Project Updates

Updated: May 18

Please join us for an update on our progress Wednesday, March 31st – 11 am outside 134 Chestnut Street.  All are welcome. Plenty of room for social distancing.  Please wear a mask.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tick Tick Tick Boom: MIFA Victory Theatre Restoration plans move forward with demolition of 134 Chestnut St. property. HOLYOKE, MA –  March 24, 2021 — MIFA Victory Theatre and Curran Construction begin demolition of the buildings at 134 Chestnut St., Holyoke MA as Phase 1 of the much-anticipated Victory Restoration begins. MIFA Victory Theatre purchased the 134 Chestnut St. property directly adjacent to the theater’s north side in 2019 to replace it with a completely new 14,500 sq ft building, the Victory Theatre Annex. The Annex designed by DBVW Architects will house essential service, facilities management, technical, dressing room, office, and loading dock space unable to be accommodated in the theater’s historic footprint and needed to make the Victory a state of the art 21st-century theater.


“Demolition of 134 is a critical moment in the Victory’s progress. By taking down 134 Chestnut St. we open the possibilities to allow larger theatre companies to come to Holyoke. Everything great about our city will be reflected in the wonderfully restored Victory Theatre. We’ve even saved some beautiful doors from 134 and a fireplace mantel to be installed in the D’Amour Room of the Victory,” said Don Sanders, Executive Artistic Director.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Contact Emily at 413-540-0200 or info@mifafestival.org.

Actress and Holyoke native Ann Dowd remembers watching “Mary Poppins” at the Victory Theatre in Holyoke, Mass. –Globe Archives

“The first movie that I can remember seeing [in a movie theater] was ‘Mary Poppins’ [1964]. When it was over, I didn’t want to leave my seat, I wanted it to start again. There was a little girl crying and her father was holding her because she was so sad that Mary Poppins left at the end. The name of the theater was the Victory Theater in Holyoke, Mass.” — Ann Dowd, Emmy winner, Best Supporting Actress, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” upcoming “Rebecca” remake; born and raised in Holyoke” – ‘When it was over, I didn’t want to leave my seat’: 28 celebs share their first movie theater memories, by Tim Nasson, October 9, 2020, Boston.com

 Their two projects (International Tennis Hall of Fame and BankNewport) receiving 2020 Doris Duke Preservation Awards! DBVW’s outstanding historic preservation work is one of the many reasons we have chosen them to restore the iconic Victory Theatre.

More info here: https://t.e2ma.net/webview/zhvokd/afaf096cd9b54ddd493c14a3bfced4a3


Behind The Scenes – News and updates, February 2020

Masslive.com Michelle and Donald D’Amour, shown here at the Big Y corporate offices in Springfield ( Manon Mirabelli photo)


Catalyst Donor Pledge Fulfilled!

Donald D’Amour, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Springfield-based Big Y Foods, Inc., expresses his enthusiasm for the Victory Theatre project:

” As the Catalyst Donor for this project, I have committed significant personal resources to reopening the theater as a regional performing arts center because I believe in its transformative potential, both culturally and as a driver of economic development.” ….. Read More HERE

News From MIFA Victory Theatre, December 5, 2019

MIFA Victory Theatre is pleased to announce its acquisition of 134 Chestnut Street in downtown Holyoke, a key development in the Victory’s restoration and reopening. Funding for the 134 Chestnut acquisition was provided through the generosity of the Beveridge Family Foundation, Catalyst Donors Donald and Michele D’Amour and the Friends of MIFA Victory Theatre. The property, which adjoins the b

ack of the theater, was acquired on November 5, 2019…Read More HERE

Arts Beat – MIFA Victory Theatre, December 18, 2019, Westfield News, by Mark G. Auerbach

Music Video at the Victory!


Celebrated dancer and choreographer Sabi Varga, dances to The Well Pennies‘ instrumental piece The Starling off of the new album “Murmurations”. Sabi danced inside The Victory Theater in Holyoke Massachusetts, a theater that is currently being restored back to it’s former glory. The music video was directed and edited by Michael Vanderpool.

Listen to The Well Pennies on Spotify :https://open.spotify.com/album/5ZMd9j…

Sabi Varga

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMXl…

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/VargaImages-…

MIFA receives  $100,000.00 Community Preservation Act Grant

Victory Theatre Sconces


On March 13,2019, the Community Preservation Act Committee (CPAC) voted to recommend the award of the full requested amount of $100,000. This vote was subsequently approved by the City Council on April 2, 2019.  Read: CPA 2019 Award letter

MIFA applied for the restoration of 63 light fixtures that will be cleaned and restored to their original condition and reinstalled into the Victory.

See more on the Victory and other CPA projects on Holyoke’s Community Preservation Committee website here: www.holyokecpac.org/the-work/the-projects

News: MIFA-Victory Theater receives $100K grant contingent on full construction funding, strict timetable, April 3, 2019, masslive.com, by Dennis Hohenberger


News: Architectural plans approved for Holyoke’s Victory Theater,  Jan 24, 2:47 PM, By Dennis Hohenberger , holyokescene@gmail.com

MIFA Creative Cast Visit Other Historic Theaters

In September and October MIFA’s Creative Cast of architect, construction manager, theater consultants and experts payed visits to three extraordinary working theaters like the Victory to see how they’ve addressed preservation and construction issues to successfully house a variety of acts, shows and ambitious programming.

“The managements and staff of Broadway’s Schoenfeld (formerly Plymouth), Boston’s Emerson Colonial (under new 40 year lease to London’s Ambassador Theatre Group) and Providence’s PPAC we’re incredibly warm and welcoming and the visits absolutely eye-opening for our Victory plans.” – MIFA Victory Executive Artistic Director Don Sanders

Historic Tax Credits News Briefs – October 2018



Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits Volume 9 Issue 10



Friday, October 5, 2018




The Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts (MIFA) announced Aug. 15 that Gov. Charlie Baker signed the 2018 Economic Development Bond bill into law, which will provide the organization with $11 million for the renovation of the Victory Theatre in Holyoke. MIFA plans to restore and operate the 1,600-seat historic theater, built in 1920, which closed in 1979. The financing package includes state and federal historic tax credits (HTCs) and new markets tax credits. The state also previously awarded MIFA a $2 million bond-financing package. Renovations costs are expected to total $43 million, with a reopening target date of Dec. 20, 2020.  –  www.novoco.com

El Sol Latino | October 2018 |Published on Oct 2, 2018

Editorial: Victory Theatre restoration worth it, By THE EDITORIAL BOARD, Wednesday, September 26, 2018, Daily Hampshire Gazette

The Victory Theater in Holyoke seats 1600. The seats will be be refurbished as part of the renovation project which just received 13 million in bonds from the state on Monday, September 17, 2018.


Holyoke’s Victory Theatre renovation project gets $13M infusion of state funds By Luis Fieldman, Monday, September 17, 2018, Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Daily Hampshire Gazette—STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS


WWLP 22 News Coverage of the Victory Theatre Press Conference



Victory Theatre Press Conference September 17, 2018