New Victory Theatre

209 W. 42nd Street,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 51 - 75 of 97 comments

42ndStreetMemories on October 30, 2007 at 2:52 pm

Ed, I was thinking the same thing. When did the Victory revert back to mainstream features? jerry

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 30, 2007 at 11:25 am

Interesting to see a shot of the Victory’s marquee advertising mainstream features after so many years on the porn grind! Great shot… I’ve been looking to pick up a copy of this book for some time now.

strawberry on October 30, 2007 at 2:55 am

Here are two photos from Nicholas Van Hoogstraten’s book “Lost Broadway Theatres”:

The Republic theatre in 1901
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and the Victory theater in 1989
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Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 6, 2007 at 6:41 pm

A 1970 night-time view of the Victory can be seen here. That’s a capture from a video clip on YouTube which is a segment from an A&E documentary on Times Square.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 24, 2007 at 11:57 am

I may have posted this before, but does anyone know what NYC theater might be depicted in this photo? I found this on the web listed as a “Times Square Burlesque” circa 1942 – and I’m sure I’ve seen this image before in a book on the area, but I’ve never seen it specifically identified. Seems to me that the Victory is a likely candidate.

42ndStreetMemories on April 8, 2007 at 1:07 am

A different angle of the marquee change that I posted above, shows another double feature booking in 1962. Not too long before The Victory went to adult fare. j

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mrjoe on March 29, 2007 at 4:00 am

Thank you Warren, The staircase was so authentically and beautifully redone it seems like it’s been there forever.

mrjoe on March 29, 2007 at 2:55 am

I am a bit confused about the now famous steps that protrude onto 42nd street. In many photos they don’t seem to be there, yet in person they seem quite authentic to the building. Can someone tell me about them?

Scholes188 on March 16, 2007 at 12:28 pm

I am sorry that I didn’t see the theater while it was still showing porn. It would have been interesting to say the least.

Ian on March 16, 2007 at 12:22 pm

A few more pictures – mostly interiors here:–

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Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 25, 2007 at 2:04 pm

As I mentioned would happen in an earlier post, I took the kiddies to a show at the New Vic just the other night, where our seats were right on the stage. After the performance, I snapped a few photos of the house from this vantage point and thought I’d share them here…

Full view from the stage
Stage right
Stage left

The folks managing the theater that night were pretty strict about not allowing photographs, so these were all I could manage without drawing much attention to myself. I would have grabbed a shot looking up into the fly space or into the riggings off in the wings, but it was quite dark and I didn’t have an opportunity.

ERD on December 19, 2006 at 4:24 am

Excellent pictures of the auditorium, Ed. Thanks for sharing them with us.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 18, 2006 at 6:39 pm

I was back to the New Victory last Friday for another show… which can only mean more excessive photography on my part:

View from 2nd floor of McDonalds across the street
Looking out the porthole window in the balcony stairwell
A pair of cherubs
Dome centerpiece
Proscenium from balcony
Side box view from balcony
Dome view
Detail of motif over proscenium
Detail of valance curtain and proscenium
Ceiling from side balcony
Left side of house and boxes
Proscenium view from dead-center balcony
Molding detail
View from the top (elevator landing/usher station)
Main lobby from landing of mezzanine stairs

You see… I have this new digital SLR with an 18-135mm telephoto zoom lens so I had to break it in. For the next show we’re attending, we have seats that are actually on the New Victory stage, so I hope to get a shot of the house from that unique vantage point.

42ndStreetMemories on August 15, 2006 at 5:44 am

I posted this about 18 months ago so forgive me for doing so again.
But this film clip has a great shot of the north side of 42nd Street, the way that I like to remember it. 1956 is the date. jerry

View link

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 2, 2006 at 11:15 am

Here’s an ad from the good-old bad-old days:

Sylvia – NY Daily News 1/25/78
Three adult Duece bookings all in a row! Though I wonder if the film advertised at the Times Square was really a hardcore flick.

CelluloidHero2 on May 26, 2006 at 6:46 am

Great ads Ed. They have helped me remember what theaters I originally saw some of the films advertised. (Ordinary People and Altered States at the Loew’s Astor Plaza and The Seduction at the Loew’s State). Thanks for taking the time to post.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 26, 2006 at 4:09 am

Yeah, Al… I didn’t notice the Night Shift Twin, but I was going to inquire here about the Frisco. I have some of those block porno ads that the Post and News would cluster at the bottom of the mainstream movie ads that I plan on posting at the appropriate theater pages here on CT and was going to pose the question. I don’t see the Frisco listed in any of those blocks, but I do see the Night Shift, which was apparently an all male adult cinema carved out of office space on the two floors above theHollywood Twin on 8th Ave near 47th. I’ll post the ad for it on that theater’s page since it lists the very same address of 777 8th Ave.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 25, 2006 at 10:13 pm

Ed, The FRISCO and NIGHT SHIFT TWIN in the Movie Clock above are two Manhattan porn houses I had never heard of before 3/10/82 .

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 25, 2006 at 8:52 am

Here’s a shot I took in the fall of 1993 showing the Lyric and Victory at a time when most of the Duece theaters were shuttered (the Harris and Harem were still kicking around) and their marquees and facades subject to public art and poetry:

1993 marquee poetry

I also snapped these two photos in 2002 while attending a show with the kiddies at the New Victory:

2002 Facade detail
2002 side boxes

I also have these images from the NY Post in December 1980 and March 1982 reavealing that the Post did include 7 of the Duece grind houses in their “Movie Clock” listings. Aside from the Cine 42, they are all clustered together in the 2nd column in each image below:

Movie Clock 12/11/80
Movie Clock 3/10/82
Full Movie Clock 3/10/82

The last shot is a full view of the 3/10/82 Movie Clock that reveals all the porn theaters that were listed – inlcuding the Harem, making it 8 Duece theaters on the list. Not listed are the New Amsterdam (which was on the verge of closing down in ‘82), Harris, Anco and Rialto Theaters. I also checked contemporary copies of the News and Newsday I have and none of these theaters are listed at all. Meanwhile, the Apollo was flirting with legitimacy:

News Theater Directory 12/9/80

The other feature both the Post and News ran in those days was something called the Neighborhood Movie Guide. The Post ran nearly a full page listing, while the News' version barely filled a single column (and in those abbreviated versions seemed mostly filled with XXX Porn listings). Here are a couple of samples to jog some memories:

Post Nabe Movie Guide 12/11/80
Post Nabe Movie Guide 3/9/82
News Movie timetable 12/15/80
Mews Movie Directory 12/9/80

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 7, 2006 at 1:28 am

Nice shots, Ed!

There was a Loew’s Victory on 155th Street and 3rd avenue open in the 40’s that does not appear to be listed here. Does anyone have any info on that one?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 6, 2006 at 2:53 pm

I’m reorganizing my photobucket albums, so none of the links I posted back on February 26th are still working. If anyone is interested in seeing those photos, here is a link to the Victory Theater album I just added:

42nd Street Victory photo album

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 6, 2006 at 2:49 pm

I was at the New Victory this past Thursday for a show and took this detail shot of the stone banister at the bottom of one of the balcony stairways:

Banister carving

The rough carving is a bit hard to read precisely. It might read “1995” or this could be a remnant from the peak of this theater’s most seedy incarnation in “1975”. I can’t imagine how someone would have had the time to pull this off in the theater’s current well patrolled state of existence.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 20, 2006 at 2:24 pm

Three sources name Albert Westover as architect;
‘The City and The Theatre’ by Mary C. Henderson
‘Lost Broadway Theatres’ by Nicholas Van Hooganstraten
‘Broadway Theatres – History and Architecture’ by William Morrison
which also mentions the 1902 remodeling by architects Bigelow, Wallis & Cotten.

In the book ‘Broadway-An Encyclopedic Guide to the History, People and Places of Times Square’ by Ken Bloom he states that J.B. McElfatrick & Co were the architects.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 26, 2006 at 1:14 pm

I attended a show here on Friday with the kids and snapped the following series of interior photos:

Lower Lounge
Foyer ceiling detail
Stairway to loge
Left side boxed
Pair of cherubs
Right side boxes
Loge facade fixture
Dome view
Dome long view
Back of house
Seat row end cap

I was never in the Victory during its ‘70’s and '80’s porn days so I don’t know what the interior was like back then. The lower lounge area looks like it was created with the 1990’s renovations (and there is an extension into space under an adjacent building for an concession stand, additional lounge space and a kids “activity” center where children can engage in event-related hands-on play). It is possible that the restrooms were always downstairs, however, since the ground level foyer (as seen in the photo above) is guite small.

You have to walk up a few steps to enter the foyer from the ticket lobby and there are identical staircases leading up to the loge area on either side. It appears that some alterations were made to this space with the renovations (probably to build the twin stairs that lead down to the lounge) as is evidenced in the “foyer” photo above where some original ceiling molding detail can be found mixed in with the obviously modern plain walls and ceilings.

Up the stairs the loge foyer is also quite small, with much of it taken up with the open shallow stairwell that leads to the upper exit doors (these lead to the ornate outer staircase seen in exterior photos, which had been shorn off the building many years ago before being reproducted for the 1995 renovation). The ticket lobby exists under these outer stairs. One must have walked practically right into the auditorium from the sidewalk in the grind house days!

Another set of stairs on either side of the theater takes you from the loge foyer to the balcony foyer. My seats were in the orchestra, and I didn’t venture up to photograph the other levels. Next time I’m seated in the balcony, I’ll be sure to bring the camera along and post some photos here, unless someone else does so before I get the chance.

I’ve been a member of the New Victory for about 5 years now and can’t recall any film series in that time. There was one event that featured a small orchestra accompanying vintage Warner Brothers cartoons, but that’s as much as I can recall. Even so, if you have kids (or are close to someone else’s), I must recommend this affordable and excellent venue for family entertainment. The bookings are from all over the world and are usually excellent. Even if you don’t have kids, some of the fare (particularly the dance ensembles and acrobatic circuses) should prove of great interest to adults as well.