RKO Proctor's Theatre

116 Market Street,
Newark, NJ 07102

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Showing 51 - 53 of 53 comments

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 18, 2004 at 6:46 pm

I came across a newspaper ad from 1961 showing the Penthouse booked with Ingmar Bergman’s “Secrets of Women.” I guess that downtown Newark was still a safe place to visit in those days and nights. I wonder how patrons accessed the Penthouse. Was there an elevator or did they have to walk up several flights of stairs?

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on August 31, 2004 at 5:34 pm

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.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 1, 2004 at 7:18 pm

The theatre first opened as Proctor’s Palace. When RKO took over in 1929, “Palace” was dropped in favor of RKO Proctor’s, with newspaper advertising as RKO Proctor’s Newark to signify the location. It was actually the second Proctor’s theatre in Newark, preceded in 1902 by Proctor’s Park Place. When F.F. Proctor built the Palace, he converted the Park Place into a cinema known as the Bijou Dream. He later sold it to William Fox, who re-named it the Terminal. In the late 1920s, Fox announced that he would replace the Terminal with a new super theatre seating 4,000 people, but that never happened due to his bankruptcy.