New Victory Theater
209 W. 42nd Street,
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The New Victory Theater (Official)
Previously operated by: Brandt Theaters
Architects: John Bailey McElfatrick
Firms: J. B. McElfatrick and Sons
Functions: Live Theater
Previous Names: Theatre Republic, Belasco Theatre, Republic Theatre, Victory Theatre
For over 105 years, the New Victory Theater 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 as the New Victory Theater (not Theatre) and remains a vision of beauty and a catalyst for all that has evolved on W. 42nd Street.
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