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Everything You Need to Know About Proctors in 2021

First opening its Downtown Schenectady doors in 1926, Proctors has been nothing short of a cultural staple in the Capital Region (Kingsway Community included!) for nearly a century.

In the late ’20s, the theater hosted fabulous vaudeville shows, which in the ’30s and ’40s gave way to silver screen productions during the Golden Age of Hollywood. Moviegoers saw films such as King Kong, The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind inside the ornate theater, while music buffs watched Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington take its stage.

After World War II, as Americans moved to suburbia, Proctors’ popularity—and its physical building—began to decline. It was taken over by the City of Schenectady after a foreclosure, and might’ve been shuttered permanently if not for a group of concerned community members who felt Proctors was too important of a cultural asset to let it be destroyed. In the summer of 1977, the Arts Center and Theatre of Schenectady was formed, and in 1979 the theater was reborn.

Since then, Proctors has undergone extensive renovations and expansions that have restored the theater to its former glory. In 1980 it was named to the National Register of Historic Places, in 1984 it became part of the League of Historic American Theatres, and in 2009 it was named “Outstanding Theatre” by the same organization.

Proctors was on the up and up through the 2000s and 2010s, even landing sold-out performances of Broadway smash hit Hamilton in 2019. But in March 2020, Proctors was forced to close for more than a year due to the pandemic. Now, as we all proceed with caution, Proctors has developed a safety plan and has begun to reopen its doors. Here’s everything theater-goers need to know about Proctors, post-pandemic.

  • The theater's air-handling system has been upgraded to MERV-13 filtration that provides a fixed 35 percent rate of exchange of fresh outside air.

  • Seated theatrical performances scheduled through November 15, 2021 require attendees to wear a mask and, for ticketholders over the age of 12, show proof of full COVID vaccination.

  • All policies are subject to change at any time, so ticketholders should refer to the Proctors website for updates.

  • Broadway shows are scheduled to return to Proctors in December, with SUMMER – The Donna Summer Musical coming December 7-12.