Although times have surely changed, there are some things that haven’t — the basic façade of the now beloved Victoria Theatre and the powerful role the theatre has played in the life of this city. We celebrated 150 years in 2016! We’re also looking to the future and planning for how the Victoria Theatre will continue to make an impact on the lives of children and adults, introducing them to new performing arts experiences they might not otherwise have the opportunity to see.
Narrated by award-winning actor and Dayton native Martin Sheen, MAKING HISTORY: VICTORIA THEATRE 150 YEARS takes a whirlwind tour of the theatre’s storied past, hitting highlights along the way with the help of key community leaders and historians. It premiered at a special gathering at the Victoria Theatre on February 3, 2017 as the finale of the Victoria Theatre’s 150th anniversary year.
(Please note, MAKING HISTORY: VICTORIA THEATRE 150 YEARS DVDs are only available from the Carillon Park Museum Store. They are not available at Victoria Theatre or from Ticket Center Stage.)
The Victoria Theatre has been a part of the Dayton region and the lives of its citizens for more than 150 years. That’s a lot of stories, memories and special events. From childhood memories of being dropped off to stand in line to see the latest Disney animated movie to midnight movies as a young adult, from a first experience with Dayton Ballet to Young at Heart Family Series shows that sparked a love of the performing arts, from hot Broadway shows to cool music acts, from proposals to anniversary celebrations – the Victoria Theatre has been there and will continue to be at the heart of the quality of life in Dayton.
VTA sat down with key individuals from the early days of saving and restoring the Victory to the beautiful, well-maintained theatre we enjoy today. WATCH THE VIDEOS HERE and keep an eye on your social media feeds and ThinkTV for videos that celebrate the early days.Share Your Memories
A series of historic backstage tours were offered throughout 2016, giving patrons the chance to learn about the history of the building and also see backstage and behind the scenes.
Wright State University public history graduate student Shelby Dixon worked diligently to compile a complete timeline of key events in the life of the Victoria using the University’s Archives and Special Collections, along with the book Now Playing by Bruce and Virginia Ronald, and from Dayton History, Dayton History Books Online, Dayton Metro Libraries, and the University of Dayton Archives. A pictorial timeline celebrating key moments in the history of this building was installed on the mezzanine lobby level of the theatre in late February 2016.
The “Save the Victory” campaign back in the early ‘70s that kept the Victory from the wrecking ball, and the corner of First and Main from becoming another parking lot, was successful in part because young patrons teamed together to do something they didn’t know “couldn’t be done.”
We celebrated the Victoria Theatre’s 150th anniversary in May 2016 with Dayton’s current young professionals.
The “Save the Victory” campaign launched in 1975 kept the building from being razed and was successful because of community dedication and perseverance. Passionate volunteers held fundraisers, rang bells on corners, and initiated the first Annual Fund drive with donors recognized as Charter Members.Learn More
Music is back at Dayton’s oldest spot for music and theatre! Now known primarily for theatre, the Victoria Theatre hosted its share of concerts back in the day. From classical to rock ‘n’ roll, from jazz to bluegrass, the theatre at the corner of First and Main was known for some pretty sweet acoustics.
The Universal 1 Credit Union VIC150 Music series celebrates Dayton’s longtime passion for live music of all genres in the wonderful acoustics of the historic Victoria Theatre.Learn More