The Proctor’s Troy Theatre opened as the Proctor’s Fourth Street Theatre on November 23, 1914 in Troy, NY. It was designed by architect Arlard Johnson and built by the Charles P. Boland Company for F. F. Proctor. The 2,283 seat theater cost $325,000 to build and was the largest of Proctor’s theaters in New York State when it opened. The building is five stories tall and in addition to the theater, contains space for offices and retail.
The theater, as with many others at the time, opened as a vaudeville house, but was later converted to show motion pictures. In the late 1920’s a projection room was added to the top balcony. Later, the middle chandelier was removed to allow for better viewing of the movies. Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Jimmy Durante, Fred and Adele Astaire were just some of the acts who came to the Proctor’s over the years.
The Proctor’s Fourth Street Theatre was later added to the Fabian chain of movie theaters and the name was changed to the Proctor’s Troy Theatre. During the 1960’s the theater began playing second run films. When it closed in 1977, less than 40 people attended the final movie screening. A year later the City of Troy foreclosed on the owners and took possession of the theater. Over the years various projects were considered for the site, including a hotel and a new City Hall.
In 2000, the Friends of the Proctor’s Troy Theater was formed to raise public awareness about the theater and to try to restore it as a performing arts center. The Friends of the Proctor’s closed when the building was purchased by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2004. RPI planned to use the building as an office space and a theater, but was unable to raise the funds. It was later sold to Columbia Development Companies, who currently plan to abate the theater and preserve it until it can be fully restored.