RKO Proctor's Theatre

6 Gramatan Avenue,
Mount Vernon, NY 10550

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Babe Ruth Card at Proctors

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Proctor’s Theatre first opened on November 24th, 1913, with two-a-day vaudeville. Architect Arland Johnson also designed Proctor’s Theatre in Troy, NY, which opened the following year. Proctor’s Mount Vernon was part of a five-story office building which also had stores on the street level.

By the 1920’s, Proctor’s Theatre had added movies to the programs. Vaudeville was dropped when all of the Proctor’s theatres became part of the RKO circuit at the start of the “talkies” era. For many years, RKO Proctor’s Mount Vernon was one of the chain’s four theatres in Westchester County, along with those in New Rochelle, Yonkers, and White Plains.

The Mount Vernon theatre was the first to close, in the 1950’s. Information about its existence after that would be appreciated.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 21, 2008 at 10:57 am

Prior to this one built in 1913, there must have been a prior Proctor’s Mount Vernon, according to this item from the March 7, 1909 issue of The New York Times: “The Keith & Proctor interests have acquired control of the Mount Vernon Theatre on Fourth Avenue and will turn it into a vaudeville house and call it the Bijou Dream. F.F. Proctor Jr. will be manager. This is said to be the first time that Keith & Proctor have gone into an enterprise of this kind in a city of less than 50,000 inhabitants. The population of Mount Vernon is 32,000.” I can’t swear to the accuracy of this report, as “Bijou Dream” was a name that Keith & Proctor used when they converted some of their vaudeville houses into cinemas.

Sontaran6
Sontaran6 on December 28, 2008 at 4:15 pm

In early 1946, when I was in the 7th grade, I remember walking from Woodlawn (where I lived) to Yonkers Avenue, and then adventuring a 5¢ ride on the old Number 7 trolley to the wilds of Mount Vernon, which I had never dared before. Because I was playing hookey, I figured a movie house would be a smart hideout, for a couple of hours. I chose the first one I could see — which, in those days, must have been Proctor’s, on Gramatan Avenue. (Anyway, I could navigate back from Proctor’s; Loew’s Mount Vernon would require me to turn a corner or two). I have no clue what the movies were, that day. But I survived the trek, and somehow returned to civilization alive! It was a great day.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 28, 2008 at 4:33 pm

Warren; regarding your post above on May 21, 2008. The Proctor’s Bijou Dream Theatre is listed in the American Motion Picture Directory 1914-1915. The address given for that theatre is S. 4th Street, Mount Vernon.

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on February 4, 2009 at 1:50 pm

On Friday January 26, 1962, the Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly-Joe DeRita) embarked on a three day promotional tour for their latest feature film, THE THREE STOOGES MEET HERCULES. They were accompanied by “The Herculean Giant” (almost 8 foot tall Dave Ballard) and popular DJ Clay Cole, who was one of the stars of the co-feature, TWIST AROUND THE CLOCK.

On Saturday January 27, they appeared at the RKO Mount Vernon at 12:25 PM.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 12, 2010 at 4:50 am

The December, 1914, issue of the magazine Architecture and Building featured four photos of Proctor’s Theatre in Mount Vernon:

The exterior and the auditorium

Two interior views, one of which appears to be the ladies lounge, and the other depicting a foyer and one of the ramps leading to the theater’s upper levels.

Sontaran6
Sontaran6 on July 8, 2011 at 3:05 pm

The five-story commercial building that once accommodated the entrance and foyer of Proctor’s Theater still stands on the west side of Gramatan Avenue (North 4th), several blocks northeast of the Google Map photo currently heading this CT page. The picture should be re-directed there.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 8, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Google Maps has trouble with this address. Even when I tried it at Google Maps' own web site, they set the pin to a location on 6th Avenue. They will set the pin icon at the corner of Gramatan and 1st Street for any number from 4 Gramatan to 20 Gramatan, except 6 Gramatan, which invariably goes to 6th Avenue. Unfortunately, 1st Street is a full block south of the theater.

A request for 2 Gramatan, for some reason, puts the pin at the corner of Gramatan and Fisk, immediately south of the theater, but the immediate street view is of a different corner than the one the theater is on. The closest Google gets to an immediate street view of the theater is with the address 22 Gramatan Avenue, which puts the pin at the corner of Gramatan and Prospect, just north of the theater building, with the street view looking southwest.

I think I’ve puzzled out how the Cinema Treasures-Google Maps interface works. On several pages which have had erroneous theater addresses corrected, Google Maps continues to fetch the uncorrected location and put its pin there. That means that the code which displays the address on the page must be distinct from the code that sends the request to Google Maps.

If this is so, it’s a good thing, as Google Maps frequently mis-locates the pins on its maps. If the address Google is requested to fetch is not visible to page viewers, and displaying the correct address on the page does not affect the Google Maps request, then most pages can be fixed so that we get both the correct address displayed and a correct pin location on the map. About the only exceptions would be where the street a lost theater was on no longer exists, or in places such as shopping centers where Google uses one address for a huge complex, and the theater is actually some distance from the location the pin icon will appear.

The problem so far has been that, even when erroneous addresses displayed on the page have been corrected, the bits of code that make the request to Google Maps apparently have not. Plus there are theaters such as this one, where even when Cinema Treasures is probably requesting the correct address, Google gets confused and pins the wrong location. Even if these problems affect only two or three percent of the site’s pages, fixing them is going to take a lot of tedious editing.

Sontaran6
Sontaran6 on July 9, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Thank you, Mr. Vogel. The problem you describe afflicts too many Google Map addresses. When CT provides an “Update Street View” button, I have found it easier to correct a wayward Google Map picture by navigating the street arrows in the Google Map photo to the correct location, and then punching CT’s “Update” button. The Google Map “pin” will probably remain mis-placed, and the picture’s address may still be slightly “off”, but at least the CT’s picture will rectify.

In the photo now displayed, the Proctor Theatre’s wide marquee and entrance was located at the street-level midpoint of the Gramtan Avenue façade of the five-story commercial building shown. The theater itself extended some distance behind the building (westward, to the viewer’s left).

Om the small Map, the “pin” should point to the west sde of (yellow) Grmatan Avenue about a short block (-plus) north of the Metro North Commuter Railroad tracks.

LugosiResearch
LugosiResearch on December 29, 2012 at 7:11 pm

On Monday 26 February 1951, Bela “Dracula” Lugosi presented his in person Horror and Magic Stage show at Proctor’s. Currently I am conducting research on all things Lugosi; if anyone out there actually saw this show and/or has memorabilia (poster, handbill, photos) related to this show, please contact Bill at I already have copies of the ads that were published in the local newspaper. Thanks in advance for any assistance!

springfever
springfever on March 18, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Just outside the theater was Proctor Pharmacy where you could get the greatest malted milks for 35 cents in the mid to late 1950s. In 1921 during off-season, Babe Ruth appeared in a vaudeville show at Proctors Theater Nov. 3rd – 5th. Mr. F.F. Proctor issued a card with Ruth’s photo on it, which is now very rare and very expensive.

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