Victoria Theatre (Dayton, Ohio)
The Victoria Theatre was originally opened as the Turner Opera House in early 1866 before a massive fire consumed it in 1869.
Two years later, in 1871, it was rebuilt again and the opera house went back to normal. But tragedy struck again in the major 1913 flood that destroyed Dayton along with the building. Again the theatre was rebuilt. But in 1918 a fire struck again. Turner Opera House was rebuilt again in 1919 but the name was changed to Victoria Theatre. For decades the theater thrived and was widely known all across Montgomery County, Ohio and Southwest Ohio. 
The theatre accommodates 1,154, with 635 seats in the orchestra, and 519 in the balcony. The stage proscenium measures 37'7" wide by 29'0" high by 39'3" deep. It was renovated in 1989. A full-sized orchestra pit lay just below the stage lip. Ten dressing rooms, accommodating up to 18 people, are off-stage left, in the basement and at stage level.
In 1967, Dayton's economy threatened Victoria Theatre's existence and it was put on for demolition. The public outcry for the theatre later gained the building a listing in the National Register of Historic Places and, thus, it escaped demolition. However, portions of the building were in very poor condition.
The theatre has a network of access tunnels stretching out beneath the city's streets for several blocks. It was said that, during Vaudeville times, the tunnels allowed circus animals to be unloaded from railroad cars blocks away from the theatre, and held underground until showtime. As late as 1979, much of the tunnel network was accessible to employees, although some sections were blocked off by city steam pipes. The stage also bore remnants of its original gas footlights.
Throughout the 1970s, the theatre was operated as "The Victoria Theatre". It staged legitimate theatrical shows, rock concerts and movies. The theatre was also home to the Dayton Ballet Company. A mainstay through the period was its screening of "Midnight Movies", offered by a local independent producer, on Friday and Saturday nights that drew a, largely, teen audience for films with counter-cultural themes.
During revitalization efforts in the late 1970s, stage manager, Gary Kuzkin, overhauled much of the stage's technical capabilities. Crews from the Stagehands Union (IATSE) local restored much of the theatre's ancient hemp-and-sandbag fly galley, replacing several hundred thousand of feet of rope—along with miles of electrical wiring.
In 1978, the theatre was greatly benefitted by the donation of a cache of equipment and stage draperies from National Cash Register's (NCR) auditorium, which had been slated for demolition. NCR also donated a historic five-rank pipe organ to the Victoria, which was renovated and installed by aficionados.
In 2003 the opening of the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center forced the theatre to give up the Dayton Opera and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. The new opening of the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center took sales and customers away from the theatre.
The Victoria Theatre performs many traveling broadway shows, concerts, and other theatrical productions such as The Phantom of the Opera. The most famous of the performance series done at the theatre is the Chase Broadway Series.
The Victoria Theatre Association is the company that owns and operates the Victoria Theatre and the Schuster Center. In addition to the Chase Broadway Series, Victoria Theatre Association also presents the Young at Heart Family Series, the Michelob Ultra Cool Films series, the Universal 1 Variety Series, Star Attractions, and the Physicians for Kids Discovery Series, which features curriculum-enhanced live theatre productions for school children. Victoria Theatre Association is also in alliance with the Dayton Opera Association.
- ↑ "Theatre Techical Information". http://www.victoriatheatre.com/victoria_home/pics/VICTORIArevised11.27.08.pdf. Retrieved 2009-06-18.
- ↑ "Theatre History". http://www.victoriatheatre.com/victoria_home/victoria_home.php. Retrieved 2009-06-18.
- ↑ "Theatre Tunnel Systems". http://www.victoriatheatre.com/victoria_home/victoria_home.php. Retrieved 2009-06-18.
- ↑ "History Theatrical Shows". http://www.victoriatheatre.com/victoria_home/victoria_home.php. Retrieved 2009-06-18.
- ↑ "Schuster Center affects ticket sales". http://www.victoriatheatre.com/victoria_home/victoria_home.php. Retrieved 2009-06-18.
- ↑ "Performance Series". http://www.victoriatheatre.com/victoria_home/victoria_home.php. Retrieved 2009-06-18.