The Victoria Theatre, 48-56 Victoria Road, Devonport, New Zealand

Built in 1912, the Victoria is one of the earliest surviving purpose-built cinemas still in operation. The theatre constructed by American John Leon Benwell who operated it for the first two years. He returned to the States after selling the Victoria in 1914.



From back of postcard:

“Am sending you a picture of Benwell’s Model Picture Palace–finest in N. Z. (according to the mayor). Wish you could see inside. We opened a month ago & are living back & was the 1st shop. Lovely views of the bay from the veranda.-Mary”

No postdate but stamped across the back at the top:  “Exhibition opens Auckland Dec. 1913”

The card sent to B.A. Barnard in Muscatine, Iowa.


Opening day October 26, 1912:

Opening Day October 26, 1912 (Medium)
Photograph courtesy of  Lynn Smart, Secretary, Victoria Theatre Trust, all rights  reserved

Postcard part of the Theatre Talks Collection, please ask permission to copy and/or use. At least give credit to source.

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, chosen 2010 Best Book of the Year by the Theatre Historical Society.

He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2014, historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.



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