(The organ is no longer there.)
Description of the Victory
Theater in Evansville, Indiana, as a movie
"The architect was John Pridmore. Construction began in September of
1920. The grand opening of the theater was held the weekend of July 15
and 16, 1921. The theater was built in commemoration of World War I
(1914-1918) and is decorated throughout with patriotic motifs, such as
the eagle, a Roman symbol which represents victory.
The exterior of the building is very basic and in keeping with the
contemporary architectural movement of the 1920s. The only notable
element of the exterior is the eagle that topped the marquis, which was
filled with cascading and flashing lights.
The interior of the building is far more extravagant than the exterior.
Whereas the exterior is not that eye-catching, the interior has an
opulence similar to that of a restrained Baroque style. The auditorium
is 108 feet long by 91 feet wide and comfortably seats 2,500 people.
The stage is 68 feet wide and 82 feet deep. It is notably one of the
largest in the Midwest.
The most notable element of the theater is the proscenium arch which
frames the stage. Draping from the arch is a rich blue velvet curtain,
which creates a high contrast with the gold-leaf on the arch. The
decorative detailed elements of the arch include various fruits and
vegetables. The function of the proscenium arch is not only decorative,
but also key to the structural integrity of the building. Weighing
approximately 45 tons, it acts as a girder supporting the portion of
the buildings roof directly above the stage.
Two golden grills are used to disguise the organ pipes, on either side
of the proscenium arch. The $10,000 organ sits stage-right (audience
left). During the playing of the organ music the grills were used in
combination to produce strange lighting effects of different colors.
All of these lavish and extravagant structural and decorative elements
of the Victory Theater made movie going a favorite activity among the
residents of Evansville. Movie goers could enjoy an afternoon or
evening of entertainment and fantasy.
In the late 1990s, the city of Evansville planned to restore the
theater to its original glory. They succeeded in 1999. In its
restoration, the Victory's stage was widened, the organ was removed,
its balconies raised, and the color scheme of blue and gold was changed
to predominantly teal, maroon and gold; however, gold remains the most
-Description Source: http://cinematreasures.org/theater/232/
A link to an
about past organists and an orchestra at The Victory
Theater, courtesy of Terry Hughes's website: Movie Theaters Past:
Photo images above from after
renovation in the
Small image from Victory Theater website: http://www.smgevansville.com/victory/victory.html
Large image from: Kristin
on Picasa Web Albams
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