An Extended History of Proctors
In 1980, Proctors was named to the National Register of Historic Places. Four years later, Proctors became part of the League of Historic American Theatres (LHAT at www.lhat.org ), and in 2009 was named “Outstanding Theatre” by the organization. Proctors also received the “Excellence in Historic Preservation” award in 2008 from the Preservation League of New York State.
Expansion and Reconstruction
Since its 1979 rebirth, Proctors has completed many projects worth millions. By 1983, new installations included carpeting throughout the theatre, a replica of the original house curtain, replicas of the 1926 marquees, and a backstage crossover. Proctors also acquired Goldie, the Mighty Wurlitzer organ, and installed a hydraulic lift for the organ and orchestra pit floor. The ladies’ lounge and powder room were redecorated in 1986, and in 1992 the entire roof was replaced. The ceiling dome and front half of the theatre were painstakingly restored in 1997, and the addition of air conditioning in 1999 allowed for year-round use.
In 2003, Proctors embarked on an exciting new $30 million expansion. A new stage house, three times the size of the previous stage, was completed in December 2005 to accommodate the largest touring Broadway shows. In September 2007, renovations of the adjacent former Carl Company were complete, adding the 434-seat GE Theatre, as well as new conference rooms and offices. The Box Office and a coffee shop were also added. Four doors down from Proctors, Upstairs @ 440 was opened for small community productions and served as workspace for artists. More changes in early 2011 included the sale of 440 State Street, and a new management deal with Capital Repertory Theatre on Pearl Street in Albany. Ownership of the coffee shop in Robb Alley was transferred to Proctors, and became Apostrophe Café. In July 2011, construction on the new Schenectady Heritage Area Visitors Center was completed, welcoming new visitors to the downtown area. With these changes and a rich history of community support, Proctors has truly become a performing arts center and cultural anchor in downtown Schenectady.
When opening a past season at Proctors, the legendary singer Tony Bennett, in awe of the theatre, told the audience, “Thank you to everyone who worked hard to restore this theatre. Your children will thank you and your grandchildren will thank you for the legacy you have created for them.”