Victoria Theater (New York City)

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The façade of the Victoria Theater, showing its most recent name of "Moviecenter 5"

Victoria Theater is a theater located on 125th Street in the Harlem neighborhood of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It was designed in 1917 by Thomas W. Lamb, a notable and prolific theater architect of the era, for the Loew’s Corporation.[1]

The Loew’s Victoria Theater, as it was known until 1977, opened as a 2,394-seat, luxury Vaudeville and motion picture theater.[2] Typical of movie palaces of its era, it contained a stage and backstage dressing rooms and provisions for live music, including an organ. It cost $250,000 to build and was hailed “as one of the largest and most beautiful theaters in greater N.Y.” by a contemporary publication.[2] When the Victoria was built, it joined many other Harlem theaters including the Proctor, Hammerstein Opera House, the Alhambra as well as the nearby Apollo, then the Hurtig & Seamon’s New (Burlesque) Theater.[2]

In 1977, the Harlem Community Development Corporation acquired the building.[2]

The Victoria has experienced numerous changes since its opening, the most radical being its conversion to a multi-screen movie theater; in 1987, five movie theaters were created from the large auditorium, mezzanine and stage areas.[2] The theater closed in 1989 and in 2005 several proposals for redevelopment were made.[3] Only two proposals call for reusing the theater's interior, which has angered some community leaders, according to the New York Times.[4]

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Coordinates: 40°48′35.08″N 73°56′58.28″W / 40.8097444°N 73.9495222°W / 40.8097444; -73.9495222