Capital Region Economic Development Council Announces Historic Restoration Project at Proctors Theater Ahead of Schedule
The Capital Region Economic Development Council today announced that work is ahead of schedule for the completed restoration of Proctors’ 60-foot high-domed ceiling before Friday, September 14 – in time for the opening night gala launching the 2012 – 13 season at the historic downtown Schenectady theater. Proctors CEO Philip Morris led Regional Council members and an official from NYS Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, as well as local elected officials and business leaders on a tour of the work in progress on Monday.
The project was supported by a $100,000 award Proctors received through Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative to help strengthen the theater’s place as a leading destination in the Capital Region for the performing arts and a centerpiece of Schenectady’s downtown revitalization.
“Proctors Theater is a historic institution in downtown Schenectady that plays a vital role in the city’s economy,” said Jessica Gabriel, Executive Director of the Capital Region Economic Development Council. “Schenectady's State Street area has undergone a complete transformation over the last several years and the Regional Council recognized the economic and aesthetic benefits of keeping the theater in good shape. On behalf of the Regional Council, I commend Proctors for their longtime commitment to the City and the arts, and I look forward to seeing this ahead of schedule project completed in time for this season.”
“I applaud the Capital Region Economic Development Council for this investment in the revitalization of Schenectady’s historic downtown,” said Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. “Historic landmarks and cultural destinations are fundamental building blocks of vibrant, livable communities. This investment in Proctors will give people one more reason to live in and visit Schenectady.”
Repair and repainting of the decorative ceiling is part of a phased $849,000 project underway to faithfully restore the majestic 2,700-seat main stage at the historic Proctors arts and entertainment complex. Other historic preservation improvements will include repairs to the walls, side boxes, scagliola, balcony, mezzanine and orchestra areas, men’s and women’s lounges and Golub Arcade. Built in 1925 by Frederick Francis Proctor as a movie house and vaudeville theatre in downtown Schenectady, and listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, the work is part of the ongoing renaissance of the legendary theatre that began with an expansion of the stage in 2003.
“As an integral member of the community at large, Proctors envisions a greater Capital Region in which the arts in all their forms play a key role in excellence in education, sustained economic development, civic engagement and an advanced quality of life. Restoration and upkeep of this historical site is an integral part of that vision,” said Proctors CEO Philip Morris. “Our beautiful and vibrant facility continues to be a source of pride not only for Schenectady, but also for the extended Capital Region. And, certainly we are grateful to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council for sharing our vision and for its continued support.”
Proctors is a leader in Schenectady and the Greater Capital Region as a multi-media, multi-venue arts and education center, and a catalyst for economic development. An estimated 600,000 visitors come to venerable showbiz palace each year and the entertainment complex continues to self-energize its vitality by hosting close to 1,270 successful events annually. More than 30,000 students in preschool through 12th grade come for the special School Day programs each year. During the summer, the Education Department at Proctors hosts a variety of summer classes that provide students of all ages the opportunity to perfect their acting, dancing and music skills, with scholarships available.
The 77,000 people who attended one of the 32 performances of Disney’s The Lion King in 2011 spent $5.2 million at Proctors' box office, and generated another $15 million in economic benefits to the Capital Region from spending at hotels, restaurants and other businesses (based on a Touring Broadway League report that says impact typically is about three times ticket sales).
Last year, a total of $785 million was awarded through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans. As part of that process, Proctors was awarded $100,000 from the Environmental Protection Fund administered by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. OPRHP made $16 million available in 2011 to assist in the development of parks and recreational facilities to preserve, rehabilitate or restore lands, waters or structures for parks, recreation or historic preservation purposes and for structural assessments or planning for such projects.
To learn more about each regional council and their economic development plans, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov. For information on how the New New York is working for business, please visit www.thenewny.com.