Loew's Victoria Theatre

233 West 125th Street,
New York, NY 10027

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William on May 19, 2004 at 11:01 am

There is only two theatres located on that block. Yes, It is the Victoria Theatre they are asking about.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 19, 2004 at 11:00 am

Yes, it’s definitely this theatre. The proposal to integrate the Victoria with the nearby Apollo Theatre apparently fell through due to the Apollo management’s ongoing financial problems.

LaurenArch on May 19, 2004 at 9:28 am

I’m unfamiliar with this area and the theater itself, but I was wondering if anyone knows if this is the same theater that the Harlem Community Development Corporation is looking to redevelop? They released a public request for proposals last week (see below) but the address doesn’t seem to quite match.

Victoria Theater Programming and Redevelopment Options
Harlem Community Development Corporation (“Harlem CDC”) is seeking a qualified architectural team to assist with the development of a functional and space program, inclusive of conceptual / pre-schematic design scenarios, for a mixed-use project to be developed at the site of the Victoria Theater located at 235-237 West 125th Street, New York, NY 10027.

The architectural team will advise on development options that shall be financially feasible and self-sustaining, including adaptive reuse of the existing theater, adaptive reuse with new and infill construction, and total redevelopment of the site. The program to be developed will include allocating part of the site to community facility uses such as a multi-use performing arts, cultural and educational facility and part of the site to a commercial use that is consistent with Harlem CDC’s goals for the redevelopment. These goals relate to the economic development and civic needs of the community, including job creation and job training, enrichment of the cultural life of Harlem, promotion of tourism and increased visitor spending at business establishments in the area. As part of the assignment, the architectural team will review existing architectural plans and meet with potential users of the community facility space to determine common requirements which could be accommodated within a flexible, multi-purpose facility.

joemasher on April 24, 2004 at 5:53 am

The whole Apollo/Victoria arts center concept was to be a project of Time-Warner, pre-AOL. It is my understanding that they’ve pulled out of the project completely, and it has stalled. A church group uses one or two of the Victoria’s auditoriums from time-to-time.

br91975 on April 23, 2004 at 7:54 pm

Just to clarify a bit on the Victoria/MovieCenter – the original auditorium (or at least the original space occupied by the Victoria) was divided into five auditoriums, not six. (The still-existant frontage on the theatre’s marquee bears this out.) After having been closed for about a year and having been rechristened as the Victoria – albeit as the Victoria 5 – it reopened in the fall of 1992 (with one of its initial offerings being the film ‘South Central’). The new management offered up a policy of first-run films for about a year – while, at some point during that time, ceasing to program the Victoria as a fiveplex and instead as a quad – until closing up shop about a year later (and after months-plus runs of ‘Malcolm X’ – relatively logical – and, somewhat quizzically, ‘The Firm’). For the next couple of years, more ethnically-based films (such as ‘Sankofa’) were programmed into the Victoria, on only one or two screens at a time, until the theatre closed once again. Since then, except for possibly sporadic events, the Victoria has been closed, waiting for a savior – and perhaps a stronger economy as well, at which point perhaps the management of the Apollo will revisit the merger plans which were being discussed a few years ago.

RobertR on February 25, 2004 at 8:46 am

The hack up was done by the people that for a short time had that multiplex on 42 street right?

Orlando on February 25, 2004 at 8:33 am

Loew’s Victoria survived until 1975 or there abouts and when Loew’s departed the theatre closed. Brandt’s never operated this one. Most of the theatre survives with four boxes on the main floor and the balcony split in half (if my memory serves me correctly). The second level retains a lounge area with an oval ceiling of a painted goddess whose hand is reaching out, almost a 3-D effect. I was on the same tour as Warren and snapped a picture of the goddess before I heard someone downstairs bellow that no photographs were allowed. It would be nice if this jewel was polished and incorporated into the Apollo Theatre plan, but it will take a lot of money. The makeover from the Victoria to the Harlem Six was a hack job and that’s why it lasted a short while. I am assuming that because of the area, those owners felt any conversion was better than no movies at all. They were wrong and that’s why Magic Johnson’s Harlem Multiplex is doing well.

RobertR on February 25, 2004 at 8:18 am

I think the multip-plexing was a cheap one? That would help in not ruining too much of the original theatre. What condition was the place in? Is downstairs all one large auditorium?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 25, 2004 at 8:11 am

I visited the interior in 2002 during the annual convention of Theatre Historical Society of America. At that time, the management of the nearby Apollo had taken over the Victoria and was supposed to restore it into a single auditorium. Hoever, that project has since been tabled for financial reasons. Despite the multiplexing, much of the Victoria’s original decor remains, and the partitioning looks like it could be removed without too many problems…The auditorium is quite similar to the one that Lamb designed for Loew’s Gates in Brooklyn.

WilliamMcQuade on March 20, 2002 at 10:58 am

Believe it started out as Loew’s 125 th Street and again architect was Thomas lamb

William on October 7, 2001 at 11:22 am

The Victoria is located on 125th Street next to the Apollo theatre.