New Life For Loew’s Victoria Theatre In Harlem?

posted by btkrefft on March 8, 2005 at 6:48 am

HARLEM, NEW YORK, NY — The long-closed Loew’s Victoria could be reborn as a hotel and entertainment venue if developers Paul Williams and Robert Jones, of Victoria Tower Development, Inc., get the approval of the theater’s owner.

According to a NY Post article, the 1917 Victoria, which was first called the Loew’s 125th Street when it opened, has stood mostly disused since it showed it last movie in 1989. The partners see the redevelopment of the movie palace as part of a revival of Harlem’s famed 125th Street commercial and entertainment district which also includes the nearby legendary Apollo Theatre.

Jones says that their plans include restoring the still-intact interior decorations inside the Victoria. “The ceiling of the lobby is absolutely gorgeous”, said Jones. Plans for the theater also include the construction of a 25-story tower which will hold a 162-room hotel, 100 condos, a ballroom and 120-seat dinner theater called the B.B. King Entertainment Center. A basement-level jazz club would also double as a jazz workshop for children.

Part of the bidding process for prospective developers includes the addition of a space for an arts organization, in the case of the Victoria, the Studio Musem of Harlem, which would be housed in a gallery on the building’s first floor. Paul William says, “We want to create a real destination center to draw traffic up to Harlem”.

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Comments (2)

br91975 on March 8, 2005 at 7:25 am

A minor correction to the Post article is in order: the Victoria actually showed its last movie sometime in the mid-‘90s. After reopening as the Victoria 5 in the fall of '92 (later operating as a quad and closing about a year later), the theatre served as a venue (on one or two screens) for more ethnically-based films (such as 'Sankofa’) for a year or two, before closing yet again. (In subsequent years, the Victoria housed occasional theatrical productions and church services.)

lklein on April 14, 2005 at 11:18 am

Paul Warshauer is a liar and a thief. He stole childhood pictures of mine and refuses to return them. Anyone doing business with Paul Warshauer should heed this warning.

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