New Victory Theatre

209 West 42nd Street,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 1 - 25 of 94 comments

Harvey
Harvey on July 11, 2014 at 12:25 am

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

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 17, 2012 at 7:53 pm

If anyone has any stories about going to/ working at this threatre in its adult days, I would love to hear them. I am chronicling the histories of adult theatres in the US. Please contact me at Thanks!

KenC
KenC on March 4, 2012 at 6:03 pm

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.

rivoli157
rivoli157 on November 18, 2011 at 4:07 pm

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!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 28, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Interesting to note that when the Theatre Republic first opened its doors on September 27, 1900, the premiere engagement was the drama “Sag Harbor” from playwrite James A Herne. The show would feature the Broadway debut of Lionel Barrymore, who was born 133 years ago today.

While his stage career would last some 25 years – before he switched to working exclusively in films – he would only return to the stage of the Theatre Republic once (in its post-Belasco incarnation) in a 1917 production of “Peter Ibbetson.” He did, however, return to the Deuce to appear in a short-lived staging of “Macbeth” at the Apollo in 1921 (the 2nd ever production at that theatre) as well as another short-lived drama, “The Piker” near then end of his stage career in 1925 at the Eltinge (later Empire) Theatre.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 14, 2011 at 2:18 am

Ed, I never went to either one but I remember that the first one caused quite a stir as the first VHS theatre. The 35mm locations were concerned about the trend and the projectionist union was charging them standard 35mm rates basically for operating a VHS player.

The second location is murkier and less is written about it as it was not a trend setter, but some Village Voice ads show as many as twelve titles showing at one time.

By all means go ahead and enter them on CT. I am not quite sure of their lifespans.

I do have several books about the Deuce that walk a fine line between social archeology and smut.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 14, 2011 at 12:59 am

Sounds like an interesting book. I find material about this area during those years in particular to be endlessly fascinating. In part because it brings me back to a certain time in my life, but also because the stories that surround so many of these old theaters, dance halls and cabarets are so vivid and entertainingly sordid! Sounds like you may have done a good deal of the fact-checking leg-work necessary to post a decent new entry for the Roxy on CT. Is that something you were planning on doing? If not, I may look to do so myself. Been a while since I’ve added one. Ironically, I never patronized either of the Roxy’s back then.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 13, 2011 at 10:25 pm

I have a book that references four screens which showed films but were later used for other purposes such as live shows and sex back-rooms.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 13, 2011 at 9:51 pm

I know it always advertised “4 Smash Hits” on that marquee signage, even when it went back to porn a few years later. I think the one by the New Amsterdam closed several years before the one adjacent to the Empire. You sure it was four screens and not four titles that were advertised?

I’d have to troll through my photos to see if I can piece it together. Now that I think of it, I’m going to say that the Roxy Burlesk at 244 W 42nd (later Roxy Twin) was the original and that the one adjacent to the New Amsterdam was added at a later date. The only reason I say this is because the signage depicted in the 1983 shot looks like it dates back to the early ‘70’s. And the signage I remember by the New Amsterdam was very much like the marquee depicted in the latter shot from '86. I also believe that both the Cine 42 and the the Roxy Burlesk were opened in spaces formerly occupied by that old skee-ball like arcade game Fascination that was all over Times Square back in the day, leading me to believe they may have been opened around the same time by the same people?

Just making some educated assumptions and guesses here. I may be completely off base here. One of us should open a new theater entry on the Roxy Burlesk (I can feel the purists cringing) and let this conversation continue over there.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 13, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Ed, since the Roxy was advertising four screens in the early nineties I am starting to wonder if both were open concurrently.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 13, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Hey AlAlvarez… This is to answer the question you posed over a year ago about the Roxy Burlesk and Roxy Twin on Feb 18, 2010. Both photos are of the same establishment, with the later pic from 1986 showing the marquee re-dressed for the Roxy’s changeover from porn to action-film grinder. The location was just to the west of the Empire, with the Anco a few doors furhter down (you see the Anco marquee in background of the earlier night shot from 1983). I remember both incarnations. That site was later reconfigured into the short-lived multiplex that became the last movie theater to remain in business on “old” 42n Street before being shuttered by the City for redevelopment in the 1990’s.

There were two Roxy’s, as I’m sure you recall… the other, which also ran porn, being just to the east of the New Amsterdam. I’m not sure which of these two came first. I want to say the Roxy Burlesk at 244 W. 42nd was the first one, but I can’t say for sure.

Bway
Bway on August 31, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Ahh, thanks, I am confused then. I thought it was the legit one. Sorry, my mistake.

Bway
Bway on August 31, 2010 at 2:49 am

A great article of the renovated theater with some great photos:

View link

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on February 18, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Does anyone know where the first Roxy was located an whether this was it?

View link

For comparison, here is the Roxy Twin at 244 West 42nd street.

View link

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on February 11, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Man oh man those are some great photos.

42ndStreetMemories
42ndStreetMemories on February 10, 2010 at 9:53 pm

That shot is a great example of how the 42nd Street theaters had fun programming their double feature revivals….Kings Go Forth & Kings of the Sun. They frequently booked Man With The Gun & Man Without A Star.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on January 26, 2010 at 4:23 pm

The theatre address has always been 209 West 42nd Street. 229 West 42nd Street are the operating offices.

deleted user
[Deleted] on September 4, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Those LIFE photos of Lillian Gish linked above on 8/29/09 are incorrectly identified, and were actually taken in Shubert Alley, which runs between West 44th and 45th Streets alongside the Shubert and Booth Theatres. Here’s a more recent image of Shubert Alley: View link

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 18, 2009 at 6:12 am

They were on the Daily News site a couple of weeks ago.

42ndStreetMemories
42ndStreetMemories on August 18, 2009 at 3:54 am

ken mc – where did you find those great Daily News images?

seymourcox
seymourcox on August 9, 2009 at 7:22 pm

From LIFE comes this undated photo of Lillian Gish standing before a 42nd Street & Belasco posters,
View link

missmelbatoast
missmelbatoast on August 8, 2009 at 6:39 pm

1957 nighh shot from LIFE Magazine –
View link

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 7, 2009 at 6:02 am

To revive the discussion that took place in April, 2006, about the architect of this theater, at least one author (architectural historian Gerard R. Wolfe) credits both Albert E. Westover and John B. McElfatrick for the design of the Republic Theatre. The 3rd edition of Wolfe’s “New York: 15 Walking Tours” says that Westover designed the theater in 1899, and McElfatrick was responsible for the renovation of the house the following year. Wolfe does not mention the remodeling for David Belasco, which some sources say was done by Bigelow, Wallis & Cotton. He does mention that the 1995 restoration was done by Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer.

For what it’s worth, the Wikipedia article on the New Victory also credits Westover (but only Westover) for the design, and cites the 4th edition of the “AIA Guide to New York City”, by Norval White and Eliot Willensky as a source. I don’t have the AIA Guide, but from the snippet views available at Google Books, it looks like the 4th edition doesn’t mention either McElfatrick or Bigelow, Wallis & Cotton in connection with this theater at all.

But another vote for McElfatrick & Sons comes from a PDF of a 1987 document from New York’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (available here) which is about the Hudson Theatre, but which mentions the Republic as one of the theaters designed by McElfatrick. This paper gives the building date as 1900, but both Wolfe’s Guide and the AIA Guide date the original construction to 1899.

Interestingly, the Hudson’s architectural pedigree was once in question as well, and the Preservation Commission researcher checked the theater’s plans on file at the New York Buildings Department and found that while McElfatrick did the early drawings, most of the Hudson’s design was attributable to the firm of Israels & Harder. Somebody will probably have to check the building records for the Republic as well, before we can be sure who did what to it and when.