Looking for the Victor

posted by JohnColes on January 13, 2004 at 6:18 am

I found a listing for the Victor Theater in Anderson, South Carolina. I can’t find any source that mentions the Victor Theater. Our 1945 edition of Film Daily Yearbook lists the Carolina, Criterion, Lyrie (listed as Colored), State, and Strand.

The Anderson City Directory for 1938 lists the Carolina Theatre at 203 North Main, Criterion Theatre at 204 West Whitner, and Strand at 126 North Main. The Anderson City Directory for 1953 lists the Carolina, Center at 128 North Main, Criterion, and State.

I did find a reference to a black and white silent film that was sponsored by the “Egyptian” theater in Anderson. The film, title: SCAR 8A Anderson “Our Gang”, is part of the University of South Carolina Newsfilm Collection. Another of their films, title: SCAR 5: Anderson 1935 (Part 1), mentions the “Carolina” theater.

In “The History of the Theaters in Anderson”, the videotape by Harry Osteen, there is no mention of the Victor Theater. We got this video from the Anderson County Library. Harry Osteen’s family managed most of the movie theaters in Anderson.

The only surviving downtown theater in Anderson is the ACT, thought to formerly be the Strand, which is home to the Anderson Community Theater.

Mark Tiedje and I are working on a book about the single screen movie theaters in South Carolina. We are very interested in finding a confirmation that there was ever a movie theater in Anderson named the Victor. Thanks for any help someone might give.

Comments (4)

JimRankin on January 13, 2004 at 6:56 am

I checked CinemaTour and they have no listing for the VICOR, so your best bet is to contact the Theatre Historical Soc. of America which has a vast archive. Go to their site: www.HistoricTheatres.org and click on the Executive Director’s link on the first page, and inquire of him. Best Wishes. (this assumes that you have, of course, checked all local records, including city, county, libraries, and universities, as well as historical societies and chambers of commerce, etc.)

JohnColes on January 13, 2004 at 8:46 am

Thank you Jim. Mark is a memember of THS so I’ll ask him to follow up with them. This is a good example of the value of the Theatre Historical Society of America. Their archives are truly priceless.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on January 13, 2004 at 12:42 pm

You don’t give a time frame for this theatre. Back in the early 1900’s through late the late 19-teens there were many small storefront movie theatres in towns that opened and closed and a rapid rate. Usually these were just regular storefronts with temporary chairs set up and a sheet suspended from the ceiling. Even though most of these lasted for only a couple of years, many of these actually still stand, but are now converted back to retail or office space. Maybe the Victor was one of these?

On the other hand, I’m not sure about Victor, but Victory (with a -y) was a name that many theatres converted to in the mid-1940’s as a result of the USA’s victory in World War II. so maybe it was from that time frame?

JohnColes on January 26, 2004 at 12:16 pm

Eureka! Thanks to http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ammemhome.html I was able to locate a record of the Victor Theater in Anderson, SC. It was built in 1922 to house the theater. The LOC source was the Anderson City Directory of 1922. The building was vacant from 1925 to 1929. From 1929 to 1976 it housed various furniture companies. From 1976 to 2001 it housed the Ideal Pawn Shop. It is now abandoned. It does not meet current building codes. There are five photographs of the Victor Theater on this site. This is a great source with an excellent search feature. I recommend it highly.

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