The Victory Burlesque Theatre was located at 287 Spadina Ave (at Dundas St W on the northeast corner) in the Chinatown neighbourhood of Toronto.
The Standard & Strand Theatre
Originally built as the Standard Theatre in 1922, Toronto’s Jewish community developed the live Yiddish theatre venue. It’s debatable which architect designed the theatre, either Benjamin Brown or John Jeffrey. The three-storey, Art-Deco style building features buff brick, two pairs of brick piers with decorative cast stone capitals, flat-headed window openings, a dentiled cornice and a brick parapet.
Along with presenting Jewish theatrical productions with its own company of actors, the Standard Theatre also hosted New York City touring companies and was the backdrop for political meetings.
In 1935, the post-World War I era theatre became The Strand and changed names once again in 1941 to the Victory Theatre.
The Victory Burlesque Theatre
In 1961, the venue began showing live performances again, this time of the risqué variety. It was called the Victory Burlesque Theatre, and the opening act was Little Star, “the blazing gal from outer space.” Toronto Police morality squad kept a watchful eye on the theatre. It was quite the corner at the time. In the 1970s, similar Yonge St establishments attracted more of an audience, and in 1975, its curtains closed.
That same year, the venue was renovated and became a Golden Harvest Chinese-language theatre. It was in operation for about 20 years.
The Heritage Building Today
Throughout the years, retail shops and a bank have occupied various building parts, which received heritage status in 2007. Today, the building is home to Rexall Drugstore and retail shops.