Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

New Jersey Historic Trust Affiliated with the Department of Community Affairs

Stanley Theater

Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund
Historic Site Management Grant
Capital Preservation Grant, Level I
Grant Award: $26,063 (2004); $30,000 (2006)
Grant Recipient: Newark Gospel Tabernacle
County: Essex
Municipality: Newark

The Stanley Theater was built in 1927 as an “atmospheric” style theater for the Newark-based Stanley-Fabian chain of movie theaters. It was designed by local architect Frank Grad in a Spanish influenced style, which includes the auditorium and two stores. The use of the atmospheric theater was innovative for its time. Having been invented only four years earlier by Vienna-trained architect John Eberson, the theatre used “manufactured weather” created at the Stanley through ingenious lighting effects and stage-set decoration. The building now serves as a space for congregation of the Newark Gospel Tabernacle, community enrichment and support programs, concerts, theatrical productions, and movies.

The 2006 Trust grant helped fund exterior restoration, particularly repairs to the roof and skylight. The project is guided by a preservation plan funded in part by a previous Trust grant.

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