New ‘Victory’ Theater Broadens Access To Arts On Sistrunk Boulevard

February 6, 2023
The new Victory Black Box Theatre, at the L.A. Lee YMCA / Mizell Community Center, is named in honor of the original Victory Theatre, which during segregation was the only theater where Black patrons were allowed in Fort Lauderdale.

The Victory Black Box Theatre, at the new L.A. Lee YMCA/Mizell Community Center, pays homage to an historic venue and creates new opportunities for the arts to enliven and engage our community.

When the original Victory Theatre opened in the 1940s, it was the only theater where Black patrons were allowed in Fort Lauderdale.

The 200-seat theater once featured the top films of the day and hosted concerts, dance marathons, talent shows, fashion shows and other community events.  During the era of segregation, the Victory Theatre and the nearby Windsor Club – where Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, B.B. King and other iconic performers once played – became the heart of the Black business district in Fort Lauderdale.

Incorporating a theater that would provide new opportunities for entertainment and community engagement was a key priority for the design of the new L.A. Lee YMCA/Mizell Community Center, which opened in 2022 on Sistrunk Boulevard.

Now, the new Victory Black Box Theatre hosts film screenings, performances, community discussions as well as a youth arts education program. For generations to come, this new venue will serve as a gathering spot that showcases the arts, fosters dialogue and enriches life our community.

The Community Foundation of Broward is proud to be one of the local partners supporting the new YMCA and community center. The Community Foundation’s $1 million grant to support completion of the YMCA and community center was made possible by the endowed Mary N. Porter Legacy Fund, created by philanthropist Mary Porter’s estate gift to the Community Foundation.

Because Mary partnered with the Community Foundation to carry on her philanthropy, grants from her endowed fund continue to support transformative, impactful opportunities – such as the new YMCA and community center – to make life better in Broward.

Learn more about all the Victory Black Box Theatre has to offer.

Contact us

To contact the Community Foundation, call 954-761-9503 or email

No items found.

More News

No items found.



Saving Scarlett
August 31, 2018
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please try again.