The Stanford Theatre

Fall 2022 – During Renovations

We have further work to do this fall on renovating the theatre. Therefore we cannot stay open full time, but we intend to present films from time to time when it is possible.

The Stanford Theatre is dedicated to bringing back the movie-going experience of Hollywood's Golden Age. It is one of the few places where you can still watch movies on a big screen projected the way they were intended — in 35mm prints. Great classic films were not made to be watched on a video screen in your living room. They depend on a larger-than-life image, and the shared reactions of a real audience.

The Stanford Theatre first opened in June of 1925. For decades nearly every important Hollywood picture played there on its first release. The people of Palo Alto saw them all for the very first time in this theatre. In 1987 the Packard Foundation bought the theatre and restored it to its original condition. It quickly became America's most popular classic movie house. More people saw Casablanca there on its 50th anniverary in 1992 than at any other theatre in America.

The non-profit Stanford Theatre Foundation is dedicated to the preservation and public exhibition of films from the Golden Age of Hollywood. This means classic movies in a classic movie palace, complete with Wurlitzer organ rising from the orchestra pit every night before and after the 7:30 show, or providing the accompaniment to “silent” films.

Note: This is an unofficial posting of the Stanford Theatre schedules, from published information. This site is in no way connected with the Stanford Theatre nor the Stanford Theatre Foundation. Please check out the official site at in case this schedule isn't quite up-to-date! Programs are subject to change. For information, call (650) 324-3700.

September 22 – 25:
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) (3:10 Sat/Sun), 7:30
d Blake Edwards. w George Axelrod, from the novel by Truman Capote. ph Franz Planer. m Henry Mancini. Paramount. 115 min.

Audrey Hepburn (Holly Golightly), George Peppard (Paul Varjak), Patricia Neal (2-E Failenson), Buddy Ebsen (Doc Golightly), Martin Balsam (O.J. Berman), John McGiver (Tiffany's Clerk), Mickey Rooney (Mr. Yunioshi), Villalonga (José da Silva Perreira).

Charmingly degenerate and enormously popular fairy tale about madcap Holly Golightly, who lives on the money men give her but finds a soulmate in the "kept" writer living in the apartment above. Her rendition of "Moon River" (Hepburn's own voice) helped it win the Academy Award as Best Song.

For those who may disapprove of Mickey Rooney's racial caricature of Mr. Yunioshi, we offer this quotation from his autobiography: "I was downright ashamed of my role."

first played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 31, 1961; last played May 2017

"Nice veins!"
The Apartment (1960) 5:15, 9:35
d Billy Wilder. w Billy Wilder, I. A. L. Diamond. ph Joseph La Shelle. m Adolph Deutsch. United Artists / Mirisch. 125 min.

Jack Lemmon (C. C. Baxter), Shirley MacLaine (Fran Kubelik), Fred MacMurray (J. D. Sheldon), Ray Walston (Mr. Dobisch), Jack Kruschen (Dr. Dreyfuss), Naomi Stevens (Mrs. Dreyfuss), Hope Holiday (Margie MacDougall), Joan Shawlee (Sylvia), Edie Adams (Miss Olsen), David Lewis (Mr. Kirkeby), Johnny Seven (Karl Matuschka), Frances Weintraub Lax (Mrs. Lieberman).

An ambitious clerk (Jack Lemmon) has been lending his apartment to the firm's philandering executives for their secret trysts. He himself has his eye on the elevator girl (Shirley MacLaine).

Voted Best Picture of 1960, this film also won an Oscar for Billy Wilder as director.

first played at the Stanford Theatre June 29, 1960; last played May 2017

September 26 – October 20: closed

October 21 – 23:
The Band Wagon (1953) (3:45), 7:30
d Vincente Minnelli. w Betty Comden & Adolph Green. ph Harry Jackson & George Folsey. songs Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz. MGM. 112 min.

Fred Astaire (Tony Hunter), Cyd Charisse (Gaby Berard), Jack Buchanan (Jeffrety Cordova), Oscar Levant (Lester Marton), Nanette Fabray (Lily Marton), James Mitchell (Paul Byrd).

Ex song-and-dance man Tony Hunter (Astaire) makes a comeback. From the opening note of the overture to the final "Made in Hollywood, USA", The Band Wagon offers two of the most entertaining hours ever manufactured in Culver City (the actual location of MGM).

The Band Wagon was a 1931 Broadway show, starring Fred Astaire and his sister Adele. The 1953 movie keeps three songs, but does not follow the original story.

"There have been few screen musicals as good as this one." Pauline Kael

Songs include: By Myself, Shine on Your Shoes, That's Entertainment, Dancing in the Dark, I Love Louisa, I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plans, Triplets, New Sun in the Sky, Louisiana Hayride.

first played at the Stanford Theatre July 18, 1987; last played Aug 2016

"You're going out a youngster — you've got to come back a star!"
42nd Street (1933) 5:50, 9:35
d Lloyd Bacon. w James Seymour & Rian James, based on the novel by Bradford Ropes. ph Sol Polito. m/ly Al Dubin & Harry Warren. Warner Bros. 89 min.

Warner Baxter, Ruby Keeler, Bebe Daniels, George Brent, Una Merkel, Guy Kibbee, Dick Powell, Ginger Rogers, Ned Sparks, George E. Stone, Allen Jenkins, Edward J. Nugent, Robert McWade.

The definitive, backstage musical that first established all the clichés: the leading lady who sprains her ankle on opening night, the unknown, spunky young girl (Ruby Keeler) who takes her place, the dim-witted sugar-daddy who backs the show, the wise-cracking chorus girls. The typical Warners relentless pace is combined with Busby Berkeley's choreographic genius; the musical numbers are an amazing kaleidoscope of spectacle and pattern.

first played at the Stanford Theatre Mar 27, 1933; last played July 2017

October 24 – 27: closed

October 28 – 30:
"Like everywhere else, most people in Paris get married, but not all. There are some who will not marry, and some who do not marry. But in Paris, those who will not marry are usually men, and those who do not marry are usually women."
Gigi (1958) (3:20), 7:30
d Vincente Minnelli. w Alan Jay Lerner, from the novel by Colette. ph Joseph Ruttenberg. m Frederick Loewe. des Cecil Beaton MGM. 116 min.

Leslie Caron (Gigi), Maurice Chevalier (Honoré Lachaille), Louis Jourdan (Gaston Lachaille), Hermione Gingold (Mme. Alvarez), Eva Gabor (Liane d'Exelmans), Isabel Jeans (Aunt Alicia), John Abbott (Manuel).

Colette's original story (about the education of a courtesan) was softened somewhat to stress the emotional development of a charming but mischievous girl on the verge of womanhood. Three of the principal creators of My Fair Lady (Lerner, Loewe, and Beaton) helped Minnelli make Gigi one of the most successful musicals in history. It won nine Oscars (including Best Picture and Best Director), which was at the time the largest number ever awarded to a single film.

Gigi is a film that benefits enormously from being seen on the big screen and with the original magnetic stereophonic sound track.

first played at the Stanford Theatre July 20, 1990; last played Aug 2016

An American in Paris (1951) 5:25, 9:35
d Vincente Minnelli. w Alan Jay Lerner. ph Alfred Gilks & John Alton. m George and Ira Gershwin. MGM. 113 min.

Gene Kelly (Jerry Mulligan), Leslie Caron (Lise Bouvier), Oscar Levant (Adam Cook), Georges Guetary (Henri Baurel), Nina Foch (Milo Roberts).

American painter Jerry Mulligan pursues Parisian gamine Lise Bouvier. Best Picture of 1951 and six other Oscars. The famous ballet (inspired by Renoir, Rousseau, Toulouse-Lautrec, and other French painters) is one of the greatest artistic creations in the cinema.

first played at the Stanford Theatre June 22, 1990; last played Nov 2018