The Stanley Theater was built in 1927 at a cost of $3 million and opened on February 27, 1928. James Bly Clark, an early theater tycoon who assisted in the founding of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, financed its creation. The Stanley was billed as "Pittsburgh's Palace of Amusement." In attendence on opening night were Governor John S. Fisher, Mayor Charles H. Kline and Adolph Zukor, president of Paramount Studios. Regular admission cost 65 cents - 25 cents if you came before noon - and performances provided a welcome lift of spirits during the Great Depression. The theater was purchased and remodeled by the Cinemette Corporation in 1976, and in 1977, DiCesare Engler Productions bought the Stanley to present rock and roll concerts through 1982. The late H.J. Heinz II focused his attention on the historic restoration of the Stanley Theater, and as a result, this became The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's first project after its founding in 1984.The $43 million dollar restoration would take approximately two years, faithfully restoring the Benedum Center to look as the Stanley did on opening night in 1928. By following the very strict restoration standards set by the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Commonwealth Bureau of Historic Preservation and the Historic Review Commission of Pennsylvania, the building is registered with the National Register of Historic Places.