Proctors at 90

New photo book celebrates landmark Schenectady arts organization

This December, Proctors marks its 90th anniversary of bringing arts and entertainment to the Capital Region, kicking off a year of themed events and special promotions commemorating almost a century of theatrical history.

Encore: Proctors at 90—a perfect choice for holiday giving— is the keystone in that celebration.

A new deluxe hardcover photo book, Encore, of course, points to the afternoon of Dec. 27, 1926, when young Michael Riccio purchased a 35-cent ticket and took his seat as the first patron of Proctors, but it focuses strongly on the Proctors of today—“a remarkable narrative of renewal and rebirth, a tale of a city and a theatre taking turns saving each other.”

Guided by Executive Editor (and Proctors Agency Marketing Director) Jim Murphy, Richard Lovrich assembled over 100 images for Encore, culled from thousands of shots onstage, backstage, on the road and in the streets, not only at Proctors but also at Capital Repertory Theatre, Universal Preservation Hall and Marquee Power (the only district energy plant in the country operated by a theatre).

“This is our story,” says Proctors CEO Philip Morris. “This is a snapshot of who we are right now.”

Using the photos as a point of entry, Michael Eck wrote 14 accompanying chapters, each focused on specific aspects of Proctors, ranging from its importance as a regional economic engine and hub for the creative economy to its new status as a primary venue for launching Broadway tours.

Both Lovrich (Proctors creative director) and Eck (the organization’s publicist) have extensive backgrounds in journalism. The former designed The Times Union for a decade; the latter was a freelance arts writer at the paper for almost 30 years.

Lovrich, Eck and Morris will sign copies of the book at a free slide presentation and discussion, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14 at the GE Theatre at Proctors, 432 State Street, Schenectady. Lovrich and Eck will also sign books and chat with patrons, 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17 at the Open Door Bookstore, 128 Jay Street, Schenectady. Northshire Books will join with Universal Preservation Hall for a slide presentation, discussion and signing 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, 25 Washington Street, Saratoga Springs.

Encore: Proctors at 90—distributed by Utica’s North Country Books—is available locally at the Gift Centre at Proctors, The Open Door Bookstore & Gift Gallery; Northshire Bookstore, 424 Broadway, Saratoga Springs; The Book House, Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany; and Market Block Books, 290 River Street, Troy. It is available online at