Three employees laid off as the Stanley looks to market itself to outside management

By WKTV News

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - In the latest effort to make itself appealing to an outside entertainment management company, the Stanley Center for the Arts has cut three more positions from its staff.

In the last year, the Stanley has been in negotiations with a company called SMG, a Pennsylvania-based agency that manages venues all across the country, including the OnCenter in Syracuse.

Founded in 1977 with the management of their first facility, the Louisiana Superdome, SMG grew over the years to manage convention centers, exhibition halls, trade centers, arenas, theaters and more. According to their website, SMG-managed theaters host Broadway tours, family shows, circuses and "the world's finest performing arts events."

SMG also offers consulting services in the areas of Design, Planning and Programming Services, Operating Budget Preparation and audit, Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment Services, Operating Supply Inventory, Creation of a Punch List, and their own Proprietary SmartMaintenance Software.

The Stanley Theatre is a historic Mexican Baroque movie palace in downtown Utica, originally owned by the Stanley-Mark Strand Corporation chain. It was designed by prolific theatre architect Thomas W. Lamb, for the Mastbaum chain of theatres. The theatre was named for Stanley, one of the Mastbaum brothers. It was purchased three days before opening in 1928 by Warner Brothers, a company that was eager to showcase its products on as many screens as possible. The theatre opened on September 10, 1928 with the silent movie Ramona starring Delores del Rio.

Officials with the Stanley say that the positions that were eliminated on Tuesday are jobs that could be managed by SMG.

"You hate to lay people off, especially since these are talented people," said Stanley Board President Steve Zogby. "We are trying to approach it so we can expand the theater's ability to better serve the community. There may be room for employment down the road."

No severance packages were offered.

The Stanley is currently operating without an Executive Director or Theatre Manager.

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