The Victoria Theatre is a national treasure that has taken on many roles over the years.

  • 1854: First Newcastle performance

  • c. 1857: First Victoria Theatre with basic timber and iron construction was built on Watt Street behind the Commercial Hotel by Mr J. Croft (Mayor of Newcastle and licensee of the Commercial Hotel)

  • 1859: Croft's Victoria Theatre was destroyed by fire 

  • 1861: The Courthouse, which stood on the site of the Post Office was used for theatrical performances

  • 1876: The new Victoria Theatre owned by Mr John Bennett of Sydney opens on 8-10 Perkins Street and was Newcastle's first purpose built theatre. It was built in 9 weeks with a timber structure and seated up to 1200 people

  • 1878: Messrs J. Wallace and John Creer buy the Victoria Theatre from John Bennett and sublet to Sam Howard

  • 1885: Victoria Theatre altered

  • 1886: First meeting of prominent locals to form a syndicate that becomes the Victoria Theatre Company

  • 1890: 2 new buildings commenced and built 'over' existing building and then the existing building was razed. 'First class' hotel on Perkins Street frontage with theatre auditorium in rear. Designed by architect James Henderson with a four storey brick and iron building with fly tower. Corinthian style facade; seats 2000

  • 1891: Victoria Theatre reopens after complete rebuild

  • 1906: Victoria Theatre reopens again after remodelling. Stage widened, proscenium walls raised, existing under stage dressing rooms removed, new and additional dressing rooms built into separate building, numerous fireproofing measures undertaken; 300 seats added

  • 1921: Victoria Theatre reopens to accommodate cinema after remodelling for this purpose, designed by architect Mr A.E. Scott. Under the management of Dix and Baker, Haymarket Theatres Ltd.

  • 1922: Sir Benjamin and John Fuller of Fuller's Theatres Pty Ltd (St James Sydney, Princess Theatre Melbourne) buy the Victoria Theatre

  • 1929: Advent of talkies, Victoria Theatre fitted with 'talking equipment' and becomes 'Victoria Talkies'

  • 1930-60: Film dominates program although there were significant live performances throughout this period

  • 1933: Fuller's merge into General Theatres and include Hoyts and Union Theatres

  • 1936: General Theatres dissolved, Victoria Theatre now part of Snider and Dean then Northern Amusements Corporation (Hoyts, Greater Union)

  • 1942: Hoyts takes control of the Victoria Theatre

  • 1951: Facade equipped with large vertical neon sign

  • 1954-44: Cinemascope installed

  • 1966: Closes as a movie theatre and place of entertainment

  • 1967: Opens as Eastham's Theatre Store - a retail fashion house

  • 1998: Another clothing company used the building and created an internal shell that has unintentionally served to protect some of the original features

  • 2015: The Victoria Theatre owned by Laundy Hotel Group is put up for auction; a local community group 'Revive the Vic' was founded and attracted 1000+ members all committed to preserving the Victoria Theatre

  • 2015: Century purchased the Victoria Theatre with the intention to restore it as a live working heritage theatre