Victory Theater and Hotel Sonntag
Front and side of the theater
|Location||600–614 Main St., Evansville, Indiana|
|Area||Less than 1 acre (4,000 m2)|
|MPS||Downtown Evansville MRA|
|NRHP Reference #||82000124|
|Added to NRHP||July 1, 1982|
The Victory Theatre is a 1,950 seat venue in Evansville, Indiana. It is home to the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and also hosts local ballet and modern dance companies, theatre companies, and touring productions.
Opened on June 16, 1921 and originally seating 2,500 patrons, the theater was part of the Sonntag Hotel – Victory Theater complex that was organized by Marcus Sonntag and associates who were stockholders in the American Trust and Savings Bank across Sixth Street from the theater. Along with Frederick H. Gruneberg, St., President of the Consolidated Theaters Corporation, Sonntag and his associates contracted with Hoffman Construction Company to build the theater. It was air conditioned with commercial ice.
The Victory featured a daily program of four vaudeville acts, a movie, a comedy routine, organ music and a ten-piece orchestra. In 1926 the Victory was leased to Loews Theatres as a movie chain and was renamed Loew's Victory. In 1928 Loew's featured Evansville's first "talking picture," an epic titled "Tenderloin." Later that year, "The Jazz Singer," featuring Al Jolson, became the first stand-alone talkie shown in the city. The Loews's Victory Theatre closed in 1971. As the independent Victory Theatre it was divided into a triplex, but was closed in 1979. The theater was restored to its former glory and reopened in 1998 after a $15 million renovation.
The Victory was designed by architect John Pridmore of Chicago. The exterior is in the restrained style characteristic of commercial buildings of the era, but the auditorium is more ornate. The stage, 68 feet (21 m) wide and 82 feet (25 m) deep, was at the time it was built one of the largest in the Midwest. In 1982 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
It is owned by the City of Evansville and is co-managed with The Ford Center by VenuWorks.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- "The Victory Theatre". SMG Evansville. Retrieved November 2, 2006.
- Topper, Todd. In the Limelight – Historic Theaters of Evansville. Evansville: The Evansville Museum of Arts and Science, 1994, p. 6.
- "Loew's Victory Theater; Victory History". TW Hughes. Retrieved April 12, 2007.
- "The Victory Theater; Evansville, IN". USI art department. Archived from the original on September 26, 2007. Retrieved April 12, 2007.
- "Victory Theatre". Emporis Buildings. Retrieved December 21, 2006.
- The Centre website (which includes Victory Theatre events)
- Historic Evansville; Victory Theater/Hotel Sonntag
- Victory Theater and Hotel Sonntag, Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, National Register of Historic Places (1983)