New Victory Theatre

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

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Showing 76 - 99 of 99 comments

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.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 15, 2005 at 11:11 am

I wonder why the 1968 movie “The Night They Raided Minsky’s” wasn’t filmed here, since the Victory was home to Minsky’s Follies back in the days? There is a post on the Village East page that claims the movie filmed its interiors there. Was the Village East vacant at the time and therefore easier to settle into for a long shoot? Perhaps the erotic fare at the Victory was too lucrative at that time for the owners to let it close for filming.

RobertR on July 7, 2005 at 5:47 pm

1971 porno on a showcase run
View link

teecee on May 19, 2005 at 11:52 am

Restoration information & photos:
View link

br91975 on April 20, 2005 at 11:35 am

I wish the management would better publicize the films shown at the New Victory, no matter how seldom the screenings are. I’ve never been inclined to attend any of the family-geared productions presented there (to my loss, I suppose, based on what I’ve heard and read about them) but would feel differently about catching a flick, knowing what I do about the theatre.

hardbop on April 20, 2005 at 10:47 am

They occasionally show movies here. I haven’t been in recent years, but do remember attending films here as part of some film festivals. One of them Reginald Hudlin, the filmmaker, was involved with.

I can attest to the beauty of this theatre. In ‘96 I caught Kurosawa’s “Red Beard” here and “Sugar Cane Alley” as part of the same fest. I haven’t been back since.

42ndStreetMemories on April 17, 2005 at 9:27 am

Here is a 1966 shot of the Victory and a partial view of some of the other theaters on The Deuce. Nice program of two 42nd St favorites of the time UA’s Satan Bug & AIP’s Time Travelers. I won the item on ebay and will be loaded it on to my website soon. Here’s the temporary link:
View link

Note the cameraman on the neon sign above the marquee. At night, the display was animated with the camerman cranking the projector.

For those interested, the films showing are:

teecee on April 11, 2005 at 11:32 am

photo of 1902 rebuilding:
View link

mrt1924 on April 10, 2005 at 6:56 pm

The cherubs and the ornimental work remind me of the St James Theatre in Wellington, New Zealand. The St James Theatre was built in 1912 and it’s desginer was Henry Eli White here is it’s website it’s a lovely theatre. I think the New Victory is lovely too.

42ndStreetMemories on February 26, 2005 at 9:40 am

I just found a beautiful color clip of the Victory and entire north side of 42nd Street from 1956 on the website. The Selwyn is showing (3 Coins in the Fountain & Love is a Many Splendid Thing), Apollo (Naked Night & Divided Heart), Times Square (Best of the Badmen & Badman’s Territory), Lyric (Man in the Grey Flannel Suit & Magnificent Roughnecks), Victory (Purple Heart & Guadalcanal Diary, usually an action house, and since the Times Square was 100% westerns, Victory usually had war and adventure films in the 50s). Here’s the link View link

Jerry 42nd Street Memories

br91975 on January 14, 2005 at 7:00 am

Who was it who handled the booking of the occasional concerts, plays, etc., which were presented in some of the old 42nd Street theatres (specifically the Victory, Lyric, Liberty, and Selwyn come to mind as such venues) between the time they stopped screening films on a regular basis and their renovations and/or conversions into other uses? The city, I know, came to eventually own all the Deuce moviehouses, but did they assume control of each of them as soon as each individual theatre closed for regular business?

42ndStreetMemories on January 14, 2005 at 3:41 am

Bryan, another great shot. Where did you get this one?
I put the image at 1970, the year that Chisum (Selwyn) and The Losers (Lyric) opened. I can also make out War Lord & Firecreek at the Times Square. Did I miss any? Jerry 42nd Street Memories

42ndStreetMemories on December 30, 2004 at 5:49 am

Is there any way to retrieve the bookings information on the 42nd Street Theaters, back in the 50s-60s, especially the Empire, Anco, Times Sqaure, Victory, Liberty? I went through the NY Times microfiche at the library and found some mention of the more mainstream New Amsterdam, Lyric, Harris, Selwyn but nothing on the others. Thanks for any info. Jerry 42nd Street Memories

42ndStreetMemories on December 27, 2004 at 2:39 pm

Most of the old 42nd St movie theaters can currently be seen on a Travel Channel show focusing on Times Square. The clips of the Deuce are during the mid-70s and current timeframes. It was shown on December 26. So it should be still in its rotation. The old (xxx rated) Victory and new Victory can be seen.
Jerry 42nd Street Memories

Scholes188 on December 24, 2004 at 12:01 pm

Going off-topic, does anyone know the name of the theatre that is show in the background during the opening sequence of Saturday Night Fever?

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 13, 2004 at 1:38 pm

The Film Daily Yearbook 1950 gives a seating capacity of 982 for the Victory Theatre. Later this was reduced to 769 with the closure of the 2nd balcony during its latter days as a grind & porn house.

RickB on December 13, 2004 at 12:16 pm

The seating capacity may have been reduced from the original. I believe that New York stage theatres with fewer than 500 seats operate under less expensive union rules than bigger houses do, thus the 499 figure.

RobertR on December 13, 2004 at 8:46 am

Is it really only 499 seats?

sdoerr on September 21, 2004 at 12:09 pm

What a nice grand theater, this type of architecture I hope to design after I go to college. A stunning restoration. Great job to the people who make this happen. I hope I cna visit it one day.

42ndStreetMemories on July 17, 2004 at 2:24 pm

The Victory of the 50s & 60s, pre-porn, had some of the most fun programming on the Deuce. They did show a lot of re-released Republic action films, especially the John Wayne ones (Sands of Iwo Jima, Wake of the Red Witch. I do recall a Bowery Boys double feature with a 3 Stooges short (unfortunately during the Joe Besser era.)One of the premier action film houses of the time. Jerry the K

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 11, 2003 at 7:17 pm

Another stunning restoration on 42nd street (along with the New Amsterdam right across the street). Actually, this restoration preceded Disney’s restoration of the New Amsterdam by a year or two. The theater is a gorgeous little jewel-box that serves as a year-round center for children’s and family oriented entertainment. We take the kids in to about 4 or 5 shows here each year and have never been disappointed. Hard to imagine that this was once a porno theater.

A historical note: Not only was this Broadway’s first burlesque house, but it was the home of the fabled “Minsky’s Follies” until then Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia shut it down during his very public crackdown on vice in the City during the 1940’s. It was renamed Victory in a nod to the groundswell of patriotism felt across the nation during the 2nd World War.