Proctor's Theatre

432 State Street,
Schenectady, NY 12305

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Proctor's Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This classic Thomas Lamb-designed theater opened December 27, 1926 with Bebe Daniels in “Stranded in Paris” on the screen plus vaudeville on stage. The Wurlitzer organ was opened by organist Stephen Boisclair. It operated as a vaudeville and movie house and was home to first run film for decades.

During the 1950’s and 1960’s, Proctor’s Theatre, like so many other theaters, fell victim to the movement out of downtown and its numbers dwindled into the 1970’s when it finally closed.

The Arts Center & Theatre of Schenectady (ACTS) was organized in 1977 and purchased the theatre from the city in 1979 and restored it and reopened as Proctor’s Theatre.

Today, still showing a variety of films, stage shows, and live performances, it is a shining example of the benefits of movie theater revival and re-use.

Contributed by Jeremy Bogan/R. Beck Associates

Recent comments (view all 34 comments)

justayankeefan
justayankeefan on September 24, 2007 at 10:15 pm

Yes. That is a rear entrance to the building. It connects to the same main hallway as the front entrance with the larger Marquee.

DonLewis
DonLewis on September 19, 2008 at 8:12 am

A 1996 view of Proctor’s Theatre in Schenectady and a close up view here.

nritota
nritota on December 21, 2008 at 8:43 pm

Beautiful house to see a film or stage show. I actually worked on one of the reconstruction projects in the 90’s, ripping up the original stage floor and replacing it.

I haven’t been in since the back of the house was renovated again, since I moved from the area two years ago.

One of the few success stories of theatre revitalization.

pkazee
pkazee on December 27, 2008 at 2:21 am

I am a Proctors House Manager. Proctors is now a thriving arts center spanning three buildings, containing 3 professional theatres, a small bar, a busy education center, 2 gift shops, an art gallery, a district heating plant, several commercial/community rental spaces, and more. There was a desire, of course, to fold everything under the umbrella of the F.F. Proctor name, but since only 1 of the 3 buildings had any association with Mr. Proctor, it seemed misleading/improper to attach the possessive form of the Proctor name to the new spaces. As such, a decision was made to drop the apostrophe and dub the complex PROCTORS, naming the individual theatre’s MAINSTAGE AT PROCTORS, GE THEATER AT PROCTORS and 440 UPSTAIRS AT PROCTORS. That said, the historic marquees were rightfully deemed sacred, and thus, any original apostrophes remain in place.

pkazee
pkazee on December 27, 2008 at 2:47 am

BTW, while live performances are what we do most of at Proctors, we do now have two movie screens. One on which we primarily project 2nd Run Hollywood fare in the 35mm format, and another on which we project all of the following:
70mm iWerks films (incl. 3D)
Foreign & Indy films, as well as European professional opera and ballet performances in the VC-1 digital format

clwcapman
clwcapman on July 19, 2011 at 8:07 pm

I was recently visiting there as part of the LHAT Conference and was very impressed! Schenectady you should be proud to have this great theatre alive in your town. Hopefully, the other houses will also come back. Also, there are some great people at historic theatre’s all around the nation keeping theatre’s alive.

ryan711
ryan711 on April 24, 2012 at 3:00 am

That 1943 pic was cool – am I the only one that often prefers that marquees that were added in the 40s/50s with their neon, etc.? I hope the Troy Proctor’s marquee remains the same one (albeit restored) when they finally restore that place.

TheALAN
TheALAN on October 17, 2014 at 2:10 pm

This theater opened as Proctors Theatre on December 27, 1925. It closed in the 1970’s. In 1979, the Arts Center & Theare of Schenectady (ACTS) aquired the theatre from the city. On October 4, 1979, Proctors was named to the National Register of Historic Places, (F.F. Proctor Theatre & Arcade #79003237). In 1983 the theater received new carpeting throughout and replicas of the original house curtain and 1926 marquee. Goldie, the mighty Wurlitzer organ, and a hydraulic lift for the organ and orchestra pit floor were installed. In 1984, Proctors Theatre became part of the League of Historic American Theatres (LHAT). After a $30 million renovation and expansion, it reopened as Proctor’s Theatre, (aka: The Mainstage) in 2007. The renovation project won the 2008 Excellence in Historic Preservation award from the Preservation League of New York State and was named as Outstanding Theatre in 2009 by the League of Historic American Theatres (LHAT). The complex now includes the 436-seat GE Theatre, (430 State Street) and the 100-seat Upstairs Theatre, (440 State Street). It’s a shining example of revival and re-use!

TheALAN
TheALAN on October 17, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Ref: Warren G. Harris on July 25, 2007 at 1:16 pm —– Sorry Warren, Proctor and Proctor’s are both correct! The theater was called Proctor Theater when it opened in 1926. The theater closed in the 1970’s and reopened in 1979 as Proctor’s.

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