Stage of the Victory Theater, 2018
|Address||81–89 Suffolk Street
|Owner||Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts|
|Type||Performing Arts Center|
|Architect||Goldstein Brothers Amusement Company|
The Victory Theatre (in stone on building, spelled "re") is a theater in Holyoke, Massachusetts. It was built in 1920 by the Goldstein Brothers Amusement Company. The architecture is in the Art Deco style and is considered the last of its type between Boston and Albany.
Samuel and Nathan Goldstein of Western Massachusetts Theatres Incorporated (at that time known as “G.B. Theatres”) were early pioneers in the movie business, having started in the first decade of the 20th century operating what were then known as “nickelodeons” which were storefront movie houses. Along with The Broadway Theatre in Springfield, the Victory represented their expansion into the “major leagues” as they rode the crest of the wave of the movies’ exploding popularity at the end of World War I. The Victory’s name itself is a reference to the Allied Victory in the World War the year before on November 11, 1918. The Eagle Medallion at the center of the proscenium ties it all together.
In the 1920s these grand theatres were known as “presentation houses” and offered a combined bill of a silent film and a stage show on the same program and for a single admission price. The performances were often presented on a “continuous show” basis. The Victory Symphony Orchestra provided accompaniment for the film and music for the live show as well. The Grand Organ often substituted for the orchestra during matinee performances. The relatively shallow depth of the Victory’s stage suggests that it was designed for “vaudeville” type acts presented along with a film, rather than fully mounted stage productions. The arrival of “talking pictures” in the late 1920s resulted in the eventual elimination of the live portion of the program.
The theater suffered fire damage in 1942.
The Victory continued to operate on a continuous show basis through the early 1970s, opening daily at 1:00 P.M. and running double feature film programs continuously until 11:00 P.M.
The theater closed in 1979 and has sat derelict since then. However the Holyoke City Council, owners of the theater, have agreed to hand ownership of the theater to the non-profit Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts. It was sold to MIFA for $1,500. The group hopes to restore and open the theater to performances in 2016.
- James Heflin (February 25, 2010). "Arts & Literature – Inside Holyoke's Victory Theatre". The Valley Advocate. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- "Holyoke's Victory Theatre becomes canvas for local artists". masslive.com. January 2, 2013. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- "Planned: Holyoke, MA – Victory Theatre – Theatre Historical Society of America". Historictheatres.org. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- Stan Geddes. "Victory theater volunteer project – c.r.u.s.h". Holyoke.ning.com. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- "Victory Theater/Holyoke, MA". Historictheatres.org. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- "Victory Theater Marque". Creating Holyoke. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- Roessler, Mark (February 25, 2010). "Inside Holyoke's Victory Theatre". Valley Advocate.
- "Holyoke's Historic Victory Theatre to be Renovated | Urban Ghosts". Urbanghostsmedia.com. January 13, 2011. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- "Discover Holyoke tours showcase the Paper City's past, present and future". masslive.com. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
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