Proctor's Theatre

432 State Street,
Schenectady, NY 12305

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Showing 1 - 25 of 51 comments

ryan711 on April 24, 2012 at 8:00 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.

clwcapman on July 20, 2011 at 1:07 am

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.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 14, 2009 at 10:42 pm

Here is a close-up view at night.

pkazee on December 27, 2008 at 7:47 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

pkazee on December 27, 2008 at 7:21 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.

nritota on December 22, 2008 at 1:43 am

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.

DonLewis on September 19, 2008 at 1:12 pm

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

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 3, 2008 at 5:33 pm

In May, 1943, the weekly CBS radio program “Vox Pop” did a remote broadcast from Proctor’s stage. In this exterior photo, posters above the entrance show “They Got Me Covered” (Bob Hope-Dorothy Lamour) as one of the screen attractions. I can’t make out the title of the companion feature:

justayankeefan on September 25, 2007 at 3:15 am

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

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 25, 2007 at 2:59 am

This is a recent photo of the rear of Proctor’s Theater. Is this also used as an entrance to the theater?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 25, 2007 at 9:16 pm

It’s Proctor’s with an apostrophe, not “Proctors.” F.F. Proctor was one of the moguls of the vaudeville industry before selling his circuit of theatres to Keith-Albee. If you examine the photo linked today by “Lost Memory,” you’ll notice that the name is spelled correctly on the marquee.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 25, 2007 at 6:25 pm

Here is another recent photo of Proctors Theater.

justayankeefan on March 28, 2007 at 8:01 pm

That is for the current Proctors that belongs to this page. WMHT has a documentary called “Matinee Memories” and that same photograph was featured in it. According to the documentary, there was a previous theater called ‘Proctor’s’ that used to sit on the same plot as the current Proctor’s. The building adjacent to the construction is also the same as the one that is there now.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 28, 2007 at 4:24 pm

This website has a photo of a Proctors Theater under construction in Schenectady. Is the photo the Proctors Theater on this page or could it be the Erie Theater?

mp775 on March 19, 2007 at 6:08 pm

This theater is featured on the cover of this month’s Bus Ride magazine, as part of an article on Wade Tours.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 7, 2007 at 1:06 pm

This is a recent color photo of Proctors Theater.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 1, 2007 at 11:25 pm

Here is a recent b/w photo for comparison.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 25, 2007 at 1:54 pm

This photo shows the Proctors Theater in the 70’s.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on December 23, 2006 at 11:28 pm

Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979

Proctor, F. F., Theatre and Arcade (added 1979 – Building – #79003237)
432 State St., Schenectady
Historic Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering
Architect, builder, or engineer: Lamb,Thomas W.
Architectural Style: Other
Area of Significance: Architecture, Communications, Performing Arts
Period of Significance: 1925-1949
Owner: Private
Historic Function: Recreation And Culture
Historic Sub-function: Theater
Current Function: Recreation And Culture
Current Sub-function: Theater

mpetersen on August 22, 2006 at 2:40 am

I started running movies at Proctor’s and picking up some stage work-calls in March of ‘89, and became a full-time employee in October of '93, so I had no opportunity to meet Gwaterman. But I have been a part of nearly every presentation in the past 13 years, as a projectionist, spot-light operator, stagehand and most recently, flyman.
I was fortunate enough to be “farmed-out” to work with PDO, the rigging company which installed the new fly-rail and automated fire curtain, so I got a real close-up perspective on our reconstruction, from the trap-room up to the 72-foot grid height, personally installing every loft-block, guide-bar and steel cable in the system. Then we brought in “Phantom of the Opera” for a month-long run, and what an undertaking THAT was.

I can safely say that we’re a WHOLE lot nicer place to work, and perform in, now. It’s bigger, cleaner, safer, much more modern and well-equipped. A fascinating and detailed article about the expansion is available at this link:


We continued to show sub-run movies this summer, such as “Thank You For Smoking”, “The Lake House”, and “X-Men III: The Last Stand”, with live organ music on Mondays and some Tuesday nights before the movie, and we also offer guided tours of the auditorium and backstage area (check our website <> for details and schedule). The audience chamber remains largely unchanged in appearance, but technical upgrades have been emplaced to enhance the patron’s enjoyment.
Our stage season resumes in late September with an amazingly varied line-up of performances, so everyone should come see what’s new, what remains and what is yet to come!

justayankeefan on July 25, 2006 at 5:35 pm

I went to go see Pride and Prejudice here last night. It was the first time I had been to Proctor’s for a movie since October (I think). They installed a new sound system for movies. The left and right channels hang from the ceiling in front of the proscenium at the center channel hangs from the ceiling above the screen. This new system drastically reduces the echo in the balcony, making it possible to understand the movie from upstairs. I was also impressed that the organ is being played again. I’ve been informed that they have been playing the organ before several of the movies this summer.

danio on May 27, 2006 at 2:09 pm

I’ve only lived in Schenectady for a year and a half and I adore Proctor’s. The expansion/renovation is ongoing, but I saw the touring company of The Phantom of the Opera in February and it felt like Broadway.

I hope they continue to show films as well. I really enjoy going to such a beautiful place to see a film, even if it is a second run.

GWaterman on December 27, 2005 at 1:14 am

I believe a proctor is an academic official, for Paulb, who wondered what a proctor was. Although, of course, it was the gentleman’s name.

I played the Proctors Theatre during the ‘80’s. mpetersen, perhaps you worked on my show, I don’t know. All I know it that at that time it was rather a miserable place to play. I hope the renovations make it a nicer place to work, while still preserving the historical value.