Stanley Theatre - Detroit MI

Address: 15701 W Warren Ave
City: Detroit
State: MI
Zip: 48228
County: Wayne
Open: 1930
Owner History: Stanley Oleszkowicz
Theater Type: Neighborhood House
Number of visits to this page: 5115

Please note that location entries may feature older photos or post card views that may not represent the current appearance, features, addresses, phone numbers, or contact names of the attraction. This site is intended to be a historical as well as current record of various attractions but it is not always possible to have up-to-date information due to the vast number of locations featured here. We ask you consult the propietor for current information.

General Information:

Source: Steve Bielawski

In 1930 or so, Stanley Oleszkowicz built and started running the Stanley Theatre. He first rented out and then sold the Chopin to someone who owned another theatre across the street, who played American films in one theatre and Polish films in the other.

In 1930, the Oleszkowicz family opened the Stanley Theatre. That theatre hosted St. Christophers Catholic Church until they built a permanent building, with Mass on Sunday morning and movies after the churchgoers left. (Thats not so unusual; when a new parish is founded, they like to start having Mass as soon as possible.) The Stanley did have an organ, even though silent movies were out of vogue when it was built. Indeed,

Stanleys daughter, Anne, was the organist for St. Christopher's. Once St. Christophers moved out, Friendly Baptist Church started borrowing the theatre on Sunday mornings. They never moved out. Stanley Oleszkowicz built the Atlas and opened it in 1938 or 1939. At that point, Stanley sold the Stanley Theatre to the Friendly Baptist Church, which used it as their home for at least 50 years. It is now a carpet store.

Info Updates:
12/17/2010 - Charles Bielak
The Hoover Theater was located on the North side of Warren Av between Piedmont and Grandville. My mother took me and my brother there about twice a week between 1943 and 1948 when we moved. There was no TV so you had to go to the picture show. The show was named after President Hoover.
9/15/2006 - Dave Kirker
I to went to the Stanley in the forties. Also went to the Warren, but dont recall the Hoover. Those two plus the Norwest and the Riviera. I went a year to Herman Gardens Elementary, which I believe was 1944. Kindergarten as I recall. Steve ask your mom if she remembers a Mr. (Starts with an M, and I believe ends with an I). I think he was the principal. Moved across Joy road, and then went to Edward Everett, then moved to Ca. They were building Cody High when I left. Dave Kirker
2/12/2006 - Steve Bielawski
The "Miss Oleszkowicz" who taught at Herman Gardens was Anne Oleszkowicz. She taught music, and she was also the organist at St. Christophers until her first child was born in 1954. Since 1952, she has been known as Anne Bielawski, her married name. And, yes, she is my mother. She is still alive.
2/5/2006 - Tom Curtis
There was a Miss Oleszkowicz who was a teacher at Herman Gardens Elementary School. I believe that she was a music teacher. We were occasionally surprised to see her manning the box office at the Stanley in the 1940s. We used to go to the Stanley when we didnt have enough money to go to the Warren. The Warren cost 20 cents for a ticket and was a shorter walk for us coming from Herman Gardens housing project, but the Stanley charged only 12 cents. The Stanleys movies werent quite as up to date as the Warren, but it was the amount of money that we had each week that influenced our decision as to which theater to attend. Another alternative was the Hoover. It wasnt as nice as the Warren, and was a much longer walk for us, but it also had a lower price - 14 cents. The Hoover movies were even older than the ones at the Stanley.
11/23/2004 - Steve Bielawski
Here is the one picture that I could find of the Stanley Theatre. It does show the whole building. I notice a vacant lot on the side; Im sure that that was what passed for a parking lot in those days. Mind you, a lot of the audience would be neighbours who would walk down to the theatre. I also notice that it was a two-storey building, but that it only had glass in the corner arches of the front, where the windows would bring light into the lobby. This picture, from the Oleszkowicz family scrapbook, is the only one that I could find. It was taken in 1940.
Stanley Theatre - The Stanley Then From Steve Bielawski
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