The first impressions of the historic Proctor’s Palace Theatre included several floors of debris, seats, and metalwork piled high, stairs that had devolved into ramps devised out of plater and asbestos, and dingy darkness. But the second tier offered views of the theater’s mammoth size and its remarkable, intact features, such as the balconies, orchestra pit, and extensive stenciling.

And it got better the more you climbed the staircases—all ten stories because the facility was a “double theatre,” consisting of the 2,800-seat Proctor’s Palace and the 1,400-seat Proctor’s Roof Theatre.

Forty-eight years later, the Proctor’s still exists because of its sound construction but it’s become a white elephant. Too expensive to rehabilitate with limited potential in a city drowning in abandoned theaters and a languishing downtown.