Take a tour of Proctors

By Peter Hughes
Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Proctors invites area residents and visitors to escape the high-force winds of March and enjoy a free walking tour of the arts and entertainment complex at Proctors in downtown Schenectady.

It all takes place on Sunday, March 17, at 1 p.m.

Participants are invited to brown-bag the event, enjoy a cozy lunch at the theatre’s refurbished Apostrophe Café or participate in the Schenectady Greenmarket that takes place on three levels at Proctors that day.

At 1 p.m., the free, open-to-the-public informational event will start in front of the Mainstage doors in the Golub Family Arcade and proceed to high points within the complex, such as the backstage, dressing rooms and newly built GE Theatre.

The tour of the historic State Street site will include the recently opened Schenectady Heritage Visitors Center, and conclude with an exciting demonstration by popular area organist Ned Spain playing Goldie, Proctors' own Wurlitzer organ.

A native of Troy, Spain began by playing the organ before the movies at base theaters while serving in the Marine Corps. After his discharge, Ned played summers in Albany, Lake George and Saratoga Springs cocktail lounges.

In the Albany area, he is best known for his 20 years as staff organist on "The David Allan Show" on Channel 13. He also has appeared with many celebrities, including Milton Berle, Donald O’Connor, Sergio Franchi, Jerry Vale, Johnny Ray, Gordon MacRae and Pat Boone. He plays concerts nationally and appears regularly at Proctors in Schenectady.

“Goldie” is an 18-rank, three-keyboard instrument that includes a full set of percussion instruments and a grand piano that can be played remotely from the organ console. The Golub Foundation and members of the Golub family gifted the mighty Wurlitzer to Proctors in memory of Bernard and Sunshine Golub. Since the installation of Goldie, Proctors has maintained a chapter of the American Theater Organ Society, which provides the services of the organists who perform Proctors noontime concerts as well as the crew members who maintain Goldie.

“With more and more visitors coming to downtown Schenectady, it seems only natural to welcome those who have expressed an interest in wanting to know more about this historic place," says Marilyn Sassi, a longstanding member of Proctors' History Committee and volunteer coordinator of the informal but informative walkabouts.   

Tours of the restored 1926 Vaudeville palace and our two new theaters are available, led by trained volunteers throughout the year as needed or upon request for private tours. Private tours for groups of fifteen or more can be arranged by calling Proctors Business Office at 382-3884.

For additional Tour Information, contact Marilyn Sassi at 377-3282; marilynsassi@gmail.com

 

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