Vic Theatre

217 E. Walnut Street,
Green Bay, WI 54301

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Orpheum TheatreĀ©...Green Bay WI

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Opened as the Green Bay Theatre in late-February 1900. Seating was listed at 1,114. It became the Orpheum Theatre on September 30, 1912 and was operated by Fox Wisconsin Theatres from 1933 and renamed Fox Theatre from August 25, 1933. On December 25, 1957 it was renamed Vic Theatre and was operated by Marcus Theatres. The theatre was located a couple blocks from the West Theatre on E. Walnut Street.

The theatre closed in the late-1980’s. The building is still standing and is very recognizable as a theatre.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

LouisRugani on April 26, 2011 at 12:32 am

(Manitowoc, February 20, 1931)


The Orpheum theater at Green Bay, which was recently entirely rebuilt and operated since it was opened by Harry K. Timm, passed into new hands yesterday following foreclosure of a land contract under which Mr. Timm was purchasing the new showhouse from Dr. J. R. Minahan. Miss Virginia Den Doven was appointed receiver and for the present will have charge of the operation of the theater at Green Bay.
The Orpheum was recently rebuilt by Dr. Minahan at a cost of $300,000. The old structure was almost entirely torn down and a modern building erected. This work was done by Joseph Rezash, Two Rivers contractor. Mr. Timm had managed the old Orpheum for nearly 20 years.
The New Capitol theater will pass into new hands tonight when R. S. Guiterman, independent theater operator will assume active control of the playhouse. And the occasion will be made much of at a gala opening, featured by speech making and the premiere showing in Wisconsin of the Paramount feature “Stolen Heaven” starring Nancy Carroll.
Large floral pieces reached the theater office this afternoon, not only from fellow exhibitors in Wisconsin and from film booking offices, but also from Manitowoc citizens, testimonial of their interest in the new regime at the theater. Proceeding the program tonight there will be a short automobile parade in which those taking part in the program will ride. The canopy sign of the New Capitol will blaze forth in renewed glory tonight, for electricians were busy today equipping the sign with an entire new system of lighting.

Receives Many Telegrams

Inside the theater patrons will be greeted with an enlarged screen, the position of which has been moved forward to bring a change that will add to the visibility and general sound qualities. In addition to the floral offerings received by Mr. Guiterman, numerous telegrams have also been received from theater men and executives and also from moving picture stars and celebrities in Hollywood wishing the new manager here success in his new field. Judge Albert H. Schmidt will preside as master of ceremonies at the speaking program on the stage of the theater at 7:30 this evening. He will officially welcome Mr. Guiterman to Manitowoc and in turn will introduce the other speakers who will give brief talks. These will include Mayor Martin Georgenson of this city and Mayor Herman Schuelke of Sheboygan. Illness will prevent Fred Meyers, Milwaukee president of the Motion Picture Theater Owners Association of Wisconsin from attending tonight, but another official of that organization will be here to extend the welcome of the theater owners and managers of Wisconsin to Mr. Guiterman. Allen Usher, Milwaukee, district manager of the Paramount-Publlx corporation, film distributors, will be present and talk. Representatives of the daily press of Manitowoc will welcome Mr. Guiterman to the city.
The short speaking program over, the picture program will continue.
Tomorrow night will inaugurate a new feature here, midnight showing of the Sunday feature, following the final showing of the Saturday program at which patrons may see both programs for the one admission price.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 26, 2011 at 2:40 am

I wonder how long the name Capitol lasted on this theater, or if it was used at all? It was definitely called the Orpheum in 1957. In “before” photo used by Boxoffice in its 1958 article about the recent remodeling of the house (at the first link in my previous comment,) the theater has the name Orpheum on its vertical sign, and the feature on the marquee is the 1957 Gregory Peck-Lauren Bacall movie “Designing Woman.” The newspaper ad for the reopening of the house as the Vic (at the lower right corner of the same page) also has the words “Formerly Orpheum” on it, just below the second instance of the name Vic.

It’s possible that there was a last-minute change in plans, of which the author of the 1931 newspaper article datelined Manitowoc was unaware. The article does say that “The canopy sign of the New Capitol will blaze forth in renewed glory tonight, for electricians were busy today equipping the sign with an entire new system of lighting.” Perhaps if the reporter had made a run to Green Bay to check, he’d have seen that the Orpheum sign was being installed instead of a Capitol sign.

The opening feature for the Vic was “April Love,” also released in 1957, so that’s the year the house got that name. Marcus Theatres, according to Boxoffice, had taken over the lease on the Orpheum in 1956.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 15, 2011 at 9:47 am

Google Maps is placing this theater on West Walnut Street instead of East Walnut, even though the address listed above is correct. I’ve seen a couple of other pages where Google misplaces its pin icon by a considerable distance, despite the correct addresses being listed.

zipperiffic on October 27, 2013 at 1:44 am

Typed into Google Maps itself, the address displays just fine and the Vic is easy to spot.

LeslieB on May 21, 2014 at 7:46 pm

I am looking at the June 2, 1958 article from Box Office right now. It was called the Vic Theatre (with the sign) by 1958, but it actually was leased by the Marcus Corp. in late 1955, though the magazine says 1956. It was immediately called the Vic, though they didn’t get the official sign up until 1958.

rivest266 on August 12, 2016 at 11:46 pm

September 30th, 1912 grand opening ad in photo section.

rivest266 on August 13, 2016 at 3:08 pm

August 25th, 1933 grand opening as a Fox theatre. Shortly after the Fox theatre was renamed Bay.

rivest266 on August 14, 2016 at 1:00 pm

December 23rd, 1957 grand opening ad as Vic in photo section. It opened on Christmas Day.

windmillnut on August 31, 2016 at 2:32 am

The main branch of the Green Bay Public library has a couple of folders of news clippings about the theater. Some dating to when the theater opened in 1900. The clippings are a good read. It read like no expense was spared when the theater was renovated in the 1930s. It would be real nice to see some interior pictures of the theater if anyone has them. The library has a couple of photos of the exterior and interior, but they are of poor quality. It would be nice to have a downtown movie house in Green Bay.

DenisGullickson on January 18, 2017 at 2:15 am

This truly is “Green Bay’s First Theater” as it was the first structure built exclusively as a theater. Construction began in late-summer, 1899 and the theater opened with “Because She Loved Him So” in late-February, 1900. In 1912, the Marx Brothers appeared on stage at the Orpheum in “Mr. Green’s Reception.” Interior photos of the theater are most-desirable. What type of movies would one want to see at a downtown movie house in Green Bay?

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