983 S. Orange Avenue,
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This Spanish Atmospheric style theatre was named for the Warner Brothers-owned circuit that built it. Frank Grad was the architect, with interior decoration by Landish Studios. The auditorium is a virtual replica of the Atmospheric Renaissance courtyard of the Jersey City Stanley Theatre. The lobby is also done in a similar Atmospheric style. The Stanley Theatre first opened in 1927, but due to its location in the outskirts of Newark, it ran second-run to the circuit’s downtown Branford Theatre.
By the late-1950’s, the Stanley Theatre was no longer profitable and got sold to an Italian-American cultural organization that turned it into a social hall called Casa Italiana. All of the Atmospheric style decor was retained, but the single floor auditorium was cleared of seats so it could be used for dining and dancing.
Since my last visit in 1980, the building has changed ownership and is now known as the Newark Gospel Tabernacle. A recent photograph shows the exterior little changed, and the auditorium has been beautifully restored.
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