Stanley Showcase Prospers Inside Stanley Theatre
By John Mehno
Billboard Magazine p. 54
October 30, 1982
The Stanley Showcase, a 1,100 seat club inside the Stanley Theatre, is establishing itself as an important local venue.
The Showcase was opened earlier this year by DiCesare-Engler Productions, one of the area’s busiest promoters. “It’s been very successful,” says DiCesare-Engler productions manager Ed Traversari. “The word’s gotten around about it and we’ve had a lot of inquires about dates.”
The Showcase exists only when there’s a need for it. The intimate club atmosphere is created within the 3,500 seat Stanley Theatre through the use of special curtains which are used to partition off the theatre.
A portable 28 by 28 foot stage is built over scaffolding that covers some of the theatre steats. The regular Stanley boxxoffice, lobby and concessions stands are used for the club as are the Stanley dressing rooms.
“There are so many clubs where the band has to get dressed in a rest room,” says Traversari. “the acts that have played here like it. It’s not like a regular club, where people are jammed in a smoke-filled room and the ceiling is right on top of you.”
Last year, DiCesare-Engler attempted the same concept in a concept in a converted basement area of the Stanley. The club, Star Trackers, had a smaller stage and a seating capacity of only 250.
“We didn’t expect to make money on the shows,” says Traversari, “But after we paid the bills, we were losing on just about every show. We just didn’t have enough tickets to sell to make it work.”
The new club has been used to spotlight reggae and new wave acts which can’t muster enough airplay to fill a larger hall. A recent evening of reggae started with a movie on the subject, viewed by the audience from the balcony of the theater. Then the crowd moved downstairs to the showcase for the live show.
The curtains required an investment of about $10,000. Traversari says the Showcase can be set up in a few hours. Tickets are usually in the $6.50 range for general admission seating. Both Jeff Lorber and Gary Numan have been booked for November shows.