Victory Theatre

287 Spadina Avenue,
Toronto, ON M5T

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Victory Burlesque

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located in the Chinatown section of Toronto, the Standard Theatre was opened in 1921. Renamed Victory Theatre in the 1940’s, the balcony was later converted into the Golden Harvest Cinema. It has unfortunately been converted into a bank.

Contributed by Jason R

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

mortonbg on March 17, 2008 at 12:49 pm

Nope. Those pictures are of a theatre with the same name in Toronto, Australia.

There is an interior picture of this theatre in John Lindsey’s book TURN OUT THE STARS BEFORE LEAVING.It was originally known in the 1920’s as the Standard Theatre, and was home to Yiddish Vaudeville, as Spadina was the garment district of TO.

In the 40’s it became the Victory Theatre, and then later on the Victory Burlesque – which was quite the landmark in 1950’s Toronto, as it was the only legal place in the city where one could see (mostly) naked females.

In the 70’s it was subdevided, the balcony became the Golden Harvest Cinema, while the mainfloor and old stage house became restaurants and retail.

mortonbg on June 4, 2008 at 10:29 pm

There is a vintage image of this theatre here.

View link

mortonbg on June 4, 2008 at 11:11 pm

And here is a modern view

View link

JCharles on January 27, 2010 at 1:53 pm

For the last years of its life, this theatre operated as a Cantonese language venue under different names. It was known as The Mandarin when it finally closed in the fall of 1994, a victim of disinterested local audiences and rampant video piracy in Chinatown stores (The Far East Theatre, located almost diagonally across the street similarly faltered and closed up for good in 1999). Double features were the order of the day (the Jet Li vehicle THE BODYGUARD FROM BEIJING and A TASTE OF KILLING AND ROMANCE were the final program, and the posters for the movies stayed up for over a year after the theatre was shuttered).

The auditorium was located on the second floor of the building and was designed in a steep, stadium seat style with a balcony. The theatre was in somewhat of a state of disrepair (I attended a double feature there in the spring of 1994 during a downpour and there was a pronounced leak in the roof in the balcony section), but was pleasantly retro. The lobby was on the main floor and that is the only section of the building still currently in use (by a low grade Chinese retail store). It is not operating as a bank, as stated at the top. In the picture Brian Morton linked to, The Mandarin can be seen next door to the bank, with the Mandarin marquee visible on the left side of the picture. What Brian stated about the division of the building happened before my time, though I don’t remember there being anything more than the snack bar on the main floor when I patronized the place in 1993/94.

thomas27 on March 20, 2010 at 11:16 am

the address was:
285 Spadina Avenue

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William Mewes
William Mewes on July 27, 2011 at 4:00 pm

A recent photo can be found here.

Click Here

Jon Lidolt
Jon Lidolt on July 28, 2011 at 9:19 am

I was in this unattractive theatre once in the late 60’s. The place was rundown and so were the ladies of burlesque gracing the stage. But I do remember that they had great hot dogs.

CSWalczak on May 22, 2012 at 1:55 am

Scroll down on this webpage to see a 1941 picture of the Victory before it became a burlesque house.

colby45 on August 8, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Have fond memories of the Victory when I was a young man in the sixties. Still have fantasies of ‘Terry Darnell’’s erotic performance.Wonder where she is now? Would have to be about 75 but still sexy I bet.Loved the comics?emcee’s who I think passed about 10 recycled jokes between themselves.

suziinnc51 on January 5, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Is / was it haunted? It was featured on TV today….one of those hauntings shows

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