Momentum Gaining to Save the Victoria Theatre

The Haarlem Victoria Restoration Group (HVRG), is sponsoring a petition signing campaign to save the Victoria Theatre located at 233-237 West 125th in Harlem, few doors from the Apollo. Tables will be set in front of the theatre between 3:00 and 7:00 pm on Friday, April 22nd.

New York, NY (PRWEB) April 21, 2005 -- HVRG is bringing to the public’s attention the fact that some of the responders to the State issued Request For Proposal (RFP) for the Victoria Theatre site have proposed to eliminate the theatre. Council members Margarita Lopez and Miguel Martinez have offered their support to bring the Haarlem Victoria Restoration Group’s efforts to a successful conclusion. Gloria Chin of Channel 11 will provide media coverage for the day.

The impetus for the petition is the apparent disregard for the Harlem community shown by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC). When ESDC along with the Harlem Community Development Corporation (HCDC) first placed the RFP for the state-owned Victoria, it was touted as a project for the community. It has been everything but!

First, a short list of developers was arbitrarily chosen. Second, the developers that followed the posted RFP were misled as ESDC ignored the stated terms of their own proposal. Further, the Empire State Development Corporation did not consult with the Harlem Community Development Corporation before devising their short list of developers. To top off this lack of respect for the Harlem community, no member of Community Board 10 was contacted for comments or suggestions, nor was any other elected officials brought into the loop. The way things stand now, it appears as if a pre-chosen developer will reap a tremendous profit to the detriment of the Harlem community.

Thus the vigor behind HVRG’s quest to save the Victoria theatre continues to gain momentum, evidenced by the numerous offers of help. Letters of support have come in from the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Vy Higginson’s, “Mama Foundation for the Arts”, NY City Landmarks Conservancy, a variety of other arts organizations and Jazz “Hall-of-Famers”. Support, too, has been garnered from the Council of Baptist Churches as well as other denominations, i.e., Methodists, Catholics, etc., many community activists groups, nonprofits organizations and businesses in the area. HVRG has recently obtained the support of the League of Historic American Theatres. Ms. Kennedy Smith, Executive Director, worked with the National Trust for 13 years and their research has proven that land marked theatres bring economic development to communities.

HVRG, which also had submitted an RFP for the Victoria Theatre project, but was not one of the final seven, recently appeared on the Gil Noble show “Like It Is” along with State Assemblyman Wright to publicize the development of the Victoria Theatre in Harlem!
The Haarlem Victoria Restoration Group is striving to keep the Victoria theatre as a theatre in Harlem. Additional information is available on our website; our email address is e-mail protected from spam bots and our telephone number is (212) 749-7299.

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