Richard Lovrich (Photographer) and Michael Eck (Author) will be signing their new book Encore: Proctors at 90.
Proctors at 90 is a story of hope, a model for how a broken urban environment can be transformed into a beacon, a locus for downtown activity and an engine for economic development and revitalization. It is the story of a glowing present and an even brighter future for the nation's main streets.
When Proctors opened its doors in Schenectady, N.Y., in December 1926, it was the jewel in a chain of 50 vaudeville houses spanning the East Coast from Delaware to Maine; the greatest of gilded movie palaces in a bustling, industrial city packed with nearly two-dozen theatres. Within a half-century, it was the last hall standing, nearly derelict, presiding over a deserted downtown, another symbol of American blight.
The photographs and essays here construct a remarkable narrative of renewal and rebirth, a tale of a city and a theatre taking turns saving each other. Rescued by a hardy group of citizens, and nurtured by smart leaders, Proctors began its true resurrection at the turn of this century to become much more than a playhouse.
Today, its stands as an organization dedicated to leveraging the region's creative assets; ensuring the sustainability of its cultural institutions; training the artisans of tomorrow; enhancing the quality of life for all; and guiding the confluence of art, creativity and technology. It is a chronicle meant to enlighten and entertain urban development professionals; entrepreneurs; political leaders; and others.
As creative director at Proctors, Richard Lovrich is responsible for the visual style of the organization; his photography has defined a crisp, passionate and captivating look for over a decade. Before coming to Proctors, Lovrich was an award-winning art director for Albany's Times Union. A New York City native, his work as a freelance photographer and portraitist including current projects documenting the lives of those with the genetic disorder Alpha-1, as well as members of the creative economy in New York's Capital Region continues to take him around the world.
Michael Eck was the chief theatre critic in New York's Capital Region for 20 years before joining Proctors as publicist in 2013. A Deems Taylor Award-winning music writer, Eck covered culture for the Times Union for almost 30 years, also writing for Amazon.com, AOL-Time Warner, The Austin Chronicle, Backstage, Billboard, Fretboard Journal, Mandolin Café, No Depression and others. An accomplished musician and painter, he lives with his family in Albany, N.Y.