An Overview Of The Victoria Theatre In Dayton Ohio
The Victoria Theatre in Dayton Ohio is a historic landmark that is still used as a venue for live performances. This elegant site has seating to accommodate 120 people for banquets and over 1000 people for meetings.
For those who are lovers of the arts, The Victoria Theatre is the place for you to smile, cheer, think and laugh. Every year, the theatre and its association put on over 300 performances that people of all ages can enjoy.
History Of Victoria Theatre History
This theatre holds the record for being the longest and oldest continuously operating theatre on the entire North American continent. In 1866, the theatre was originally opened to the public under the name of the ‘Turner Opera House’. It opened on New Year’s Day of that year at a cost of around $225,000.
The venue’s first offering was a play entitled ‘Virginius’, written by James Sheridan Knowles. The main actor of the play was Edwin Forrest, and even at that time, the theatre was considered one of the best west of New York and Philadelphia. The best seats in the theatre were priced between $10 and $12, while general admission tickets were priced at $1.
Unfortunately, a suspect arson was thought to be the cause of the fire that destroyed the theatre in May of 1869. The financial loss of the theatre added up to a half of million dollars, but the insurance covered only $120,000 of the loss.
The theatre saw significant changes during the later part of the 1800s. In 1871, its edifice was reopened, and it was built on a part of the facade that remained after the fire. The only major difference was that the theatre was shortened to three feet, a loss of three feet from its once six foot standing.
During this time, the opera house operated under several names including ‘The Music Hall’ and it was renamed the ‘The Grand Opera House’ in 1885. After being renamed ‘The Victoria House’ in 1889, it was finally named ‘The Victoria Theatre’ in 1903 after Queen Victoria of England died. This name has remained to this day.
The theatre underwent major renovations in the 1970s. Gary Kuzin, the stage manager decided to overhaul many of the antiquated technical capabilities of the stage. The outdated hemp and sandbag fly galleys in the theatre were replaced with updated technical capabilities like electrical wiring.
Shows And Performances
World class performances and shows attract Dayton audiences all during the year. For example, during the month of December, there are several events and shows people in Dayton can enjoy.
1. The Wintergarden Wonderland lasts from November 24 to January 4. It is a free event that the entire family can enjoy. It includes:
The Tike’s Shoppe and Santa
2. One of the beloved and popular holiday traditions is ‘A Christmas Carol’. It runs for two nights in November, and tickets start at $30. Show times typically begin around 7:30 p.m., and it is produced by the touring company, The Nebraska Theatre Caravan.
3. There are other events held at the theatre during other times of the year such as:
The Frank M. Tait Discovery Series – curriculum based live theatre productions for children
The Cool Film Series – the showing of classic movies during the summer
Morris Family Series – for families with children ages 4 to 12
Venues Of Victoria Theatre
As previously mentioned, The Victoria Theatre is owned and is operated by The Victoria Theatre Association. There are other venues in Dayton that fall under the association’s umbrella including:
The Schuster Center
The Loft Theatre
The Schuster Center is home to the Dayton Ballet Productions, the Dayton Opera and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. This center is known as the cultural touchstone of the city, and is considered one of the best venues in Dayton for performance arts.
The Loft Theatre is a venue that has a stage that meets the audience for performances that are close and personal.
Do you want dinner and drinks to go with your show? Citilities is a full service bar and restaurant that features upscale American cuisine. Grab a table, order a drink and dinner and enjoy the evening with your friends.
The Victoria Theatre in Dayton Ohio is on a mission. It wants to enrich the lives of those in the community with artistic, educational and entertaining engagement.
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