The Victoria Theatre

  Originally called the Turner Opera House when it opened in 1866, the theatre became the Victoria in 1899 and then the Victory Theatre after WWI.


1866 - Opened Jan. 1, 1866 as the Turner Opera House
1869 -- Fire consumes the hall, leaving only the facade standing. Rebuiding takes two years.
1871-1911 -- Stars such as Edwin Forrest, Lillie Langtry, Sarah Bernhardt and Mark Twain perform there.
1899 -- The facility is renamed the Victoria Theatre
1913 -- Flood damages theater; it's quickly rebuilt
1918 -- Another fire ravages theater, causing it to remained closed until the end of World War I.
1919 -- Re-opens as the Victory Theatre.
1967 -- the last live stage show, This Was Burlesque, plays the Victory.
1972 -- Victory Theatre, marked for demolition, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
1976 -- Victory Theatre Association is incorporated, and volunteers begin to restore the theatre.
1977 -- The Dayton Ballet Company makes the Victory its home.
1978 -- Victory Theatre Association purchases the building.
1988 -- Arts Center Foundation aquires the theater, begins an extensive renovation project with $7 million donation from Virginia Kettering.

Cost of the renovation: Two figures are commonly cited for the cost of the 1988-90 renovation project -- $14.5 million and $17.5 million. According to a 1-7-90 Ben Kline article, the construction cost was $13 million, plus $1.5 million in architect fees. However, the Arts Center Foundation also counted about $1 million in interest on construction loans and a $2 million endowment fund to assure future maintenance and operations.

1990 -- The theatre reopens as the Victoria.

DDN 8-17-86 -- "Virginia Kettering a protector of Victory"
DDN 1-7-90 -- "Yesterday's Victory now gleaming for reopening"
DDN 9-29-95 Infoplus page