St. George Theatre In Need of an Organ ASAP!
STATEN ISLAND, NY — “I’m posting this message on behalf of the St. George Theatre which is located in Staten Island, New York (http://www.stgeorgetheatre.com/) and, while I’d normally refrain from e-mailing a message such as this, I can’t help but think this might be of interest to some of you on this list.
In brief, this beautiful theatre was just saved from the wrecking ball this past spring by a local “good Samaritan” from a real estate developer. While I’m not directly affiliated with the theatre, I do have a deep affection for it and the efforts the owner has made and is making to restore her to her original glory.
The theater is a true Movie Palace, done in elaborate “Spanish Byzantine” decor, something like the “Beacon Theatre” in Manhattan but much larger….In fact, it’s the second largest theater still in existence, being USED as a theater in New York City with over 2,800 seats.
The new owner has already spent countless mega-dollars on restorations & repairs this year and the theatre has some major acts and other affairs booked for the 2004/2005 season. The owner is also planning on doing a series of classic and silent movies on a monthly or bi-monthly basis as a “family night out” for the community once an appropriate organ is found and installed.
The owner is well aware of the power, beauty & majesty of the theatre organ and is just “Dying to get one”!! Whenever I talk with her about it, I can see the tears starting to flow from her eyes as she has fond memories of the golden era of the theatre and theatre organ.
Because of her deep dedication to the theater and strong desire to have a theatre organ in there, I’d really like to help her get a decent organ. As she doesn’t have any “extra funds” right now in the budget to either get a real pipe organ or buy a new sampled organ, I suggested getting a used Allen theatre organ, something like a good three manual MDS or ADC series organ so they can have something up and running right away.
I have contacted my local Allen dealer and have asked him to donate some of his time to help with the installation of an Allen Theatre organ and voicing it. I also have a few organists lined up as volunteers to play it once we have one in place.
I’ve already found a person willing to donate a few thousand dollars towards an electronic Allen organ (who has also donated 8 HC-18 speakers for the project) and I am hoping, thru this e-mail that I can find other, similar benefactors who would either consider donating funds or possibly donating (or loaning an) appropriate electronic an organ to the theatre.
Should anyone want to help them out in the acquisition of a theatre organ, any donations, either big or small, cash and / or equipment would be greatly appreciated and welcomed. Donations are tax deductible and should be made directly to the theatre as they are a non-profit organization.
So does anyone want to step up and help her? Please feel free to contact me for any questions or other details.
PS – On December 4, 2004, the theater will be celebrating its 75th anniversary which will have a “Gala Evening at the Theatre” theme. It will show off much of the work already done and is designed to be a show-off the theater evening and also a fund raiser for a new, much needed air conditioning unit.
She so wants to have theater organ music playing and flowing throughout the theater (as Gaylord Carter once said; “To perfume the air with music”) especially for this historic, milestone night.
Also, Various local ATOS chapters have been contacted and I can only tell you that “something is now in the works” to install a real theatre pipe organ in the theatre but an IMMEDIATE SOLUTION IS NEEDED for the immediate future as a major pipe installation would take years to complete, hence the tone and subject of this e-mail.