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MORE ABOUT MOVIE PALACES

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by Leonard Maltin
February 16, 2013 2:19 AM
5 Comments
  • |

Photo by Rob Edelman
My post last week about the rediscovered Loews Valencia in Queens, New York and the golden age of movie theaters sparked a lot of reaction, including this note from my longtime colleague on Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide, Rob Edelman, who lives in upstate New York. He wrote that my piece “certainly brought back memories, and it made me think of the beautifully restored movie palace complex in Schenectady that my wife Audrey and I regularly visit. It's called Proctors.

These days, Proctors is not just a monument to history. It is home to a wide range of concerts, national tours of Broadway plays, etc. But films still are screened. For example, Proctors presently is showing selections from the list of the American Film Institute's top 100 films. Sure, you can see these titles (A Night at the Opera, the Gable-Laughton Mutiny on the Bounty, Sunrise, etc.) on DVD, but it is a treat to revisit them in a theatrical setting—and on a large screen—and enjoy them in the company of like-minded film aficionados.” Here is a link to the history of PROCTORS.

Photo by Danielle Klebanow.

Rob also attached a number of Proctors-related photos (see below) that he took just last week.

Another old friend, the talented jazz pianist Judy Carmichael, wrote, “Coincidentally, I was just hired to do a concert at TWO old theaters, one in Spokane (the Bing Crosby Theater) and one not far from my home in Sag Harbor, New York. I've included a link to an article about it.” Click HERE.

And if you’ve never heard Judy, who now sings as well as playing great stride piano, I’ll include a link to her website HERE and encourage you to check out her podcast, Jazz Inspired.

Proctor's

  • Photo by Rob Edelman
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    1. Proctor's images

  • Photo by Rob Edelman
    2 of 4

    2. Proctor's

    The lobby as it appears today.
  • Photo by Rob Edelman
    3 of 4

    3. Proctor's

  • Photo by Rob Edelman
    4 of 4

    4. Proctor's

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More: Journal, Movie Palaces, Judy Carmichael

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5 Comments

  • Karen Colizzi Noonan | February 16, 2013 4:29 PMReply

    Thanks again for bringing this important topic to a national audience, Leonard! This summer, the Theatre Historical Society's annual Conclave (theater tour) will take attendees to 18+ Great American Theaters (movie palaces, neighborhood gems, restored vaudeville houses and a couple of projects that are down but not out!). Our home base will be Schenectady, the home of the legendary Proctors theater! The 4 day tour will visit the Capitol District in NY State as well as the Berkshires and CT. The dates are Tues June 18 through Sat June 22. Full details including the proposed slate of theaters are available the first week in March. But if anyone just HAS to have details now, they can call THS at 630-782-1800.

  • Peter | February 16, 2013 12:16 PMReply

    I love old movie palaces. When I was a student at Syracuse University in the early 80s, they were in the process of just finishing the renovations on Syracuse's former Leows Theater (now called The Landmark). I was a photographer for the student paper, and not a bad writer either, so I wrote an article and shot the pictures about the renovations. I still have the clipping of that article, and I may even have the negatives. But I haven't been back to the theater since I was a student.

  • Peter | February 17, 2013 5:23 AM

    Karen, Sorry, no, I don't remember the Palace. I do remember a funky little Italian restaurant on James Street called Arturo's Decent Italian Food. The owner had a wacky, off-beat sense of humor. You'd go to the restroom at the end of a long, narrow hallway. When you got back to your seat, there'd be a button at your place that read "I made the long hall."

    I do remember a nice theater (not a palace), but I can't remember the name of it. I remember that it was on Westcott Street. I remember seeing "The Right Stuff" there, among others. I don't know how the Palace escaped my attention. Sounds like a place I would've loved!

  • Karen Colizzi Noonan | February 16, 2013 4:33 PM

    Peter, when you were in Syracuse did you ever encounter the Palace Theater on James Street? A small neighborhood house owned and operated by a wonderfully crazy lady named Frances DiBella? A true fixture in the Eastwood neighborhood, she ran that theater right up until she passed away a couple of years ago. Her nephew took over the theater and has done wonders with the place. But every time i walk into the Palace I feel Frances looking over my shoulder - it's great!

  • Peter | February 16, 2013 12:19 PM

    Oh, and also, when I was producing an arts show for public television in the 90s, I produced a segment about the renovation of Washington, DC's, Warner Theater (originally called The Earle). The best thing that happened was, as we were starting to pack up our gear, my PA came and told me about an elderly couple who had just walked in. Turns out, they had met at the theater during WWII and gotten married, and were back in DC celebrating their anniversary. We set the equipment back up and got a terrific story on tape. This was 1993.

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