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The New Marquee

Photo Credit Paul D. Van Hoy II Photo 1 Website
Photo Credit: Paul D. Van Hoy II
The new Victory Theatre marquee was completed and installed! A special lighting ceremony
was held on the night of August 11th, 2023. The Lighting ceremony began at dusk  with a number
of special guests, sponsors, and concert goers. Rumours: A Fleetwood
Mac tribute performed on the Victory Theatre stage following the lighting of the new
marquee. All Show attendees had access to a viewing area outside the theatre.

The project of replicating the original marquee and restoring this piece of history that once
lit up Main Street has been in process for decades. The Friends of Victory is a not for
profit 501© arts organization dedicated to preserve, restore, and maintain the historical and
architectural beauty of the Victory Theatre as well as provide tools to enhance the quality of artistic,
cultural, and social experiences afforded there.

On July 16, 1921, the Victory Theatre opened its doors at noon for 1:00 PM showing of
“Wedding Bells” with Constance Talmadge, then a short comedy followed by four vaudeville
acts. It is reported to have had 20,000 people pass through its doors on opening weekend.
There were six silent movie palaces in the US at that moment which cost as much or were
as ornate. It was the first air-conditioned building in the city and it’s still cool inside on a July day.
Even though the grand theatre hosted many celebrated shows, the Victory really put Evansville on
the entertainment map. Five years after the Victory Theater's opening, it was leased to the Loew's
Incorporated movie chain, distributor for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) studios and became the Loew's
Victory. In 1928 the Loew's Victory showed Evansville's first "talking picture," Tenderloin. The theater
remained the Loew's Victory until 1971 when it was sold to Paul Stieler and Joe Koewler. Eventually,
Joe Koewler became the sole owner. During this period of its history, the balcony was split to hold
two screens. The Victory remained a movie house until 1979. It later served time as a teenage nightclub.
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 blue, maroon and gold; however, gold remains
the most prominent color. It is still as beautiful as it was the day it opened.