Proctor's Theatre

432 State Street,
Schenectady, NY 12305

Unfavorite 19 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 43 comments

DavidZornig on May 21, 2019 at 11:47 am

Back entrance to Proctor’s Theatre on Smith Street, 1970s photo added courtesy Steve Myers.

DavidZornig on October 30, 2018 at 9:49 am

Here is a Facebook link to some images of the Art Theater.
I believe it was the same building that Proctor’s moved into.

DavidZornig on October 29, 2018 at 11:57 am

After browsing around the Schenectady page linked to above, I found several other photos of the Art Theatre that was at 432 State Street prior to Proctor’s. It appears to be the same building in a few of them, so I believe Proctor’s remodeled the existing Art Theatre into their own. I posted only one photo of the Art Theatre entrance in 1913, but there are more available.

Also, the Mohawk Theatre on College Street which was a vaudeville and burlesque venue, ran films for one year it appears prior to closing in 1914. Also claiming to be the first to run an Edison talking film.

DavidZornig on October 29, 2018 at 11:04 am

Facebook link to Paul Garrow’s 25 photos of Proctor’s Theatre marquees.

graemehartnett on November 8, 2017 at 9:00 pm

I believe I found the original stage light from this theater in a barn in central Nevada. Their was a note attached to them that said they were from Proctor Theater. They were made by GE and are stunning with mirror reflectors inside. Can anyone point me in a direction of photos of the old lights? I’ll post photos to the page if possible. Thanks for any help.

NickyG on December 9, 2016 at 11:54 am

Besides shows great place to see screenings of classic flicks…and plenty of places nearby at which to hoist a few to get in the spirits.

DavidZornig on October 8, 2016 at 10:16 am

1960 photo added courtesy of the AmeriCar The Beautiful Facebook page.

iloveequus on October 12, 2015 at 7:34 pm

Proctors Theater was not not demolished. Donald Schein, retired founder and manager of WMHT (local PBS station), volunteered his talents in fund raising to assist Proctors Theater to renovate and to avoid the “ball and chain.” This is a fabulous theater!

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on March 10, 2015 at 8:24 am

The 1914/15 American Motion Picture Directory lists the Art Theatre at 432 State Street in Schenectady. Was this theatre demolished to make way for the Proctor’s or was it remodeled?

TheALAN on October 17, 2014 at 12:01 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.

TheALAN on October 17, 2014 at 11:10 am

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!

ryan711 on April 24, 2012 at 12:00 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 19, 2011 at 5:07 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.

pkazee on December 26, 2008 at 11:47 pm

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 26, 2008 at 11:21 pm

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 21, 2008 at 5:43 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.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on September 19, 2008 at 5:12 am

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

justayankeefan on September 24, 2007 at 7:15 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.

justayankeefan on March 28, 2007 at 12:01 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.

mp775 on March 19, 2007 at 11:08 am

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

mpetersen on August 21, 2006 at 6:40 pm

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 9:35 am

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 6:09 am

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.