In 2009 MIFA acquired the Victory Theatre located at 81-89 Suffolk Street Holyoke, Massachusetts. The Victory, a 1,600-seat Broadway-style theatre opened in 1920 and has been derelict since 1979. MIFA is restoring the iconic theater and it will be returned to its role as a major live theatre for the City of Holyoke, its surrounding communities and the Connecticut River Valley from Long Island Sound to the Canadian border.
The Victory is being restored through a financing package which includes private, individual, corporate, and foundation donations, public grants, and State and Federal Historic Tax Credits and New Market Tax Credits.
Holyoke once had seven theaters. The last one still standing is the Victory Theatre on the corner of Suffolk and Chestnut streets, built by the Goldstein Brothers Amusement Company in 1920. The Victory was opened originally for theatrical productions. A projection booth was added a few years later. The Goldstein brothers, Nathan and Samuel, were responsible for many of the largest and most magnificent theaters in Western Massachusetts. The Victory was considered the flagship of the company. The brothers wanted the best for their home city of Holyoke.
“The best” included sweeping stairways of Vermont marble leading up to an immense, double-tiered balcony, rare Brazilian mahogany paneling that lines the walls, and windows on the second floor made of Tiffany glass. Silk paneling on the walls was likely made at the Skinner silk factory in Holyoke. On either side of the stage are murals by Work Progress Administration (WPA) muralist Vincent Maragliotti. They represent different aspects of the theme “Victory” and are currently being preserved through a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservations.
Much of the painted detailing throughout the theatre is Art Deco. Especially magnificent is the ceiling of the oval room beneath the balcony, but there are flashes of classical style as well. The curved wall behind the black marble drinking fountain has original 24-carat gold glass mosaic, and gold highlights the robust proscenium that frames the stage.