Erie Theatre

277 State Street,
Schenectady, NY 12305

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 31, 2014 at 11:17 am

This web page about F. F. Proctor says that he opened the very first Proctor’s Theatre in Schenectady in April, 1912. This article from the September 18, 1994, issue of The Sunday Gazette gives the exact opening date as April 8.

The article describes the Proctor as having originally had its entrance on the towpath of the Erie Canal, which was soon to be filled in and rebuilt as Erie Boulevard. The theater entrance was later moved into the arcade that opened from the corner of Erie Boulevard and State Street. Originally called Proctor’s Arcade, it was renamed the State Arcade when the second Proctor’s Arcade was built, which was three years after the State Theatre joined the original Proctor’s in the original arcade. To the right of the article here’s a photo of the arcade entrance with the name Proctor’s Theatre on its marquee.

The section of This web page headed “The Grog Shop At The Crossroads of History” has a couple of photos from around 1950 that show what must have been the old entrance to Proctor’s Theatre, but with a marquee for the Erie, which means the original entrance on Erie Boulevard must have been reopened at some point, though the Gazette article doesn’t mention that. The Erie marquee can be seen just past the Wedgewood Building, which is still standing and in which the Grog Shop is located.

The July 28, 1932, issue of The Film Daily had this news about the Erie Theatre:

“William M. Shirley, president and general manager of the Farrash Theaters Corp., of Schenectady, yesterday, said that the Erie, in Schenectady, destroyed by fire May 19, will be rebuilt and re-opened Oct. 1. The house will seat 1,300 and have RCA sound. Guy A. Graves will manage the theater. The State, another Farrash house, closed since July 4, will re-open Labor Day.”
Later that year, the Farrash Theatre Company entered a deal with the RKO circuit in which RKO would take over management of the four Farrash houses in Schenectady; The State, the Strand, the Erie, and the Van Curler. RKO already operated the Plaza Theatre and Proctor’s Theatre. I haven’t discovered how long RKO remained in control of the four Farrash houses.

gd14lawn on November 2, 2013 at 1:01 am

This has the same address as the former State Theatre.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 28, 2007 at 6:46 am

This is listed in the 1914-1915 edition of American Motion Picture Directory as Proctor’s Theatre, State Street, Schenectady, NY.

The 1941 Film Daily Yearbook has it listed as the Erie Theater, 1,104 seats and the same in the 1943 edition, but listed as ‘Closed’. The 1950 edition of F.D.Y. gives the Erie Theater an address;277 State Street with a seating capacity of 1,172.

joemasher on March 28, 2007 at 3:55 am

I forgot to add that the Erie/Wedgeway was located behind the State’s stagehouse on Erie Boulevard, not State St.

joemasher on March 28, 2007 at 3:54 am

The Erie was the original Proctor’s. The ‘new’ Proctor’s, around the corner on State St. replaced it in 1926. At that time, it became the Erie, and was later named the Wedgeway. It was adjacent to the State, but not attached to it.