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 http://www.stanfordtheatre.org in case this schedule isn't quite up-to-date! Programs are subject to change. For information, call (650) 324-3700.
(Showtimes in parentheses are for the Saturday and Sunday screenings.)
Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone, Claude Rains, Olivia de Havilland, Alan Hale, Patric Knowles, Eugene Pallette, Ian Hunter, Melville Cooper, Una O'Connor, Herbert Mundin, Montagu Love, Howard Hill.
This is (as everyone knows) one of the truly great adventure films of all time. From time to time they try to improve on the original, but there is still no substitute for the genuine article. The dashing Errol Flynn in his greatest role as Robin Hood, speking treason "fluently",with Olivia de Havilland as the lovely Maid Marian is one of the most indelible images from old Hollywood.
Erich Wolfgang Korngold's score (Academy Award) is a major reason for the film's unending popularity.
"Life and the movies have their compensations, and such a film as this is payment in full for many dull hours of picture-going." The New York Times
first played at the Stanford Theatre May 22, 1938; last played Apr 2012
James Cagney, Olivia de Havilland, Rita Hayworth, Alan Hale, George Tobias, Jack Carson, Una O'Connor.
In this musical set in New York during the Gay Nineties, a dentist (Cagney) marries his sweetheart (Olivia de Havilland), but is almost ruined by his infatuation with the self-centered Strawberry Blonde (Rita Hayworth), who captured his heart in his youth.
first played at the Stanford Theatre March 20, 1941; last played Nov. 1995
Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Lionel Atwill, Basil Rathbone, Ross Alexander, Guy Kibbee, Henry Stephenson, Robert Barratt, Hobart Cavanaugh, Donald Meek, Jessie Ralph, Forrester Harvey, Frank McGlynn, Sr., Holmes Herbert, David Torrence, J. Carroll Nash, Pedro de Cordoba, George Hassell, Harry Cording, Leonard Mudie, Ivan Simpson, E.E. Clive.
In 1685 the British arrest a young Irish doctor and send him to Jamaica in chains, leading to a remarkable series of bold adventures. This film made Errol Flynn into an international star.
This was Korngold's first original film score (he was already an established composer). A rousing Korngold score became an almost indispensable part of every Errol Flynn swashbuckler (they made seven altogether).
first played at the Stanford Theatre January 16, 1936; last played June 2001
Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, Olivia De Havilland, Eric Blore, Patric Knowles, George Barbier, Spring Byington, Bonita Granville, Georgia Caine, Veda Ann Borg, E.E. Clive, Valerie Bergere, Sarah Edwards, Thomas Pogue, Grace Fields.
This screwball comedy was the third film Bette Davis made with Leslie Howard. They play a high-strung theatrical couple who fight (even on stage) but intend to marry, until a star-struck member of the audience (Olivia De Havilland) shows too much interest in Howard.
Eric Blore fans (as which of us is not!) should not miss this movie.
35mm print made especially for our 2008 festival from the original camera negative at the Library of Congress.
first played at the Stanford Theatre May 31, 2008; last played Mar 2011
Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Patric Knowles, Donald Crisp, C. Aubrey Smith, David Niven, Henry Stephenson, Nigel Bruce, C. Henry Gordon, Spring Byington, E.E. Clive, Lumsden Hare, Robert Barrat, J. Carrol Naish.
first played at the Stanford Theatre November 29, 1936; last played Aug 1990
Olivia de Havilland, Richard Burton, John Sutton, Audrey Dalton, Ronald Squire.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Jan 25, 1953; first showing by the Stanford Theatre Foundation
Olivia de Havilland, Ralph Richardson, Montgomery Clift, Miriam Hopkns, Vanessa Brown, Mona Freeman, Ray Collins.
The shy daughter of a wealthy New York doctor is courted by a young man, whom her father suspects of fortune hunting.
Aaron Copland's score won the Oscar (he had been nominated three times previously). The music played under the opening titles is not by Copland.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Jan. 14, 1950; last played June 1995
Olivia de Havilland, Mark Stevens, Leo Genn, Celeste Holm, Glenn Langan, Helen Craig, Leif Erickson, Beulah Bondi, Lee Patrick, Natalie Schaefer.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Feb 4, 1949; first showing by the Stanford Theatre Foundation
Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Arthur Kennedy, Charles Grapewin, Anthony Quinn, Sidney Greenstreet, Gene Lockhart, Stanley Ridges, John Litel, Walter Hampden, Regis Toomey, Hattie McDaniel.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Feb 22, 1942; first showing by the Stanford Theatre Foundation
Olivia de Havilland, Lew Ayres, Thomas Mitchell, Richard Long, Charles Evans, Gary Owen, Lela Bliss, Lester Allen.
A woman is suspected of murder, but did she do it, or is the killer her identical twin sister?
Restored by the UCLA Film Archive.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Mar 28, 2003; last played Jan 2013
Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Donald Crisp, Alan Hale, Vincent Price, Henry Stephenson, Henry Daniell.
The aging Queen Elizabeth is infatuated with the handsome young Lord Essex. He uses her feelings to his advantage, but he loses his head over her in the end.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 26, 1939; last played Aug 2008
Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Raymond Massey, Ronald Reagan, Alan Hale, Van Heflin, Gene Reynolds, Henry O'Neill.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Jan 18, 1941; first showing by the Stanford Theatre Foundation
Charles Boyer, Olivia de Havilland, Paulette Goddard, Victor Francen, Walter Abel, Curt Bois, Rosemary de Camp, Nestor Paiva, Mitchell Leisen.
A handsome Rumanian dancer and refugee (Charles Boyer) stranded in Mexico cynically marries an American schoolteacher (Olivia de Havilland) in order to obtain an entry visa, never counting on falling in love, but he is ennobled by a near tragedy.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Dec. 7, 1941; last played Mar. 1994
Errol Flynn, Rosalind Russell, Olivia de Havilland, Patric Knowles, Walter Connolly, Hugh Herbert, Melville Cooper, Franklin Pangborn, Herman Bing, Margaret Hamilton.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 14, 1938; first showing by the Stanford Theatre Foundation
Olivia de Havilland, John Lund, Mary Anderson, Roland Culver, Phillip Terry, Bill Goodwin, Virginia Welles.
An unwed mother gives up her child for adoption.
"What might have been a trite soap opera is elevated to the status of superior emotional drama by a wise script, sensitive direction, and an Oscar-winning performance by de Havilland." Baseline Movie Guide
first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 10, 1946; last played Nov. 1995
Brian Aherne, Edwrad Everett Horton, Olivia de Havilland, Lionel Atwill, Melville Cooper, Luis Alberni, Étienne Girardot, Marie Wilson, Lana Turner, Albert Dekker, Fritz Leiber, Dorothy Tree, Chester Clute.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Mar 16, 1938; first showing by the Stanford Theatre Foundation
Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland, Leslie Howard, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil, Hattie McDaniel, Butterfly McQueen, Victor Jory, Evelyn Keyes, Ann Rutherford, Laura Hope Crews, Harry Davenport, Jane Darwell, Ona Munson, Ward Bond.
July 1 is Olivia de Havilland's 100th birthday.
Everyone knows the famous names and the drama that "made" Gone With the Wind. Let's therefore mention a couple who get less attention: production designer William Cameron Menzies, who conceived the look of the movie and story-boarded most of it; and Jack Cosgrove, who painted matte backgrounds on glass for effects scenes. Their art is all through the picture and testifies to Selznick's command of detail and painstaking craft — old-fashioned movie-making, to say nothing of magic. There's one other name: Technicolor, a system that came of age with Gone With the Wind. Many in Hollywood doubted color (notably Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer). But after Gone With the Wind, and the enforced economizing of war, color became irresistable. Later on, Technicolor was abandoned for other systems supposedly truer to life. Today we regret the lost, painterly passion of Technicolor and its durability, for the new color systems fade, while Technicolor still burns.
A great film epic deserves to be seen in a theatre of epic proportions.
first played at the Stanford Theatre May 3, 1940; last played Nov 2014