Progress on Victoria Theatre + Marriott Hotel + The Apollo Theater Expansion ~ 125th Street in Harlem




Loew’s Victoria Theatre, 233 West 125th Street. Image via

Designed by architect Thomas W. Lamb, the structure was said to be one of the largest, and most beautiful theaters in the New York area.  Built in 1917 at a cost of $250,000, it had a seating capacity of over 2,400 and it is located on the same block as the historic Apollo Theater.

The Victoria Theatre will be the new home for The Classical Theater of Harlem, Apollo Theater Foundation, Harlem Arts Alliance and two community performance spaces, along with The Harlem Renaissance Hotel by Marriott, and rental apartments. We have no completion date.

Check out images of what to expect in the hotel lobby, bar and rooms.

Image December 11, 2019

The theatre, which has been empty since 1989, is scheduled for a redevelopment. The plan will include preserving its historic facade, lobby, marquis and signage and transform the space into 385,000 square feet of mixed use space which will include 191 mixed-income residential rental units, half of which will be affordable – and a 210 room, full-service hotel. The project, located at 233 West 125th Street, will soar to 26 stories.

September 14, 2018

As part of the project, The Apollo Theater will create the Apollo Performing Arts Center, two new theaters within the Victoria Theater. The theaters will be the first physical expansion of the Apollo in its nearly 85-year history. Scheduled to open in fall 2020, the two new theaters at the Victoria space will allow the nonprofit Apollo Theater, which will operate the spaces, to increase the number of programming, educational, and community programs it offers. They will also house the Classical Theatre of Harlem, and Harlem Arts Alliance,  the cultural partners designated by Empire State Development, enhancing Apollo’s advocacy for African-American, African-diasporic, and Harlem-based artists and culture. In conjunction with the initiative, the Apollo will develop a theater rental subsidy program for nonprofits, with details to be announced. The Victoria Theater’s revitalization into a creative and community resource expands on the Apollo’s mission to work with and support a greater number of emerging and established artists of color across disciplines, and serve as an artistic, educational, and community resource.

Image via apollo

Apollo’s 25,000-square foot facility, designed by Kostow Greenwood Architects, will be located on the third and fourth floors of the building. The expanded venue will allow the The Apollo Theater to serve the needs of its artists, artistic partners, staff, audiences, the community, and tourists who travel to Harlem every year. Upcoming programs include an Artist-In-Residence, with support from the Ford Foundation; a Salon Series; and The Apollo Theater Academy, developing the next generation of leaders in performing arts, entertainment and media.

“When we learned that the Victoria Theater was going to be redeveloped, we knew we wanted to be a part of a project to help protect the spirit and heritage that makes Harlem an integral part of New York City, the nation and the world. As a nonprofit organization, we continually evaluate what the Apollo offers our diverse community—whether that’s a student intern learning what it takes to stage a show, a Harlem neighbor coming to see a Motown legend, a tourist visiting Amateur Night at the Apollo, or an artist with whom we are collaborating to create new work.” written by Jonelle Procope, President & CEO Apollo Theater in an email.

Follow the Apollo Theater/Victoria Theatre progress Here.

GothamToGo will be following the Victoria Theatre project from the ground-breaking until the doors open. Below is a chronological update.

Rendering image via

A groundbreaking ceremony took place in April, 2017, hosted by the Lam Group, Exact Capital, and Danforth Development. funders for the project include the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, Goldman Sachs, and other sources.

August 30, 2017

Steve Williams, Danforth; Henry Jarecki, falconwood, john & keith Lamb & Tony Detre, falconwood (L-R)

The site will extend from 125th Street to 126th Street. We stopped by on August 30th (2017) to check on its progress. Images below were taken from West 126th Street, behind the existing Victoria Theatre. The project will cost approximately $178 million, with an anticipated completion date in 2020.

Photo taken August 30, 2017

The architect of record is Aufgang Architects ~ who was also the architect of record for The Corn Exchange Bank Building further East on 125th Street.

Photo taken August 30, 2017


September 14, 2018

View from 126th Street, south west. Image taken on September 14, 2018

Above and below ~ images taken on West 126th Street

View on 126th Street, south side of street, looking east. September 14, 2018
Close-up of work going on at Victoria Theatre renovation. September 14, 2018

Images below taken on West 125th Street.

Wide view of construction above Victoria Theatre on West 125th Street. September 14, 2018
West 125th Street with a view facing north west. September 14, 2018
Close-up of Victoria Theatre renovation from West 125th Street. September 14, 2018
Victoria Theatre, West 125th Street. September 14, 2018


Close-up from West 125th Street. September 14, 2018

Gifts and grants from a variety of public and private funders helped to make the theaters at the Victoria possible, including Booth Ferris Foundation, Empire State Development, the Harlem Community Development Corporation, The New York Community Trust – LuEsther T. Mertz Advised Fund, and the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone. Read more about the project on Broadway World.

We can’t close this post without an image of 125th Street, looking west from Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd.  This streetscape will change as the renovated Victoria Theatre begins to rise, and the Renaissance Hotel and Victoria Tower take shape.

Streetscape on 125th Street from Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd looking west. September 14, 2018 (the historic Alhambra Ballroom to the right of Citibank on Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd, corner of 126th Street.
December 5 2018, Victoria Theater rising on the left ~ and Alhambra Ballroom (on the right) now home to a supermarket on the ground floor
The Victoria Theatre project rises, and supermarket opens in the historic Alhambra Ballroom. January 16, 2019
April 23, 2019 Picture taken from Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd, looking West
Image taken from Frederick Douglass Blvd, looking East, May 3, 2019
As of July 7, 2019 – taken from 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd.
July 25, 2019. Photo credit: Connie Lee, President, Marcus Garvey Park Alliance and Director, Public Art Initiative, taken from the State Office Building on the corner of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr Blvd and 125th Street
View looking up from in front of Jimmy Jazz, August 3, 2019
Here’s a different perspective. A view from Madison Avenue ~ construction center and State Office Building on right, April 17, 2019. (Yes, that is a bird in its nest high in a tree in Marcus Garvey Park.
What a difference a Season makes. With the greenery from the trees now gone, progress on Victoria Theatre project in full view ~ image taken December 11, 2019

Lee & Associates and Aufgang Architects updated their website with the renderings below, June 2019. AJC posted updated renderings of the interior space 2020.

Don’t get lost. Get a Map of Harlem!

While you’re here, take a look at East 125th Street, a work in progress.