Save Troy Proctor’s is sponsoring an event on Saturday evening, May 1st to support the restoration of the historic theatre. The night will begin with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails at the Frear Building, followed by additional courses at historic homes in Troy, and conclude at the Frear Building for dessert and entertainment. Tickets are $50. For reservations or information contact Fundraising@TroyProctors.com, or call 274-0418.
We are happy to announce the inauguration of the first ever Troy Proctor’s Foundation pledge drive. Visitors to our website can now enter their personal information and make a pledge right from their PC! The pledge page can be found at: http://www.troyproctors.com/you-can-help/donate
All submitted information will be kept private, and all money collected is to be used to generate market studies, engineering reports, and publicity for the effort to save Proctor’s Theater.
Please join us, and pledge today. Don’t forget to get the word out to everyone you know. Every little bit helps, and now is the time to act!
Theater Communications Group, the national organization for American theater, recently conducted a study of over 400 non-profit theater groups around the country. Taking Your Fiscal Pulse found that despite the economic downturn, for theaters whose fiscal year ended in September, 2009, 52% either broke even or made money. Of the 48% who lost money, 34% were at a deficit of 10% or less of total expenditures.
In reaction, Erica Veil, representative of the Troy Proctor’s Foundation, was quoted in the Troy Record in a recent article about the study: “The survey shows overall ticket sales and government, trustee and individual contributions have maintained or increased, despite being in the midst of the worst economic crisis any of us have ever experienced. We see this as strong support for Proctor’s viability.” To the suggestion that the study represents only a “50/50″ chance of survival, and that therefore, the theater should be torn down, Ms. Veil responded, “Do not make permanent and irreparable decisions for a national historic property based on the economics of a temporary recession.”
The Troy Proctor’s Foundation will serve refreshments in front of Proctor’s Theatre for the Victorian Stroll on Sunday, December 6 from 11 am to 5 pm. Old fashioned postcards of Proctor’s and Troy Proctor’s T-shirts will be for sale.
A variety of entertainment has been arranged:
1:30 Excerpts from the Giant Hoax by Kit Goldstein. The musical about the Cardiff giant was recently performed by the Classic Theater Guild at Proctor’s in Schenectady.
2:45 Daisy the clown will amuse the crowd.
3:30 Partial Credit, an RPI a cappella musical group will perform.
Please come join us, show your support, and have a bit of fun at the same time!
On Thursday, November fifth, the Troy City Council voted 9-0 in favor of a resolution to support a thorough review of the Troy Proctor’s Foundation’s plan to restore and operate the historic theater on Fourth Street. While individual members of the council have previously made statements supporting our effort, this is the first time they have acted in concert, and represents a huge milestone in Troy Proctor’s efforts!
Councilman John Brown also announced that he is in ongoing discussions with state Assembly Majority Leader Ronald Canestrari, D-Cohoes, about obtaining state assistance in funding the review of the preservation plan. The Troy Proctors Foundation estimates it will take $40,000 to complete the feasibility study.
The wording of the resolution follows:
Resolution in Support of a thorough review of the Troy Proctor’s Inc. restoration and business plan
WHEREAS, the City of Troy has been awarded a $4,000,000 grant from the Empire State Development Corporation for the redevelopment of the former Proctor’s Theatre; and
WHEREAS, the current redevelopment proposal calls for the demolition of the auditorium space in the theater for the construction of a new office building; and
WHEREAS, the proposal for this project states that the restoration or adaptive reuse of the theater would be cost prohibitive and that a restored theater would not be economically viable; and
WHEREAS, in May of this year, Troy Proctor’s Inc., a group of Troy citizens, delivered to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and subsequently the Troy City Council, a counter proposal for the restoration and management of Proctor’s Theatre; and
WHEREAS, the Troy Proctor’s Inc. proposal estimates the cost for restoration of the theater to be $15,000,000, a number significantly lower than has been previously projected; and
WHEREAS, due to the historic significance of this Troy landmark and the wide discrepancy between the estimated costs of the two current proposals we believe that a more thorough analysis of the projected restoration costs and future operating costs and revenues is necessary.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Troy City Council supports a review of construction costs for the restoration of Proctor’s Theatre and a feasibility study of the Troy Proctor’s Inc. business plan for future operation.
One of the greatest challenges in the fight to save Proctor’s Theater has always been the argument that the current demolition plan is the only “real” plan presented that has “real” numbers to show it can succeed. To combat this, the committee has been working with consultants and developers to produce its own plan. This effort has produced the previously mentioned “Strategic Plan”, a large document full of case-studies and financial analyses that show that renovating and operating historic theaters *can* work. However, that alone wasn’t enough.
The committee has now produced a Restoration Plan for Proctor’s Theater. This plan, which can be found at http://www.troyproctors.com/downloads/restoration_plan/, is a concise, specific document which details a practical way for Proctor’s to be restored. It contains those “real” numbers everyone keeps asking for, and maps out the specific requirements of all parties involved to make the effort a success. Some highlights:
- It includes the current developer, and shows how the restoration effort can actually *increase* his short-term profits.
- It makes use of a multi-phase approach, which will allow the facility to be put into use long before the final work is done.
- It shows that the facility can support a large part of its own restoration.
- It demonstrates how the downtown business community will begin to see significant financial benefits within one year of the developer finishing their part in the project.
The only thing the Restoration Plan needs is more data. The numbers in the document are based upon estimates made by professionals who can only look at pictures and old reports on the building.
On Thursday, June 4th, 2009, members of the Troy Proctor’s Committee spoke at the Troy City Council Meeting. They made a strong case for the Council to work to secure unfettered access for third-party professionals, and presented them with copies of both our Strategic Plan and our Restoration Plan for Proctor’s Theater. They also pointed out that the prohibitive restoration estimates being used to support the current plan seem to be grossly overstated.
This is where the your help comes in, Proctor’s supporters! Contact the Mayor and your City Councilors, and encourage them to work with RPI to allow us the access we need to make our case. Send this message to your friends and family. Whether they support the current plan or not, getting accurate, unbiased estimates can only help the side that’s right. It won’t cost the taxpayers anything, and will either show that restoration is a real, feasible possibility, or prove once and for all that there’s no practical way to save the building.