Beautiful Theatre!

Trip Start Sep 09, 2007
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Trip End May 26, 2008


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Flag of United States  , New York
Thursday, April 17, 2008

We were privileged to perform at the beautiful Stanley Theatre in Utica for two days.  It is the crowning glory of the city, for sure, that was full of interestingly wonderful people and businesses.  Here is some history:

The Stanley Theatre opened September 10, 1928 and has been the premier showplace for Central New York ever since.

Thomas Lamb, a prolific theatre architect, designed this 2,945 seat movie palace for the Mastbaum chain of theaters. The theatre was named for Stanley, one of the Mastbaum brothers.

The design of the theatre is dubbed "Mexican baroque" because of its unique blend of styles. The terra cotta and tiled mosaic exterior shows the Mexican influence, while Hapsburg lions, Indian faces, and a multitude of angels and putti (cherubs) grace the lavish baroque "gold leaf" interior of the theatre. The Moorish influence is apparent in the star-splashed ceiling and the twisted columns on each side of the stage. There is even an art-deco look to some of the drapery treatments in the organ lofts.

The Central New York Community Arts Council, Inc. purchased the Stanley in 1974. As of 2004, over $ 5 million has been spent to date on its brilliant restoration.

Since its purchase, CNYCAC has upgraded all mechanical, electrical, and safety systems and is continuing to provide technical improvements to accommodate the many touring shows and artists that appear at the Stanley.

Stanley Stage The seats have been restored and most of the interior has been refinished to its original condition. New carpeting has been installed that replicates the original pattern.

There are four major local presenters that use the Stanley: the Broadway Theatre League which brings in touring Broadway shows (That's means us!); the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute Great Artists Series which features the best in opera, recital artists, and dance companies; the Utica Symphony Orchestra; and the Mohawk Valley Ballet.

The elegant Stanley lobbies are the site for many receptions and meetings throughout the year. It has also become a local tradition for wedding parties to have their photographs taken on the grand staircases in the lobby. (Legend has it that one staircase was designed to resemble the grand staircase on the Titanic ocean liner).

Every ticket sold to a Stanley event includes $2 to help pay for the continued restoration of this magnificent showplace. Major funding has also come from the Natural Heritage Trust of the State of New York, the County of Oneida, the City of Utica and many private sources.
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