Keith And Proctor’s Vaudeville Theatre in Harlem

February 7, 2012

Yes, that’s the Keith & Proctor’s Vaudeville Theater on 125th Street in the center of the postcard (one of the early owners before it became the Apollo Theatre) in the 1890’s …

…that catered to a diverse group of immigrants composed of Jews, Russians, Germans, Italians, Irish and infrequently African-Americans.

The Keith & Proctor’s Theater was a place where the best entertainers came to perform. There were as diverse as Mae West, Eubie Blake, Noble Sissle, and James Reese (“Jim”) Europe, to Joe Kennedy, and to the scandalous La Sylphe who danced under the watchful eye of the NYPD, in the theatre.

Just like today, entertainment was a serious business at the end of the 1890’s, B. F. Keith and F. F. Proctor were theater moguls in New York City. Before the company closed decades later, B. F. Keith and F. F. Proctor owned a number of theatres in Harlem, the Alhambra Theatre, the 125th Street, the Harlem Opera Theatre, and the Keith & Proctor’s Vaudeville Theater.

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