The Keith & Proctor’s Theater, Harlem, 1890’s

keith & proctors building 1800 in harlemAn incredible photograph of the Keith & Proctor’s Theater at 209 West 125th Street in Central Harlem – the image looks amazing real time. Keith & Proctor’s Theater was part of a chain of opera houses and vaudeville theaters around the city and 125th Street was the place to stroll.

125thstreetpostcard-600x367(Hand colored postcard of the b/w photograph above)

Entertainment was serious business back in the day, like it is today with swag and soul.

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In a 1906 New York Times article entitled “Keith & Proctor’s 125th Street Manager Held for Assault” the story reports that:

“Shortell said he went to the theatre on Thursday night, accompanied by his wife, and paid $2 for two box seats. He says he was unable to find a seat and demanded of Brunelle either seats or tickets for another night. Brunelle, he said, called him a rowdy and had him arrested after pushing him up against the wall.”

The balconies in the photographs above on the left belong to the Winthrop Hotel. Courtesy NYHS (source).


Theater (Photo credits:

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