The Stanley: An Architectural Gem in Downtown Utica

We love exploring new places and never know what we’ll stumble upon when visiting a new place. In Utica, we found more to the name than beer.

This ornate facade caught our attention.


We peeked inside The Stanley and were immediately wowed by the opulent decor.


The crew for that evening’s show was setting up, but Linda, the box office employee offered to give us a quick tour of the premises. Her enthusiasm for the theatre made it a pleasure visiting the historic (listed on the National Register of Historic Places) and lovingly preserved interior.

The Stanley was built in 1929 as a movie palace with seating for 2900 patrons. Live events were added in the early years and today the theatre continues to entertain audiences.

Entering through the main doors into the lobby, a grand staircase built to resemble the Titanic’s leads to the second story mezzanine from where you enter the auditorium. The lavish refurbished interior maintains the original splendor of a bygone era.


A stunning chandelier floats over the auditorium. The Stanley’s website states, “Created and donated by Meyda Lighting, a local manufacturer, this breathtaking light fixture is world’s largest LED free-hanging chandelier. Completely custom-made, it is crafted of steel, blown glass and acrylic. It weighs 7,000 pounds, is 35 feet in diameter and 17 feet tall, and is hand finished in antique gold and bronze.”


From the second story foyer, we admired the ornate gilded ceiling.


So take our cue, this grand old theatre palace is worth a visit.

G & G


3 thoughts on “The Stanley: An Architectural Gem in Downtown Utica

  1. The old theaters are a class unto themselves and indeed represent a bygone era. It is special when they have been preserved. There is one in Medford near where I live that my mother and grandparents would have frequented at the height of its glory. Thanks for the show, so to speak. 🙂 –Curt

    • Unfortunately, entertainment nowadays is too often restricted to the large TV and surround sound system in one’s living room. From ancient Greek and Roman open-air to early-20th-century theatres, live performances played an important role in society. It’s nice when history is not only preserved but also used for its intended purpose. Oh, how I’d love to time travel back in time to your grandparents era to catch a show! – Ginette

  2. Pingback: 2015 was Awesome, 2016 will be Amazing! | White Postcards

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