Victory Theatre

54 Suffolk Street,
Holyoke, MA 1040

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Patsy on April 23, 2012 at 11:42 am

Nice to be updated on the Victory Theatre!

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on April 23, 2012 at 9:43 am

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

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 25, 2011 at 10:44 pm

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.

spectrum on April 11, 2011 at 4:20 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)

spectrum on April 11, 2011 at 4:16 pm

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

spectrum on April 11, 2011 at 4:15 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.

SteveJKo on March 22, 2011 at 12:58 pm

The Victory once again in the news:

View link

GWaterman on January 20, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Another link with great photos:

View link

The whole site is amazing, poke around.

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on January 13, 2011 at 6:55 pm

I took a photo tour of the Victory recently. My friend Tom did a quick write up of it.

View link

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 17, 2010 at 11:01 am

The Victory is listed in the 1927 Film Daily Yearbook as having 2286 seats and open daily.

spectrum on November 14, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Latest news – December 2009 the foundation officially purchased the Victory for $7,500.00 (They had previously been leasing it for $1.00/year), and currently they only have to raise $8,000,000 of the $27,000,000 needed to complete the renovation!

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on August 24, 2010 at 10:53 am

The Victory project recently received some sort of grant award/ tax credit from the state.

Patsy on March 16, 2010 at 11:29 am

So nice to read this update!

TLSLOEWS on March 16, 2010 at 11:27 am

Its is under renovation and to reopen in a couple of years I have heard.

Patsy on March 13, 2010 at 5:40 pm

And the photo tour was really nice to see…almost made it seem like you were actually there walking around. The round lobby is quite unusual as I personally don’t know of another theatre with this unique lobby design though I’m sure there may be others. I must now read the history and learn how and why this theatre was neglected.

Patsy on March 13, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Ross: The video is fantastic and shows what dedicated theatre folks can do to preserve a once grand theatre! I hope to see it someday in my travels.

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on March 12, 2010 at 1:45 pm

A link to video of the interior.

spectrum on March 10, 2010 at 7:47 am

Here is a direct link to the Victory Theatre article in the Valley Advocate:

View link

Here is a direct link to their 360 degree photo tours:

View link

DrRussD on March 3, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Some of the recent publicity I’ve seen regarding the Victory’s history mistakenly reports that the Victory opened as a “stage theatre” and later was converted to movies. This is entirely incorrect. Samuel and Nathan Goldstein of Western Massachusetts Theatres Incorportated (at that time known as “G.B. Theatres”) were early pioneers in the movie business, having started in the first decade of the 20th century operating what were then known as “nickelodeons” which were storefront movie houses. Along with The Broadway Theatre in Springfield, the Victory represented their expansion into the “major leagues” as they rode the crest of the wave of the movies’ exploding popularity at the end of World War I. The Victory’s name itself is a reference to the Allied Victory in the World War the year before on 11 November 1918. The Eagle Medallion at the center of the proscenium ties it all together.

In the 1920s these grand theatres were known as “presentation houses” and offered a combined bill of a silent film and a stage show on the same program and for a single admission price. The performances were often presented on a “continuous show” basis. The Victory Symphony Orchestra provided accompaniment for the film and music for the live show as well. The Grand Organ often substitued for the orchestra during matinee performances. The relatively shallow depth of the Victory’s stage suggests that it was designed for “vaudeville” type acts presented along with a film, rather than fully mounted stage productions. The arrival of “talking pictures” in the late 1920s resulted in the eventual elimination of the live portion of the program.

The Victory continued to operate on a continuous show basis through the early 1970s, opening daily at 1:00 P.M. and running double feature film programs continuously until 11:00 P.M. During the years of World War II opening time was often as early as 8:45 A.M. with showing continuous from 9:00 A.M. through 11:00 P.M. The early opening was to accomodate war workers in Holyoke’s factories who worked the 11:00 P.M. to 7:00 A.M. shift and would stop at a restaurant to eat and then take in a movie on their way home from work!

SteveJKo on February 27, 2010 at 5:44 am

Article and panoramic photos of the Victory at:

spectrum on February 9, 2010 at 3:48 pm

There’s a whole bunch (48 total) of interior photos of the Victory at Rambling VanDog’s Flicker site:

View link

philbertgray on October 9, 2009 at 10:47 am

An interior shot of the auditorium can be found here while the article remains on the internet. It will take a lot of work to bring this theatre back from the looks of it.
View link
Click on photo to enlarge it.

SteveJKo on October 8, 2009 at 5:59 am

The Victory makes the local news yet again:

Sale of Victory Theatre in Holyoke to Mass. International Arts Festival paves way for building’s eventual reopening

By Sandra Constantine

October 07, 2009, 7:15PM

HOLYOKE â€" There were cheers, applause and thanks all around Wednesday as officials marked a unanimous vote of the City Council to convey the mothballed Victory Theatre to the Massachusetts International Arts Festival.

The press conference, in front of the building and attended by more than 50 people, was a celebration of the Sept. 15 vote.

“Help and life is on its way,” said Donald T. Sanders, the festival’s executive artistic director. The sale for $1,500 will allow the arts organization to move forward with its $24 million plans to refurbish the 1920 building in time for reopening Dec. 30, 2012, 92 years after it first opened. It has been closed since 1979.

The rehabilitation of the rundown theater has long been the focus of various local groups starting more than 20 years ago. Officials see it as a way to bring arts and culture back to the city’s downtown as well as a being an engine for economic development.

“Arts and culture is a way to bring people downtown to enjoy the rich history that we have here in our city,” said Kathleen Anderson, the city’s director of planning and development, following the press conference.

Sanders, whose organization has worked for the last several years to bring about restoration of the building, thanked more than two dozen people by name at the event for their help in the effort.

He hopes to break ground on the project in the spring now that the sale is imminent. Representatives of Nessen Associates Ltd., an economic development and financing group, and Architectural Heritage Foundation, an architecture firm, also spoke. Those two Boston-based organizations are the arts group’s partners in the project.

Both groups have extensive experience in doing similar projects. Nessen has done work on the Boston Conservatory of Music and the Hanover Theatre in Worcester. Architectural Heritage has assisted in the development of Quincy Market in Faneuil Hall in Boston.

“This can actually happen,” Sean McDonnell, president of the architecture group, said. “When it’s done we will wonder why it took so long.”

“This is a great labor of love,” Robert L. Nessen, a partner in Nessen, said.

Sanders said he will announce the kickoff of a capital campaign to fund the project in the near future. He anticipates raising 60 percent to 80 percent of the funding outside the community as was the case in a similar theater restoration project in Pittsfield.

SteveJKo on October 2, 2009 at 7:01 am

Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts can be found here: