New Victory Theatre

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

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New VIctory Theatre

For over 105 years, the New Victory Theatre has stood stoically along the ever-changing landscape of New York’s famed W. 42nd Street.

Built as a legitimate theatre in 1900, as the Theatre Republic, the architecture and design of the theatre heralded a new era in showmanship and exhibition. In 1902, David Belasco took over the theatre and renamed it the Belasco Theatre.

By 1914, the theatre was renamed again, as the Republic Theatre. The theatre continued its run as a legitimate theatre until 1932, when it became Broadway’s first burlesque house.

By the 1940’s, the theatre was renamed Victory Theatre and began to show second-run movies. When W. 42nd Street’s fortunes plummeted in the 1970’s, the Victory Theatre became the first to show pornographic movies and continued doing so into the late-1980’s.

In 1990, the Victory Theatre came under public ownership, in an effort to revitalize W. 42nd Street. Leased to a nonprofit organization, the theatre’s renovation began in August of 1994 and was completed in December 1995 at a total cost of $11.4 million.

The theatre is now re-opened and remains a vision of beauty and a catalyst for all that has evolved on W. 42nd Street.

Contributed by Scott Oberstaedt

Recent comments (view all 102 comments)

rivoli157
rivoli157 on November 18, 2011 at 8:07 am

A little European jewel-box now. I attended the legit re-opening in the 1990s. A production called Cirque Eloise- a variety /circus type show that had a lot of former Cirque de Soliel performers in the cast. Theatre books mostly Theatre for Young Audience attractions. In the 1980s, I was curious to see what one of the 42nd St grindhouses looked like inside, so I came here. The New Amsterdam would have been a better choice,but oh well. Dark, dirty, smelly, and in awful condition was what it was. Oh and many men roaming around in the shadows.

It is night and day now!

KenC
KenC on March 4, 2012 at 10:03 am

In the movie “NO WAY TO TREAT A LADY”, there are a number of very quick theatre marquee shots. At the 1 hour 31 minute and 36 second mark, there is the Victory theatre- on the marquee: PINK PUSSY" plus “SUBURBIA CONFIDENTIAL”. Right next door is the Lyric; it’s showing “BORN LOSERS” plus “DOOR TO DOOR MANIAC”. At the 1-31-22 mark, you can see the Empire-on the marquee: “LAST OF THE SECRET AGENTS” plus “ONCE A THIEF”. Can be seen- for free- on YouTube.

Harvey
Harvey on July 10, 2014 at 4:25 pm

Not sure if I missed a mention going through the previous comments but according to Wikipedia, the theater scene in THE LAST DRAGON (1985) was filmed at the Victory.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Dragon

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on September 5, 2015 at 9:19 am

1972 photo added, photo credit Henry Bonham Houchins.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on October 2, 2015 at 7:14 pm

Great mid `50’s marquee photo added courtesy of Jim Jordan.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on August 27, 2017 at 7:27 am

Article about Time Square with a photo of the Victory and other theatres.

http://gearsofbiz.com/the-evolution-of-new-yorks-times-square/32320

wolftoy
wolftoy on February 15, 2018 at 7:31 am

Looking for information for Brandts Victory theatre. My dad went there in the 50’s and got a 5 x 7 pic of Frankenstein. It says on it-I’ll be scaring you Frankenstein at the Brandts Victory Theatre 42nd and Broadway. Was wondering if this was just that they were showing the movie or was someone dressed as Frankenstein showing up at the screening? Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

42ndStreetMemories
42ndStreetMemories on February 15, 2018 at 8:02 am

wolftoy…..if you go to google images and type in “victory theater frankenstein and dracula” you will see a beautiful image of the marquee from around 1952.

Willburg145
Willburg145 on July 10, 2018 at 10:14 pm

Did anyone go to this theatre when it was showing porn? I would like to know what the condition of this place like during it’s porn days

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on July 11, 2018 at 6:57 pm

I did Wilburg 145. It was no different than all the other theaters on 42nd St. They were all sleezy even first run houses.

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