Victory Theatre

54 Suffolk Street,
Holyoke, MA 1040

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Victory Theatre

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The enormous Victory Theatre opened in 1920 and was one of eight theaters that thrived during the days of vaudeville and silent motion pictures. The Victory Theatre, like many other combination houses, switched to an all-movies format in 1931. It suffered damage by a fire in 1942, but re-opened after renovations and it remained a vibrant movie house until it closed in 1979.

In 1983, Helen Casey, organized the Save The Victory Theatre Inc., a non-profit organization, which was created to help reopen the theater. Despite some great successes at fundraising along the way, little has been done to help rescue the old movie house reopen.

Like Holyoke itself, the Victory Theatre is still struggling to stay alive. The old theater’s blade sign was removed in 1986 and the marquee was torn down in 1991. Although it has allowed passersby to better see its scultped facade, it is a sad reminder that the Victory Theatre has yet to emerge from its doldrums.

In September 2008, ownership of the Victory Theatre was handed over by the city to the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, who plan to renovate it as a performing arts center and reopen by the end of 2012. The MIFA has already raised half of the money required for its $27,000,000 renovation.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 60 comments)

SteveJKo
SteveJKo on March 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm

The Victory once again in the news:

View link

spectrum
spectrum on April 11, 2011 at 6:15 pm

According to the above article, the victory has raised $19,500,000 of the $27,000 needed to complete the renovation, and they sre launching a fundraising campaign to raise the remaining amount. A much earlier fundraising cappain’s proceeds were partially used some time ago to repaier the roof, remove asbestos, board up the building and complete the renovation plans.

spectrum
spectrum on April 11, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Sorry, that should read “19,500,000 of $27,000,000” (above)

spectrum
spectrum on April 11, 2011 at 6:20 pm

The photo tours posted by Matt Labros in january show the paintaings to the left and right of the proscenium to be gone — I hope they were simply removed for restoration (I expect that to be the case)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 26, 2011 at 12:44 am

The August 27, 1919, issue of The American Architect published an early announcement about the plans for the Victory Theatre, though it placed the site at Suffolk and Chestnut Streets rather than Suffolk and Walnut:

“HOLYOKE, MASS.—An up-to-date theater, seating 2420 people, which can stage vaudeville, moving pictures, a stock company or legitimate plays, is to be erected by the Victory Theater Co., of which Nathan Goldstein of Springfield, Mass., is president. This company has purchased the lot at the corner of Suffolk and Chestnut Sts. and will erect a $350,000 playhouse from the plans of Mowll & Rand, Unity Bldg., Boston. Mass. The building will also include a number of stores.”
Later notices in other publications reduced the cost of the project to $250,000, but Mowll & Rand were still listed as the architects.

The current restoration of the Victory Theatre is designed by the Providence, Rhode Island, firm DBVW Architects (Durkee, Brown, Viveiros & Werenfels.) Their web site currently features a rendering of how the completed project will look, plus four current photos of the theater.

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on April 23, 2012 at 11:43 am

Check out my post on the Victory Theatre at After the Final Curtain

Patsy
Patsy on April 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Nice to be updated on the Victory Theatre!

gd14lawn
gd14lawn on May 24, 2014 at 11:09 am

This project seems unfortunately to be stalled. In an article on the New England Public Radio website dated April 12,2013,the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts (MIFA)artistic director Donald Sanders says he thinks MIFA could secure funding, complete renovations, and open the theatre in three years.

That pushes the reopening to 2016.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 24, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Several months ago I heard that this project was starting to unravel, unfortunately; but I don’t recall what the source of that news was. The people in charge are stalwart types and I hope that they can get back on track.

allison2014
allison2014 on June 21, 2014 at 7:15 pm

i walk by here every day on my way back from the gym for the past 2 months here and there i have seen workers going in and there is a dumpster outside. the smell of asbestos when you walk by is unreal even in the winter but i really do hope they are doing good things inside. im afraid its to far gone

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