Stanley Theatre

586 Seventh Avenue,
New York, NY 10036

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Located on Seventh Avenue and 41st Street in Manhattan. The Stanley Theatre was opened around 1914 with 800 seats. In the early-1950’s it specialized in Russian films.

Contributed by Joseph Angier

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

AlAlvarez on March 30, 2007 at 6:44 pm

Demolition was announced starting on January 2, 1956 when the Stanley and the National Hotel were both to be replaced by a 15 story textile industry building that has apparently since been demolished as well.

SPearce on January 10, 2008 at 4:06 am

I am glad to see this movie house is already identified as a communist sympathizer house as I found this movie ad in my trusty May 10, 1946 NYC edition of the (Communist) Daily Worker (reading from top to bottom various type size):

“Has more dramatic excitement than most films in town.” – World-Telegram
K. Simonov's
An Artkino Release
Now – A Stirring Film
Doors Open 8:45 a.m.
Stanley 7th Ave. bet 42 & 41 STS
Also 1st New York Showing—
“Warsaw Rebuilds” and Soviet “Young Musicians"
Just arrived – first film of "Election Day in the U.S.S.R.” Exclusive pictures of Stalin, Zhukov, Konev, Ilya Ehrenburg, Boris Babushkin, Nikolai Cherkasov and other Soviet celebrities."

So there.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 11, 2008 at 12:40 pm

I wouldn’t call this a “communist sympathizer house.” It was actually run by Artkino, which was an agency of the USSR and controlled the distribution of that country’s movies in the USA. The Stanley became a showcase for Soviet movies, which had a reputation for quality and innovation. When Artkino’s lease of the Stanley ran out, it moved to the Squire Theatre on Eighth Avenue with the same policy.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 19, 2008 at 3:04 pm

In November 1948 the Italian film The Spirit and the Flesh premiered at the Stanley. It had been made in 1941 and was based on the great Manzoni novel, I promessi sposi.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 16, 2008 at 1:23 pm

In August, 1943, the Stanley Theatre presented the American premiere engagement of “Seeds of Freedom,” which was essentially Sergei Eisenstein’s silent classic, “The Battleship Potemkin,” with a new epilogue and prologue connecting the story to the Soviet Union’s current war with Nazi Germany. “Potemkin” was shown in its entirely, with a new musical soundtrack, sound effects and occasional dubbed dialogue in English. The new footage used American actors and was also in English. “Seeds of Freedom” later contributed to “blacklisting” grief for Aline MacMahon, Henry Hull and scriptwriter Albert Maltz:View link

kencmcintyre on February 8, 2009 at 11:58 pm

This is from Boxoffice magazine in November 1947:

NEW YORK-“Francis the First”, a French film, opened at the Stanley Theater November 19. The theater usually shows first-run Russian product.

kencmcintyre on February 8, 2009 at 11:59 pm

By the way, did you see the Yiddish film that was playing in Warren’s ad of 2/19/08? There was some diversity in this theater.

kencmcintyre on February 9, 2009 at 12:00 am

Sorry, that ad was from Gerald DeLuca, not Warren.

AlAlvarez on March 11, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Mark Rivest has the only photo I have seen of the Stanley marquee. Check page 63 of his Manhattan collection.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 3, 2014 at 1:44 pm

This earlier comment by AlAlvarez says that the Stanley was showing movies as early as 1916. Its age, and the fact that it is the only theater listed for this stretch of 7th Avenue, makes it more likely that it was the theater in this item from The American Contractor of July 5, 1913:

“Moving Picture Theater (seating capacity 800): 2 sty. 60x90. $35,000. W. S. Seventh av., nr. 41st st., New York City. Archt. W. H. Hoffman, Empire bldg., Philadelphia, Pa. Const. Engr. Jas. P. Whiskerman, 30 E. 42d st., New York City. Brick. Bldrs. H. P. Wright & Co., 30 E. 42d st., New York City. Excavation finished. Plumbing let to Savoy Plumbing Co., 162 Prince st., New York City.”
W. H. Hoffman was, of course, the senior partner in the Philadelphia architectural firm of Hoffman & Henon, specialists in theater design.

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