Victory Theater

720 J C Penney Drive,
Kemmerer, WY 83101

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The Victory Theatre has been operating prior to 1941.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

DonLewis
DonLewis on June 30, 2010 at 6:07 am

From the late 1950s a newsprint photo of the Victory Theater in Kemmerer.

rivest266
rivest266 on January 5, 2012 at 12:15 am

No showtimes, is this still open?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 5, 2012 at 10:07 am

The Victory Theatre has had two different locations. The Photo lostmemory linked to shows the most recent location on J. C. Penney Drive, but the photo Don Lewis linked to shows the original location on Pine Street between Topaz and Sapphire.

All of the historic buildings on the block in Don’s photo have been demolished, the last of them, the Kemmerer Hotel on the corner of Pine and Sapphire, condemned and demolished as recently as 2004 when it was discovered that its stonework had grown unstable.

The fourth photo down this web page shows the original Victory Theatre, and says that in 2004 plans were first announced for a new Victory Theatre, but it doesn’t say whether or not anything came of those plans, or anything about when the Victory on Pine Street closed, and there’s no indication that the Victory on J. C. Penney is the house that was being planned in 2004, but I think it probably is.

I also think Don’s postcard might be from the late 1960s rather than the 1950s. Despite the prominent mid-50s car, a couple of the cars parked down the block look to me like post-tail fin era models from the late 60s.

There is a also strong possibility, which as yet I’ve been unable to confirm, that the Victory Theatre on Pine Street was actually the original Kemmerer Theatre, which opened in 1910 (I’ve found nothing about the Kemmerer Theatre on Antelope Street, which is listed at Cinema Treasures, but it was certainly not the original Kemmerer Theatre, as that neighborhood didn’t even exist in 1910.)

The only place I’ve found anything about the original Kemmerer Theatre is a history of Wyoming published in 1918. It features a brief biography of George Whitten, original owner of the Kemmerer Theatre. Just in case the Victory is the same theater renamed, I’ll quote the relevant parts of the biography here:

“George Whitten is the genial proprietor of the New Kemmerer Theater and is one of the most popular and best known citizens of Lincoln county. He is a theatrical manager of many years' experience, having conducted various theaters and moving picture houses in many sections of the country through a period of fifteen years. This has given to him a knowledge of public wants and demands in this direction and he is giving Kemmerer the best attractions that can be secured in film productions. In the conduct of his business he displays a most enterprising spirit and puts forth every effort to please his patrons, so that success naturally follows.

“He… opened what is known as the New Kemmerer Theater in 1910. It is a modern moving picture and vaudeville house with a seating capacity of two hundred and eighty. It has all modern appointments and equipment and the building has been erected especially for theater purposes. Mr. Whitten is conducting a most attractive place of refined amusement, catering to the better class of patrons, and he produces the best pictures which have been put upon the screen, thus bringing before his audience the leading actors and actresses of the country, together with many films that bring one into touch with the places of interest and the scenes of beauty in other lands.”

Perhaps someone from Kemmerer will be able to confirm or disprove my surmise that George Whitten’s New Kemmerer Theater of 1910 became the Victory Theatre. I’ve exhausted the sources available on the Internet.

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