RKO Proctor's Theatre

116 Market Street,
Newark, NJ 07102

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Showing 26 - 40 of 40 comments

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 19, 2007 at 12:55 pm

Here is a 1987 photo by Michael Putnam:
http://tinyurl.com/2cuw93

rdabrowski
rdabrowski on September 18, 2006 at 5:49 pm

Warren, I have added substantially to John William Merrow’s biography at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_William_Merrow
He was my great-uncle. If it was you who put him up on wikipedia, thanks.

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on November 21, 2005 at 4:57 am

Warren is correct. Those postcards are not the RKO Proctor’s on Market Street.

teecee
teecee on November 19, 2005 at 3:48 am

Another old postcard:
View link

RobertR
RobertR on July 18, 2005 at 3:01 pm

Here is an ad from when RKO opened the Penthouse cinema upstairs
View link

teecee
teecee on July 6, 2005 at 3:18 am

One of Fred Astaire’s earliest performances was at this theater on
July 23-28 1907.

teecee
teecee on March 23, 2005 at 8:21 am

Small view of the RKO Proctor’s sign in this vintage postcard:

View link

gbogatko
gbogatko on February 2, 2005 at 5:19 pm

I have some very clear photos of the front and top, with a closeup of the carving at the top and the left-hand mask. When viewed from the side you can see that it definitely was a movie palace. It’s now a sneaker store. Down a bit on Market is the Newark Paramount. The marquee on that theater is still intact, but the lobby houses something else.

Frankly, it’s depressing to walk on Market street. There are so many buildings speaking of former glories that now are just junk.

rdabrowski
rdabrowski on December 20, 2004 at 10:28 am

The architect, John William Merrow, was F. F. Proctor’s nephew. He was born 15 Aug 1874 in New Hampton, New Hampshire, graduated from Dartmouth College in 1897 and attended the architectural course at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was employed by Proctor Theatrical Enterprises “supervising the building of numerous theatres in and out of the city, in addition to keeping all of the houses owned by Mr. Proctor up to modern requirements and standards” for about 18 years prior to his death 11 Apr 1927. From “New York Telegraph”, 12 Apr 1927.

rdabrowski
rdabrowski on December 20, 2004 at 10:09 am

Opened in 1905 as Proctor’s Palace Theatre and Proctor’s Palace Roof Theatre.

“Manager Proctor’s Newark venture has proved successful beyond expectation, and from the opening performance the theatre has been filled almost always to capacity. At one of the first performances the crowd was so great that when the doors were opened the inrushing people wrecked the ticket office and the picture frames in the lobby and caused General Manager J. Austin Fynes to issue orders that doors should be opened a half-hour earlier than had been deemed necessary.” From the New York “Mirror”.

“This playhouse is recognized everywhere as having the most fashionable clientele of any vaudeville theatre in America. Favored with a central location and a perfect auditorium, this playhouse holds a unique position on Mr. Proctor’s circuit.” From the souvenir pamphlet, “F. F. Proctor’s Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Jubilee, Celebrated at Poctor’s Fifth Avenue Threatre the Week of April Ninth, Nineteen Hundred and Six”

Scholes188
Scholes188 on December 18, 2004 at 8:50 am

I have seen it then. I remember looking at the building and it is clear to see that it housed a theater. I might try and get up there and take pictures of the building. The area is ripe for for redevelopment.

Scholes188
Scholes188 on December 17, 2004 at 4:28 pm

How far is this theater from Newark/Penn Station?
Also, does anyone have any information on The Little Theater located on Broad Street?

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on September 21, 2004 at 12:01 pm

Warren, it’s been a long time, but I’m pretty sure there was an elevator in the lobby.

When I saw it, the Penthouse was in really bad shape. There was extensive water damage, and this was 25 years ago!

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on August 31, 2004 at 9:34 am

This is a huge theater building, and we were able to do a walk through around 1978. They had many, many levels of dressing rooms, and the place was in bad shape. (Somebody said they had closed it in the late 60’s right after the Newark riots.) When we saw it, there was quite a bit of plaster damage from a leaky roof, and entire sections of the ceiling had collapsed onto the seats. Keep in mind this was nearly 25 years ago. I can only imagine what kind of condition it’s in now.

Up until the early 90’s, the building still had the original marquee, and a huge curved RKO vertical sign at the top of the facade. The vertical was removed and the marquee was covered over when they converted the long entry lobby into retail space.