Annual Tour of Proctors

Free, guided walking tour of honors founder F.F. Proctor’s birthday

Vaudeville empresario F.F. Proctor was born on St. Patrick’s Day, 1851. In his honor, the theatre’s historical committee offers an annual March tour of Proctors, the crown jewel of his circuit of eponymous entertainment halls—“a palace for the people.” Due to the extended run of Disney’s The Lion King, this year’s event will fall early in the month.

The public tour, which begins at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 6, will include the full history of the legendary venue at 432 State Street, Schenectady, from its opening in 1926 to its current glory as the epicenter of Capital Region performing arts and culture.

Visitors are asked to gather at the State Street doors, and may call 518.346.6204 for more information. Attendance is free; no tickets are required.

The journey through time will include curious tidbits (did you know that State Street straddles Cow Horn Creek, making the land around it very wet?); fascinating facts (did you know that the first public display of television took place at Proctors in 1930?); and fun trivia (did you know that much of the marble work inside Proctors is actually plaster, in the distinctive Italian Scagliola style?).

The tour will include all aspects of history, architecture and entertainment, including the rare chance for the public to visit the stage, crossover and dressing rooms in addition to all lobby and mezzanine spaces. Recent renovations and the historic expansion of the stage will also be addressed.

Following the tour, guests will be treated to an exhibition of Goldie, the mighty Wurlitzer theatre organ, with Ned Spain at the keyboard. Spain will explain how the intricate machine functions to produce such a variety of sounds, and perform audience requests.

Mr. Proctor’s Birthday Walking Tour
1 p.m. Sunday, March 6