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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.

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.

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Karen Colizzi Noonan

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.


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.

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