Stanley Theatre

113 S. Main Street,
Galena, IL 61036

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DREAMLAND Theatre sign, Galena, Illinois, 1920s.

The Dreamland Theatre opened in 1907 at 223 S. Main Street, and sat about 275. It closed temporarily in 1931, and reopened later the same year as the Stanley, and was now showing “talking pictures”. It closed in 1937.

A new Stanley Theatre opened later in 1937, now located at 113 S. Main Street, it seated more than twice the amount of the old Stanley Theatre. It was designed in Art Moderne style, and had a large, triangular-shaped marquee, illuminated by neon lights.

The second Stanley Theatre operated until the late-1960’s, known as the Galena Theatre when it closed. The long-shuttered movie house had its final cinematic moment in the spotlight in 1989, when it was used in the movie “Field of Dreams” as “the Plaza Theatre”, complete with a temporary old-fashioned marquee.

The building last housed The Store Next Door, a home accessories shop.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

saegerjon on June 22, 2007 at 9:40 pm

My wife and I visited Galena last week and we came across this building. It currently houses mostly crafts and art work for homes. This building could easily be converted back to a theater. The stage is still in place as well as the curtain. Much of the lighting seems to be in place as well. No seats are currently in what was the theater. Galena seems to be a place that would support a small art house theater. I think they are really missing the boat by not using this space as it was intended. My wife and I had to drive to Dubuque to see a movie – a good 15 miles away.

DonSolosan on November 7, 2008 at 8:30 pm

A friend just told me he was part of an effort to turn the Stanley into a legit theater. He said it was before Field of Dreams shot there, so it was probably the early to mid 80s. They poured their savings into restoring the place, which they called The Gallery Playhouse. As it turns out, an amusement park opened that summer just a few miles away, and all the tourists they were expecting went there instead. All the local businesses suffered. And The Gallery Playhouse quietly went out of business.

kpdproductions on May 30, 2010 at 7:33 pm

If the building hasnt been converted by 2014, I will be taking on the task of bringing the old theater back to life..It will have a Historical old clean look to it but it will be COMPLETELY DIGITAL PICTURE AND SOUND…“Its The Way Of The Future”

Kevin Patrick Dwyer/Santow

kpdproductions on May 30, 2010 at 7:36 pm

I do have current photos of the theater inside and out…I hope to post one when this site allows photos again.. or email me and il send you some.

Trolleyguy on May 31, 2014 at 7:28 am

It’s now 2014. Has the theater been brought back to life yet?

DavidZornig on May 12, 2015 at 1:15 pm

Circa 1931 photo added courtesy of Darla Zailskas.

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