Several times in its history, this building has survived threats to its existence. The first theater which was built on this spot was in 1866, The Turner Opera House, a great place to go to enjoy culture and the arts. Three years after it opened, a devastating fire consumed the hall. Two years later, The Turner Opera House reopened triumphantly, offering high-class adventures for its theatre and opera patrons.
In 1913, the city of Dayton and The Turner Opera House were heavily damaged by a monster flood, but both recovered because of the determined citizens of the city.
In 1918, another fierce fire gutted the building. Yet, in the next year, the building was rebuilt and reopened as The Victory Theatre.
By 1967, the downtown area was suffering from urban decay, and the theatre was in deplorable condition. It was reduced to being a run-down movie theatre. Nothing much had been done to keep it up for 48 years. It was given a date with the wrecking ball, but was saved in the nick of time by a group of citizens, led by a feisty woman, Mrs. Kettering, who knew how to make things happen. They worked hard to get the theater named as a historic landmark, which gave this grand old theater a reprieve.
But Mrs. Kettering wasn't done yet. She became the driving force to get the city council to revitalize not only the historic downtown area in the 1970s, but the renovation of this grand old theatre as well. "Mrs. Kettering tied the $7 million Kettering family donation to the Victoria Theatre renovation and expansion in the 1980s, to the creation of a performing arts center in the block surrounding the theatre. Less than two weeks after Mrs. Kettering's death, the owner/operator of the Victoria unveiled the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center at Second and Main."
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS:
An actress, known as Vicky, disappeared without a trace from a dressing room at the theatre in the early 1900s.
A young woman, Lucille, was physically attacked in one of the theatre's private boxes.
A man committed suicide by impaling himself on a knife fastened to the back of a seat.
• Lucille — One account says she was murdered, while other versions say that she survived and lived a long life. Perhaps the trauma of her attack is keeping her in this world.
A feeling of anguish and terror is picked up by psychic people. One man who sat in this box was slapped hard by a female presence, leaving red marks on his face.
• An Unknown Male Entity — Took his own life.
The apparition of his face was seen on the curtains backstage.
• Vicky — The missing actress.
Her presence is felt in the Victoria theatre.
– People smell her rose perfume.
– The living hear her foot steps and the rustle of her petticoat as she crosses the stage area.
– On the third floor, patrons and staff have seen her apparition on both the ladies restroom and the reception room.