Stanley Photoplays

The Stanley was the most magnificent theater ever built in Pittsburgh, and as the Benedum Center it continues to be one of the busiest. It was built to designs by the Hoffman-Henon Co. of Philadelphia at the very end of the silent era, opening in 1928. The old animated sign on the Penn Avenue side is lovingly maintained.

Maurice Spitalny directed the house orchestra here in the late 1930s and into the 1940s. His brother Phil was more famous nationally for his all-girl Hour of Charm Orchestra, but Maurice had a long and successful career. He wrote one song that everyone in America has heard: “Start the Day Right,” which is used in at least a dozen different Warner Brothers cartoons.

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