Theater RePhotographs

 

Over the years, I’ve come across a number of vintage photographs while researching blog posts for After the Final Curtain.  One resource is the Theatre Historical Society of America‘s American Theatre Architecture Archive. With their permission I was able to combine our photographs to create these “rephotographs” showcasing a glimpse of what I have seen over the years. The composite of these images illustrates the rise and fall of these buildings and the potential for what they could become again, if restored.

 

B&W Image of the RKO Keith's Theatre from the Richard L. Hay Collection, American Theatre Architecture Archive, Theatre Historical Society of America
RKO Keith’s Theatre Flushing, NY B&W Image of the RKO Keith’s Theatre from the Richard L. Hay Collection, American Theatre Architecture Archive, Theatre Historical Society of America

The before photograph of the RKO Keith’s Theatre was taken in 1955, and the after was taken in 2011, twenty-five years after the theater closed.

Loew’s Kings Theatre Brooklyn, NY B&W Image from the Loew’s Collection, American Theatre Architecture Archive, Theatre Historical Society of America
Loew’s Kings Theatre Brooklyn, NY B&W Image from the Loew’s Collection, American Theatre Architecture Archive, Theatre Historical Society of America

The before photograph of the Loew’s Kings Theatre was taken in 1929, and the after was taken in 2010, thirty-three years after it closed.

B&W image of the RKO Hamilton Theatre courtesy of the American Theatre Architecture Archive of the Theatre Historical Society of America
RKO Hamilton Theatre Manhattan, NY B&W image of the RKO Hamilton Theatre courtesy of the American Theatre Architecture Archive of the Theatre Historical Society of America

The before photograph of the RKO Hamilton Theatre was taken in the 1930s, and the after was taken in 2011, fifty-three years after the theater closed.

B&W image of the Loew's Palace Theatre courtesy of the American Theatre Architecture Archive of the Theatre Historical Society of America
Loew’s Palace Theatre Bridgeport, CT B&W image of the Loew’s Palace Theatre courtesy of the American Theatre Architecture Archive of the Theatre Historical Society of America

The before photograph of the Loew’s Palace Theatre was taken in the 1930s, and the after was taken in 2011, thirty-six years after the theater closed.

B&W image of Proctor's Palace Theatre courtesy of the American Theatre Architecture Archive of the Theatre Historical Society of America
Proctor’s Palace Theatre Newark, NJ B&W image of Proctor’s Palace Theatre courtesy of the American Theatre Architecture Archive of the Theatre Historical Society of America

The before photograph of the Proctor’s Palace Theatre was taken in 1955, and the after was taken in 2010, forty-two years after the theater closed.

 

Limited Edition Prints of these images are available at http://www.mlambrosphotography.com/rephotographs

A portion of sales from this limited edition print run will benefit the Theatre Historical Society of America and support their mission to document and celebrate the history of America’s theatres. For more information — check out their website at www.historictheatres.org

 

 

 

 

© Matthew Lambros and After the Final Curtain, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew Lambros and After the Final Curtain with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Proctor’s Palace Theatre

View of the remains of the auditorium from the balcony.
View of the remains of the auditorium from the balcony.

Proctor’s Palace Theatre opened on January 31, 1916 in Yonkers, New York. The 2,300 seat theater was designed by William E. Lehman who is also known for the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey. It was built for theater magnate F.F. Proctor. Lehman designed the auditorium with a mix of French, Flemish and Italian style architecture. He is quoted as saying, “I wanted to create a building that will wear well.”  The complex also included a six story office building.

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Proctor’s Palace Roof Theatre

View of the auditorium from the balcony.
View of the auditorium from the balcony.

Located on the top of Proctor’s Palace Theatre, Proctor’s Palace Roof Theatre also opened on November 22, 1915.  The Palace was originally used for smaller vaudeville productions before switching over to film at around the same time as its downstairs counterpart.

Two photographs of the auditorium taken almost exactly 5 years apart.
Two photographs of the auditorium taken almost exactly 5 years apart.

After the switch, the Roof Theatre was rarely used and eventually reopened in the early 1960s as the Penthouse Cinema, mainly showing foreign films like Ingmar Bergman’s “Secrets of Women.”

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Proctor’s Palace Theatre

View from the mezzanine at Proctor’s Palace Theatre

RKO Proctor’s Theatre opened in Newark, NJ on November 25, 1915 as the Proctor’s Palace Theatre. The architect was John W. Merrow, the nephew of Proctor theater circuit owner Frederick F. Proctor.

The Palace was a double decker theater, which meant that one auditorium was stacked on top of the other, a rare design choice at the time.  The lower, street-level auditorium had 2,300 seats and the upper had around 900.   The space was among the largest and most open in the area, leading the city to use it as the site of it’s 250th anniversary celebration in 1916.

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