Roxy Theatre

1545 Boardwalk,
Atlantic City, NJ 08401

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Roxy Theatre

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This was one of the largest movie palaces in Atlantic City. It was located on the Boardwalk at New York Avenue and was opened as the Stanley Theatre on July 3, 1925. It was originally designed by Philadelphia architectural firm Hoffman-Henon Co. and opened with 2,001 seats. Beautiful, large, wide auditorium with a large balcony, giant CinemaScope screen and mezzanine restrooms and lounge. I don’t recall 70mm presentations, but this theatre would have been much more suitable than the somewhat disappointing Virginia Theatre. I recall a large chandelier in the lobby.

The theatre was sold by the Stanley-Warner Corporation in 1958, to the Hamid Chain, which also operated the Shore, Hollywood, Virginia and Center. They renamed it Roxy Theatre and booked some great movies there (“Longest Day”, “Planet of the Apes”, “Goldfinger”, “Woodstock”, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”). When you walked into this theatre, it was impressive.

It was later turned into a small indoor amusement park for small children and I worked at one of the food concession stands during summer vacation. The building was cavernous. A great theatre.

Contributed by Howard Barbakoff

Recent comments (view all 22 comments)

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 22, 2008 at 7:04 am

I took another browse through my Film Daily Year Books and finally did find a listing for a Roxy Theatre in A.C. in the 1931 and 1932 editions. A seating capacity of 1,000 is reported in both editions. The Roxy disappears from A.C. listings in FDYBs after that. If that Roxy was the same Roxy as this one, I have no idea, but the considerable difference in seating capacities raises doubts. It seems possible that the name Roxy was legally challenged by the New York Roxy and that the A.C. Roxy agreed to restrict its advertising and promotion to the local level. It’s also possible that the Roxy fell victim to the Depression and may have had a long period of closure before re-opening. Another possiblity is that the Roxy was re-named for a perriod of time and then reverted to Roxy again.

HowardB on May 25, 2008 at 7:38 pm

This may clear up the mystery. Look up the Stanley Theater in Atlantic City. There is a link to a picture. Looking at the picture and the other buildings surrounding the “Stanley” I’m almost certain that the Stanley became the “Roxy” we are discussing here. The “Stanley” is listed as having over 1900 seats, which seems about right from my memories of the “Roxy” in the 60’s.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 26, 2008 at 8:44 am

I tend to agree that Roxy must have been a later name for the Stanley. There were no theatres called Roxy that I know of before the NYC Roxy opened in 1927. Following that, the use of “Roxy” was very restricted until Mr. Rothafel’s death. This A.C. theatre must have opened in the late 1920s or early 30s, while “Roxy” was still living.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 28, 2008 at 6:41 am

If this was the Stanley Theatre originally, then the two listings should be combined into one. At present, there’s a listing for the Roxy Theatre and another for the Stanley Theatre. One should be removed. W.H. Lee, credited as architect of the Roxy, was most active in the pre-talkies era, so this almost certainly was not called the Roxy at opening. If it was originally the Stanley, that implies ownership by Stanley Warner. Perhaps SW dropped the theatre in the 1950s and new owners changed the name to Roxy.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 30, 2008 at 6:17 am

For most of its life, this was known as the Stanley Theatre. In 1958, Stanley Warner Corporation sold the Stanley to George Hamid & Sons, with a stipulation that the theatre’s name be changed to one that did not refer to the previous ownership. “Roxy” was the result. Consequently, the current separate listing at CT for the Stanley Theatre needs to be removed or combined with this one. Also, there seems to be a contradiction in the architectural credits.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 30, 2008 at 12:30 pm

The Stanley Theatre can by seen in the center background in this 1925 view of the Boardwalk:
View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 31, 2008 at 1:42 pm

Did W.H. Lee collaborate with Hoffman & Henon on the Stanley Theatre, or is there an error in the introductory credits? Before it became known that the Roxy was originally known as the Stanley, the Roxy’s architect was listed as W.H. Lee, with the “firm” credit left blank. The separate Stanley listing, now removed, had “architect” blank and Hoffman & Henon as “firm.”

edblank on June 1, 2008 at 6:48 am

When a site is removed, what happens to the information and postings that were on it? Have they been threaded into this one or just erased? I’d hate to see the information just liquidated.

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