the Stanley was a 5 & 10 Cent Store and that was the place we all stopped for the movie candy. Three packs of candy for a dine. Selection of the candy was always fun…two candies were for eating, the third for throwing. You see, as soon as the lights went down and the movie began, the Stanley became a war zone with candy flying in every direction. My choice of ammo, Black Crows or Dots. After about ten minutes, calm would set in and we’d settle in to watch Tom Mix or Frankenstein. After the movies, around 5:00 P.M. I grab the “Green Flyer Bus (another Nickel) down South Orange Avenue so I could be home for supper at 5:30 PM. If Saturday was for the kids, then Wednesday Night was "Ladies Night.” I can remember my mother and my oldest sister (then 18) going to the Stanley every week to see a movie but even more important, to pick up the free dish or plate of the week. After about 18 months, you could collect a full service for eight. Everyone on my block had the same dishes. The Stanley played an important role in my growing up years. It was a fun place in what seems to have been, much easier days.

laybug8 on April 23, 2010 at 12:30 am

Tiger09 you probably finished your paper already but if you still need info on when it was Casa Italiana I can help my parents worked there so I basically grew up in that building from 1980 up until when it was sold. You can email me for info If you have any pics I would love to see them. This place brings back lots of memories.

spectrum on February 13, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Here is a webpage with some wonderful interior shots of the Stanley theater showing the renovation done by the Newark Gospel Tabernacle. Shows both lobbies and auditorium. This theatre may have served as an inspiration for Fred Wentworth when he designed the Stanley in Jersey City – the auditoriums are remarkably similar, although the Newark Stanley has a fully atmospheric lobby. The building looks in excellent shape!

Their webpage listed above appears to be down.

satpmmats on February 11, 2010 at 12:07 am

I grew up nearby in South Orange. I took in many a Saturday Matinee throughout the 1960s.
“Casa Italiana” was co-owned by Seton Hall and The Knights Of Columbus. My Italian class from Columbia H.S. ate lunch there once.
I’m happy to see the wonderful renovation The Newark Tabernacle has done to the building.

Tiger09 on March 22, 2009 at 1:49 pm

To PGZ- all of the seats actually were removed at some point. Though there are seats there now, these are certainly not the original ones, which would have looked much more like the rows at the Stanley Theater in Jersey City.

Tiger09 on February 2, 2009 at 9:40 am

Could anyone who went there when it was still Casa Italiana talk more about what it looked like and what it did? I’m a university student who is writing a large research paper about the architecture of the Stanley theaters in New Jersey, and any personal accounts (or photos if they exist!) would be much appreciated.

I have in fact been inside recently, and have taken a number of pictures, and will post the link here after I am done uploading them. They are in the early stages of undergoing a major renovation project to make several repairs and restore the building to be not only a church but a community performing art center. Exciting stuff!

mcraco on February 2, 2008 at 1:46 pm

I went there as a teenager to casa italiana!! we loved it!! the music was great and we used to see ourselves on Tv with Umberto of Naples!!

Marisa Panicucci(Craco)

hollister22nh on July 21, 2007 at 4:19 pm

Here is a great profile of the Stanley as it exists today:


laybug8 on June 30, 2007 at 12:16 am

I remember going here when it was Casa Italiana my parents used to work there and take me there while they were working. They used to host Carnevale every February which was a big event. My communion party was in the upstairs part of the building. I would like to go back and see it. I wish I could rent it out to have my 30th birthday it would bring back a lot of memories.

steelstrings on September 30, 2006 at 2:41 am

I loved going to the Stanley theater. I lived in Newark across the street from Seton Hall University and it was a short walk. I used to go there on Saturdays in the early 1960’s. I remember seeing “The Mole People” and “The Mysterians” there on the same bill. Admission was 25 cents/35 cents (matinee and evenings).They showed a lot of Hammer films with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing as well as Abbott and Costello films too. I remember how vivid the color was on the Warner Bros. cartoons shown before the movies started. I saw “A Hard Days Night” there for the first time. It was located on S. Orange Ave. Nearby was Jimmy Buffs, a great italian hot dog spot. Bowla Bowla, a 2 story bowling alley was just down the street. ststestreet.

teecee on March 2, 2006 at 5:20 am

Listed as part of Stanley Warner Corp. in the 1956 Film Daily Yearbook.

teecee on August 12, 2005 at 4:55 am

A Wurlitzer organ (opus 1568) was installed in this theatre on 1/28/1927. It was then altered on 8/15/1928.

Another Wurlitzer (opus 1168) was installed at the “Italian Culture Cntr” on 1/1/1973. Not sure if this is the same location.

hollister22nh on June 18, 2005 at 12:24 pm

This theater is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Stanley Theater (added 1986 – Building – #86001957)
Also known as “Casa Italiana” Father Vincent Monella Center of Italian Cul
985 S. Orange Ave., Newark
Historic Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering
Architect, builder, or engineer: Grad,Frank, MacEvoy,Warren
Architectural Style: Mission/Spanish Revival
Area of Significance: Entertainment/Recreation, Architecture
Period of Significance: 1925-1949
Owner: Private
Historic Function: Recreation And Culture
Historic Sub-function: Theater
Current Function: Recreation And Culture
Current Sub-function: Theater

hollister22nh on August 12, 2004 at 4:26 pm

I drove past this theater this morning. It is still the Newark Gospel Tabernacle. It is very close to Seton Hall University. If anyone cares enough I’ll go visit the inside… when can we post pictures again?!?!?!

Zummo on April 5, 2004 at 9:28 pm

Whie operating as the Casa Italiana, all the seats were not removed. A dance floor was constructed, but seats to the front of the theatre remained. Italian language films were shown there every Sunday for close to 20 years.