RKO Proctor's 125th Street Theatre

112-118 E. 125th Street,
New York, NY 10035

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Proctor's, RKO

Architects: John Bailey McElfatrick

Firms: J. B. McElfatrick and Sons

Previous Names: Columbus Theatre, Miner's Theatre, Proctor's Theatre, Keith & Proctor's 125th Street Theatre, RKO 125th Street Theatre

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RKO Proctor's 125th Street Theatre

Built by Oscar Hammerstein as a playhouse named Columbus Theatre in 1890. It opened as the Miner’s Theatre October 11, 1899 with a production of “Romeo and Juliet”. It was sold to F.F. Proctor in 1899, and went over to presenting vaudeville. Around 1900 it became Keith & Proctor’s 125th Street Theatre and films were added to the programming in 1908. The Keith/Proctor partnership was dissolved in 1911. It was renamed Proctor’s Theatre and advertised as Proctor’s 125th Street Theatre. In 1926 a Wurlitzer organ was installed, and in that year, the seating capacity was given as 2,200.

It was taken over by RKO in the 1930’s. The RKO Proctor’s 125th Street was closed in late-1953. The building was converted into a church. In 1985, a fire broke out in the front of the building. It was damaged enough to eventually make it a dangerous structure and the theatre was demolished in 1987.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 19, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Does anyone know anything about the Harlem Orpheum inside the Majestic Hall building? I have found no signs of it ever showing movies nor Vaudeville but it sure looks like it should have.

View link

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 21, 2010 at 10:55 pm

The RKO Proctor’s 125th street on a postcard view here:

View link

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 26, 2010 at 2:27 pm

This closed in late 1953 after a run of “So Big” and “The Moonlighter”.

TLSLOEWS on April 9, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Nice postcard veiw.

iatse311 on July 21, 2010 at 12:31 pm

View link
references to proctors opera house 125th St. Near 8th Avenue

WelcometoHarlem on February 25, 2012 at 10:25 pm

The theater at the address was the Columbus Theater build by Oscar I in 1890. Information on it can be found http://www.npclibrary.org/db/bb_files/00-HAMILTON-THEATER.pdf

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 25, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Al’s postcard image from February 21, 2010, of the RKO Proctor’s 125th Street states the location as “West of Seventh Avenue.” Actually, the vintage postcard shows the Keith’s & Proctor’s 125th Street. This may have been the opera house that iatse311 found reference to in the Museum of City of New York site he linked to on July 21, 2010.

Here’s an active version to the link WelcometoHarlem posted earlier today. The reference to the Columbus Theatre at this address is near the bottom of page 2 in the right hand column. That AKA has already been noted on this page by CT.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 26, 2012 at 12:07 am

Thank you, Ed. I understand the post now.

By the way, I also thank you for teaching me how to hyperlink!

On a personal note, I think you would ‘need’ to see this: I don’t know how to buffer it. It hurts too much.


Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 27, 2012 at 9:16 am

Thanks, Al. Know that location well from my travels in and around the area.

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