Victoria Theatre

138 N. Main Street,
Dayton, OH 45403

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Showing 19 comments

rivest266 on March 30, 2018 at 3:35 pm

September 18th, 1899 grand opening ad as Victoria in the photo section.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 9, 2017 at 12:51 am

According to the February 2, 1918, issue of The Dramatic Mirror the Victoria Theatre at Dayton had been destroyed by a fire on January 15. Other sources give the date of the event as January 16.

MovieMad52 on December 8, 2017 at 7:55 pm

In 1972, I would go to the Victoria and see my union friend Charlie McCartney and hang out during the Friday and Saturday Midnight Shows. I was a non-union projectionist for the McCook Theatre. After a couple of weeks Charlie would leave the projection booth and left it to me to run the booth. Loved it. I felt blessed being a part of this historic theatre.

JerryO on April 2, 2017 at 11:17 pm

Hi everyone! I was the “janitor” here in ‘72-'73 when it was the Victoria Opera House, run by John Skilken and James Burt. Cleaned the entire place every day by myself . Had a key to the side door on 1st St. Would stand on stage in a darkened, silent space and commune with the spirits of past performers. Would climb the backstage ladder to the rooftop for the view. Watched Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden speeches. Leo Kottke , Jean-Luc Ponty, rock acts and even Grand Ol'Opry performers. “Harold and Maude”, “Reefer Madness”, “Fantasia” and other films would run for it seems like weeks at a time, and come back. The young boomers kept the place filled at times, one of the few reliable congregating spots in town at the time. A friend reupholstered the seats just before it closed in the 70’s. It’s one those miracles we all should be thankful for, that it’s more beautiful and vibrant than ever. It will always have a place in my heart.

MoviePeter on October 28, 2015 at 10:14 am

The Victoria Theatre people are gathering memories about the Victory/Victoria Theatre for their 150th year anniversary celebration. I have already contributed my memories from the Save the Victory days. The link to their memory-gathering web site is:

MovieMad52 on December 23, 2012 at 2:44 pm

The Victory Theatre was the exclusive run for all Disney movies for about 20 years until MidStates began the squeeze for multi runs and eventually cleared the Victory from the any Disney first run.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 20, 2012 at 8:01 pm

The historic photos from the Dayton library that were linked in earlier comments have all been moved to new URLs.

Here is the original Turner’s Opera House of 1864.

Here is the photo of the ruins of the Opera House after the 1869 fire.

Here is the pre-1918 fire photo of the Music Hall.

Here is the Victory Theatre after it was rebuilt in 1919.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 20, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Here is the website for this theater.

moviemad on May 31, 2009 at 10:17 pm

After the Victory lost the exclusive run of Disney movies, the theatre was closed. I believe the name of the young man who reopened the theatre was Jim Burt, who marketed the theatre for young adults and the years I believe was 1971 to around 1974. Double feature midnight shows ran including rock concert films like WOODSTOCK, FILLMORE and during this time Jane Fonda made a personal appearance on stage. Around 1972, Jim rented the Loews theatre across the street for concerts.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 6, 2008 at 2:15 pm

As the Grand Opera House, this theatre is listed in the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. GA & WC Dickson were the managers, and the seating capacity is given as 2000. Ticket prices ranged from 25 cents to $1. The theatre was on the ground floor and had both gas and electric illumination. The proscenium opening was 37 feet wide X 35 feet high, and the stage was 38 feet deep. There was also a Park Theatre in Dayton, also managed by the Dicksons, and also having about 2000 seats. The 1897 population of Dayton was 95,000.

citysmithy on February 10, 2008 at 4:26 pm

The building was built, and still is, at FIRST & Main Streets, not 3rd & Main

jon6444 on January 21, 2008 at 6:26 pm

The corner building is the actual theatre…in the old photo you can see the end on that building on the left….the main building in the old photo is now part of the loft theatre…before that it was a department store….not sure if the structure is original. It was probaly wood, the current building is concrete.

kencmcintyre on January 16, 2008 at 10:04 pm

The windows look the same in both photos, as does the entrance. I would guess that some work has been done on the roof to add the cupolas.

ZookieFreddie on April 26, 2007 at 9:53 pm

During that $17.5 million restoration, I could see the interior. The ‘Lost Memory’ photo showing the front outside is exactly as it originally was, but the complete interior had been gutted and started over from scratch. For awhile, it had the appearance of one of those bombed out buildings in Germany during World War II. The finished work is super excellent and anyone going to Dayton should definitely go in a look around.

jon6444 on November 5, 2005 at 4:36 am

It is a porn book store at that in a real bad neighborhood.

Patsy on September 23, 2005 at 5:47 pm

Nice to read that this theatre is still open as so many listed in Dayton are either closed or demolished. The McCook is listed as open, but it’s a bookstore according to what I’ve read on CT.

GloballyEclectic on July 12, 2005 at 8:36 pm

This Theatre is beautiful on the inside! I always got to go to this Theatre for field trips. I always got so excited dressing up for it. I’ve seen many brilliant performances! I went once, not for a field trip, and I saw “Annie” and it was just so lovely!

teecee on May 19, 2005 at 1:37 pm

Restoration information & interior photo: