RKO Proctor's Theatre

116 Market Street,
Newark, NJ 07102

Unfavorite 7 people favorited this theater

Showing 26 - 50 of 53 comments

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 18, 2007 at 6:35 pm

It does seem weird that Proctor’s has just been standing there for decades, waiting to collapse of negligence. Who owns it? If the City of Newark, I guess it has more urgent priorities.

sdoerr on July 18, 2007 at 5:54 pm

Amazing set of theaters in the building based on the photos posted above. Such a shame its just another decaying piece of our history.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 9, 2007 at 2:56 pm

Proctor’s was definitely operating in 1945, but by that time was known as RKO Proctor’s. But I would guess that the commercial premises that went with it were always called just the Proctor Theatre Building.

pepdot on July 9, 2007 at 11:41 am

..sorry – yes Market street is correct

My father was a postmaster onboard the USS New York in 1945 …. so thought the contact could have been while he was in the Navy

He would be 84 years old

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 8, 2007 at 9:03 pm

I would guess that the theatre was operating at the time. How old was your father when he died? You appparently typed the address incorrectly. The theatre was/is at 116 Market Street, not “Mark Street.”

pepdot on July 8, 2007 at 6:34 pm

I found among my fathers papers a business card

Beauty Shoppe
Complete Beauty Service
Permanent Wave Specialist
116 Mark Street Newark, N. J.
Proctor Theatre Buidling
Market 2-6890
on the back is a pencil note 3:00 Call Pete

would this have been during the time the theatre was active ?

kencmcintyre on March 19, 2007 at 7:55 pm

Here is a 1987 photo by Michael Putnam:

rdabrowski on September 19, 2006 at 1:49 am

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 on November 21, 2005 at 12:57 pm

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

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 19, 2005 at 12:37 pm

I’m not 100% sure, TC, but I think that the two postcards are not of this theatre but of the Park Place Theatre, which was Proctor’s first theatre in Newark. Aftter he built the Palace and its Roof Theatre, the Park Place became a cinema, first as the Bijou and then (and finally) as the Fox Terminal.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 26, 2005 at 12:40 pm

Here’s a 1940s view of the upstairs auditorium, by which time it had been re-decorated with an oriental motif, perhaps in emulation of the similar Japanese Garden in Manhattan:

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 1, 2005 at 8:48 pm

Here’s a 1986 image of the main auditorium. God only knows what it looks like in 2005:

RobertR on July 18, 2005 at 11:01 pm

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

teecee on July 6, 2005 at 11:18 am

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

teecee on March 23, 2005 at 4:21 pm

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

View link

gbogatko on February 3, 2005 at 1:19 am

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 on December 20, 2004 at 6:28 pm

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 on December 20, 2004 at 6:09 pm

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 on December 18, 2004 at 4:50 pm

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.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 18, 2004 at 4:46 pm

Proctor’s is not more than a five minute walk from Newark’s Penn Station. Market Street is one of the main drags. Let us know the condition of Proctor’s if you go. The Little was at 562 Broad Street, not far from Proctor’s. Broad & Market was once the busiest intersection of downtown Newark, and might still be.

Scholes188 on December 18, 2004 at 12:28 am

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

BobFurmanek on September 21, 2004 at 8:01 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!