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New Victory Theater in Times Square Wins Energy Award from EPA Administrator Christie Whitman

Release Date: 04/10/2003
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EPA Administrator Christie Whitman presents ENERGY STAR award to Benno van Noort, facility manager of The New Victory Theater. (#03032) New York, N.Y. -- Before an audience of 400 New York City high school students, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Christie Whitman today presented an award to The New Victory Theater in Times Square for making environmental improvements to its facility that will prevent 104,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide from entering the environment every year. The New Victory, an ornate, historic 42nd Street venue catering to young audiences, is the first theater in the country to receive an ENERGY STAR award from EPA.

"Through the work of a dedicated group of individuals at the New 42nd Street project 42nd street and this theater have been revitalized and restored," said Administrator Whitman. "As a result, families and students have the opportunity to once again experience a wide range of cultural and artistic performances in a building whose history spans over 100 years. As the oldest active theater in New York, it is fitting that the New Victory is also setting an important example proving that theaters can be entertaining, energy efficient, and environmentally friendly all at the same time."

Joining Administrator Whitman at today's event were: Jane Kenny, EPA Regional Administrator; Cora Cahan, President of The New 42nd Street; Marian Heiskell, Chairman of The New 42nd Street Board of Directors; Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Business Improvement District; and Benno van Noort, Facility Manager of The New Victory Theater.

"As President of The New 42nd Street, the nonprofit organization that operates The New Victory Theater, I am proud of the diligent work our entire staff has done to make The New Victory Theater energy efficient," said Cora Cahan. "As New York's premier theater for kids and families, we have set the highest standards for both the artists we present on our stage as well as for the facilities we work in. Since it first opened in 1900, this theater has been a catalyst for change on 42nd Street, and it is our hope that other theaters will follow The New Victory's example and strive to make their facilities energy efficient and environmentally sound."

Under the direction of facility manager Benno van Noort, The New Victory made a number of infrastructure improvements to its 103-year-old facility that save electricity, water and money. The theater:

replaced regular incandescent bulbs with energy-saving compact flourescent lights and other lower wattage lamps; installed motion sensors were installed where appropriate, so lights turn off automatically when no one is nearby; tuned-up its large heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems to work more efficiently, and installed programmable thermostats; is installing a new steam heating system on the stage to replace an old, less-efficient electric system; added new insulation to the building to reduce heating and air-conditioning leaks; replaced older water fixtures and appliances with water-saving new showerheads, faucets, and ENERGY STAR labeled dishwashers and refrigerators; and painted its roof silver to reflect the sun's hot rays.

"My hope is that the New Victory Theater's innovation will set the pace for other theaters in New York and nationwide," said Regional Administrator Kenny.

ENERGY STAR is an EPA and U.S. Department of Energy-backed program that helps businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR's small business awards recognize companies and organizations that have made outstanding efforts to change the way they do business to protect the environment. The New Victory Theater is one of only 17 winners from around the country in the most recent round of ENERGY STAR small business awards.