Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Victory Theatre, Orange Grove...revisited

I wonder how many theatres have THIS type of sign?
I recently worked on an event at the old Victory Theatre in
Louis Botha Ave. Johannesburg

An interesting venue for many reasons.
When I first arrived in Johannesburg, back in 1975,
it was a movie house...
Past its heyday, it was slightly run down, but it had a soul...
It was then turned into a theater venue,
where wonderful productions graced the boards.
"Snoopy", more than one incarnation of
"The Rocky Horror Show" and
 "The Blues Brothers" amongst others...

Some of the original signage remains...
Exit signs are the bane of every lighting technicians existence...
You cannot create a full black-out while they are burning.

There is something "special" about sitting in an empty theatre.
Before the performers arrive to make magic.
Usually the lighting and audio crews are the first in.
On this particular day, for the first few hours it was only the lighting team and I

When I first came to Johannesburg
I was employed as a lighting technician and designer
by theatres that have long since been demolished.
Or turned into retail stores...

Some of the decor at the Victory defies description.
I have NO idea what "style" this is...

The views from the public areas could be anywhere in Africa.

Across the road is this "adult shop".
Ironic actually as the Victory was at one stage owned by the
South African publisher of Hustler magazine.
It is now owned by a church...
Porn and religion?
Strange bedfellows indeed!

One of the longest running productions was Meropa.
Perhaps this drum was used in the production.
At the moment it stands, forlornly in the foyer.

Madiba's photograph seems to be "featured"
in many buildings...why in THIS stairway. I have no idea.
The character of the Victory was destroyed long ago,
when the front door and foyer were removed.
Access id now via the carpark,
not really the grand entrance that used to be.

One of three bars that can be utilized.

Although the furniture is in good condition,
the same cannot be said for the actual building.
Have a look at the condition of the ceiling!

A rather eclectic collection of furniture styles.
These two chairs are placed as you exit the elevator,
or come in from the carpark.
Strange place for seating?

This was on the desk of the AV engineer.
He told me that he reads this when he is not busy...

Although NOT being used as a theatre,
the was a production of Chicago as recently as May 2015

Sign of the times?
The show that was being performed was run off generator power,
just in case there was "load-shedding".

The ultimate selfie...

The production that I was working on,
was a "one-off" event for a women's charity.
The "thorn-amongst-the-roses" was legendary performer,
Harry Sideropoulos...doing what he does best.
Belting it out!

Almost ready for an audience...

Curtain up...let the show begin.
Carly Graeme sets the tone for the evening...
And a GREAT time was had by all...

This posting is brought to you DESPITE
Eskom load-shedding...
Thank you to BP fuel and a home generator!


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