FIRST IT WAS A YIDDISH THEATRE, THEN THE VICTORY BURLESQUE, NOW A BANK & SOON A PHARMACY

This yellow brick building on Dundas Street West at Spadina Avenue opened its doors in 1922 as The Standard Theatre. Designed by architect Benjamin Brown, it was home to Yiddish comedy, original Jewish and translated plays, music, and left-wing politics. It went on to become The Strand, a movie house, and from there the Victory Burlesque. These days it’s a bank, and will soon be home to a 7,000 square-foot Rexall Pharmacy Plus.

In 1961, as the Victory, it was one of three burlesque theatres in town, but by the mid-sixties the other two had disappeared. Ryerson and University of Toronto students became its most loyal fans.

Occasionally The Victory doubled as a music venue. The New York Dolls, Kiss, Iggy Pop and Rush all played there. Once TORONTO’s educational television station did a live New Year’s Eve telecast from the theatre.

Now plans are for a pharmacy at street level, and hope is a community-based space of some kind will appear on the upper levels.

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