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.
In 1929, the Proctor theater chain was sold to the Radio Keith Orpheum Corporation. Soon after the sale the theater was closed so renovations could be made to show motion pictures. When the theater reopened two months later, it was renamed RKO Proctor’s. During its time as a motion picture palace many stars visited the theater to promote their films, including Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Joe DeRita, Jerry Lewis, Bela Lugosi, Robert Mitchum and Shirley MacLaine.
The Proctor’s closed in 1973 and briefly reopened in 1974 before closing permanently the next year. After it closed, the main level of the auditorium was converted into an office space and the balcony was sealed off. The lobby of the theater was removed and converted to retail space.
The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. The current owner as well as the City of Yonkers, are interested in restoring the building.