Comments from AndrewBarrett

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AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about Lincoln Popcorn Palace on Feb 5, 2015 at 2:50 pm

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ” by Mr. David Junchen, pg. 631, the “Lincoln Th.” in Cheyenne, Wyoming, originally had a 2 manual, 6 rank Smith theatre pipe organ installed at some point.

No further information about this organ, such as install date, blower information (horsepower and wind pressure), or nameplate (Seeburg-Smith, Smith, Smith-Geneva, or Leathurby-Smith) is given in this book’s listing (not available at the time of publication).

Given what Mr. Vogel has written about the Lincoln Theatre opening in 1927, it seems this house must have had a Leathurby-Smith organ (or at least, the latest type of Smith organ built in Alameda, California from circa 1925 to 1928, and frequently sold along the West Coast by Leathurby who was a San Francisco-based dealer).

IF this is true and there was no earlier “Lincoln Theatre” in Cheyenne with a Smith organ, then this would be the first (and so far, only) Leathurby-Smith (or “California-built Smith”) organ I’ve seen sold East of the Western states (all of the others of which I’m aware were originally sold to California, Oregon, or Washington state).

Does anybody know more about this organ, and where it, or its parts, is/are today? Thanks!

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about Sourwine Theater on Jan 28, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Aw dang! At least the Walnut is still standing and in use, and so is the Lark (another nice old theatre).

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ”, pg. 629, the “Sourwine Th.” in Brazil, Indiana, had a two-manual Seeburg-Smith theatre pipe organ installed in 1919. The size of this instrument (# of ranks) is not given in the book (not known at the time of publication). This organ had Kinetic blower serial #G381, which was 2 horsepower and delivered 10" of static wind pressure.

Does anybody know what happened to this organ, and where it, and/or its parts, is/are today? Thanks!

I can no longer see the postcard view of the Sourwine. Does someone else have an additional view to share, or could they re-upload the postcard to another site besides Ancestry? (the site where the postcard was originally posted). Thanks!

From whence deriveth the theatre name “Sourwine”? There must be a great story in there somewhere!!!

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about Riviera Theatre on Jan 28, 2015 at 4:59 pm

Is this theatre building still standing? Are there any photos of it, and/or does someone have a street address showing where it was located? Thanks!

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ” by Mr. David Junchen, pg. 629, the “Riviera Th.” in Anderson, Indiana originally had a Smith theatre pipe organ installed at some point.

No further details, such as size of the organ (# of manuals / # of ranks), install date, blower info, or nameplate (Seeburg-Smith, Smith, Smith-Geneva) are given in the book (not known at the time of publication).

Does anybody know what happened to this organ and where it (or its parts) is/are today? Thanks!

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about Orpheum Theatre on Jan 28, 2015 at 4:55 pm

Good to see that this theatre building SEEMS to be still standing, and in use as a church. Are there any interior or exterior photos of it from its days as a theatre?

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ”, pg. 629, the “Orpheum Th.” in Elkhart, Indiana originally had a two-manual Seeburg-Smith theatre pipe organ installed in 1920. The size of the instrument (# of ranks) is not given in the book (not known at the time of publication). This organ has/had Spencer blower serial #10866, which was 2 horsepower and delivered wind at 10" static pressure.

Does anybody know more about this organ and where it (or its parts) is/are today? Could it still be installed and in use in the building as a church organ?

Thanks!

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about Lincoln Theatre on Jan 28, 2015 at 4:49 pm

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ” by Mr. David Junchen, pg. 629, the “Lincoln Th.” in Goshen, Indiana, had a Smith theatre pipe organ installed at some point.

No other information, such as size (# of manuals / # of ranks), install date, blower info, or nameplate (Seeburg-Smith, Smith, or Smith-Geneva) is given in the book, meaning that this info was not known at the time of publication.

Does anybody know any more about this organ, and where it, or its parts, is/are today?

Does anybody know any more about this theatre and know when it opened and when it was demolished?

Are there any interior or exterior photos?

Thanks!

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about Tivoli Theatre on Jan 28, 2015 at 4:40 pm

It’s too bad this theatre is gone. It looks like it was a nice one. Oh well, that’s the way it goes.

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ” by Mr. David Junchen, pg. 629, the “Tivoli Th.” in Michigan City, Indiana, originally had a two-manual, 9-rank Smith theatre pipe organ installed at some point. The book does not have any additional info, such as install date, or blower info, but it DOES say, with some finality, that the organ’s nameplate was “Smith”.

From my meager research, relatively few Smith theatre organs under Mr. Smith’s own ownership/leadership of the company were built, first a handful in his first factory in North Tonawanda, New York, and then a few more (probably two dozen or so) in the factory in Chicago between 1921 and 1924, when the company relocated to Geneva, Illinois.

Only a few Smith organs were built in Geneva (“Geneva-Smith”) in 1924-1925, before Mr. Smith left for California in 1925 and the Geneva Organ Co. was reorganized as its own separate entity (and the designs of their organs changed from Smith in some ways).

Mr. Smith’s own last firm in Alameda, California (with most instruments sold by the Leathurby store in San Francisco as “Leathurby-Smith” organs) also only apparently built about two dozen or so organs.

By far, the majority of Smith organs built (probably over 100 of them) were built in the Seeburg factory in Chicago under the Seeburg-Smith partnership between 1917 and 1920, and usually bore the “Seeburg-Smith” nameplate, although a few of them bore the nameplates of prominent dealers, such as Kramer.

Thus, given that this theatre was built in 1922, the organ must have been a Chicago “Smith” organ, built around 1922-1924 and installed around that time (likely, but not necessarily, installed before the theatre’s grand opening).

Does anybody know where this organ, and/or its parts, is/are today? 9 ranks was on the large side for a Smith organ. Thanks!

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about Ritz Theatre on Jan 28, 2015 at 4:21 pm

Was the Ritz ever known as the “Loomis” Theatre, or was there another “Loomis” Theatre building located either on this site (I don’t know the address), or elsewhere in Peru, Indiana? I have a listing for a Smith theatre pipe organ installed at such a theatre in 1921, but don’t have a page to put it. Thanks!

Also, is this Ritz’s building still standing? The buildings in the Google Map view look old enough, but I’m not sure. Thanks!

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about Lawrence Theatre on Jan 28, 2015 at 4:16 pm

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ” by Mr. David Junchen, pg. 629, the “Washington Th.” in Richmond, Indiana, had a two-manual Smith organ installed at some point.

No further information, such as size of the instrument (# of pipe ranks), install date, blower info, or nameplate (Seeburg-Smith, Smith, Smith-Geneva, etc) is available in the book (not known at the time of publication).

I know this is is a long shot, given that this building was torn down in 1935 in the height of the great depression, when theatre pipe organs were considered most useless and most unwanted in most parts of the US, (and thus it’s likely the organ went down with the building), but does anybody know what happened to this organ, and where it, or its parts, is/are today? Could it have been moved to a church in the greater Richmond area?

Thanks a lot,
Andrew

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about Long Center for the Performing Arts on Jan 28, 2015 at 3:34 pm

Dear folks, it is wonderful to see that this grand old theatre is still standing, restored, and in use for its intended purpose with the performing arts! Wonderful!

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ” by Mr. Dave Junchen, pg. 629, the “Mars Th.” in Lafayatte, Indiana, originally had a Seeburg-Smith theatre pipe organ installed in 1920. This organ had Kinetic blower serial #I518, which was 2 horsepower and produced 10" of static wind pressure. The size (# of manuals and # of ranks) of the organ is not given in Mr. Junchen’s book, meaning it was not known at the time of publication.

Does anybody know what happened to this organ, and where it, or its parts, is/are today? Thanks!

It would appear from the wording of Mr. Ross' synopsis/history/article above that the Seeburg-Smith organ was replaced by a Wurlitzer in the 1970s/1980s as part of the building’s transition into the “Long Center for the Performing Arts”.

However, the TheatreOrgans.com list of original theatre organ installations shows that a Wurlitzer model 235SP (the standard model 235 was a 3 manual, 11 rank organ), Opus 893, was shipped from the Wurlitzer factory on August 30, 1924, and installed in the “Mars Theatre” in Lafayette, Indiana.

1924 is quite a lot earlier than the 1970s/1980s!

Are there any Indiana members of the American Theatre Organ Society who can chime in here with more info about this theatre and the two (+?) organs that were/are installed here? Thanks!

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about Luna Theatre on Jan 28, 2015 at 3:17 pm

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ” by Mr. David Junchen, pg. 629, a Seeburg-Smith theatre pipe organ was installed in the “Luna Th.” in Lafayette, Indiana, in 1918. This organ had Kinetic blower serial #F462, which was a 2 horsepower blower. No further details on the organ, such as size (# of manuals / # of ranks), or the static wind pressure of the blower, are given in the book (not known at the time of publication).

It is known that Wurlitzer installed a style “E Special” (special/customized version of the style E, which was a two-manual, seven-rank theatre pipe organ) in this theatre in 1925, presumably replacing the earlier Seeburg-Smith instrument. User gorhamzoro was directly involved with the removal of the remains of this Wurlitzer organ and would/will know more about it.

However, it is not known (at least to me) what actually became of the Seeburg-Smith organ. Was it sold to another theatre, to a church, to a lodge hall, to a private home, or to a mortuary? All of these are possibilities.

The other possibility is that it was simply junked at the time, but this doesn’t seem as likely to me as having happened in 1925, since organs were still viable in theatres and used at that time, and thus had value.

Does anybody know where this organ, or its parts, is today? Thanks!

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about Luna Theatre on Jan 28, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Dear gorhamzoro, could you please provide more details on the Wurlitzer organ you got from the Luna Theatre?

Was this the model E Special, Opus 1154, shipped from the Wurlitzer factory on September 9, 1925? (That is the organ listed for this theatre on the TheatreOrgans.com list of original theatre organ installations).

What made it a “Special”? was the organ divided (two chambers, more normally called a model “EX”), or did it have more percussion effects, or a special-order pipe rank substituted for one of the standard pipe ranks, or ???

What happened to the remaining parts of this organ? Do you still have them, or did you sell them to various people? I should send you an email since you probably won’t see my post here for quite some time.

Also, do you have any information on the Seeburg-Smith organ that was installed at the Luna Theatre before the Wurlitzer? I am about to make another post detailing what little I know about this instrument, but I’m curious to know what happened to it after the Wurlitzer was installed. Was it taken in on trade to Wurlitzer, or sold to another theatre or a church?

Are, or were, there any Smith organs installed in churches in the greater Lafayette area? Thanks!

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about Lincoln Square Theatre on Jan 28, 2015 at 2:31 pm

*Never mind, I just read Mr. Joe Vogel’s comments above, a little more carefully. OK, it makes more sense for the theatre to have been in a razed/remodeled section of downtown than out in the middle of nowhere, cool! I hope we can figure out how to get the map to show the correct former theatre site, instead of what it shows now.


Also, Mr. Vogel’s quote from “Moving Picture World” mentioning a “Seeburg Piano” being installed at this theatre, undoubtedly refers to a Seeburg photoplayer (the various models of which were advertised as “Seeburg Pipe Organ Orchestras”), although Seeburg dealers were also known to sell the relatively large Seeburg G and H orchestrions to very early movie theatres, where they would be turned on and let play totally uncoordinated with the picture, either for background music, or for entertainment and intermission music between shows (these orchestrions, being keyboard models, could also be played by hand as a “straight” piano alone, and a very rare variety of the model G was provided with extra pedals, stop controls, and a special roll frame transmission that allowed the musician to stop the roll and play the entire orchestrion by hand from the keyboard and foot pedals, like a photoplayer).

Most of these orchestrion theatre sales, however, must have happened in around 1912 and 1913, when the G and H orchestrions were first put on the market for sale.

This is because Seeburg introduced its line of photoplayers / Pipe-Organ Orchestras starting in 1914 with the model M, followed by the models S, R, and at some point, A DeLuxe, T, V, P, Q, and W (I do not know the order or dates of the introduction of these models yet).

Of course, once theatre owners/builders had an orchestal instrument available that could be played entirely by one person (with rolls or manually) and have its music coordinated with the picture, they generally chose this option, and thus sales of regular coin pianos and orchestrions to theatres must have taken quite a nosedive in 1914-1915.

I also do not know what kind of Seeburg instrument this particular theatre had in 1916, although it was quite likely a photoplayer, probably a larger one if it was later replaced by a Seeburg-Smith theatre pipe organ (although it is also possible that the theatre building itself was enlarged).

Both Seeburg photoplayers and Seeburg-Smith theatre pipe organs are quite rare today (I know of fewer than 20 Seeburg photoplayers extant, many of them being quite incomplete, and only a handful of Seeburg-Smith pipe organs), although purportedly around 1,000 Seeburg photoplayers and perhaps around 75-125 Seeburg-Smith pipe organs were originally built.

Hope this helps or entertains someone!

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about Lincoln Square Theatre on Jan 28, 2015 at 2:08 pm

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ” by Mr. Dave Junchen, pg. 629, the “Rialto (Family) (Lincoln Square) Th.” in Indianapolis, Indiana, had a two-manual, 7-rank Seeburg-Smith organ installed at some point.

No other information on this organ, such as blower make, number, or specs; or install date, is listed in the book (not known at the time of publication).

Does anybody know where this organ, or its parts, is/are today? Thanks a lot!


It is weird to look at the Google Maps street view of the former theatre site, and see not merely a vacant lot in an urban or formerly-urban-looking area, but an actual DIRT MOUND (or dirt patch) with long grass, in the bend of an (obviously more recent) freeway!

Things can change quite a lot in 95 years, can’t they?

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about Alhambra Theatre on Jan 28, 2015 at 1:48 pm

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Pipe Organ” by Mr. David Junchen, pg. 629, the “Alhambra Th.” in Indianapolis, Indiana, had a three-manual, 11-rank Seeburg-Smith (not Smith-Geneva as reported in Mr. Chuck’s main theatre write-up above) theatre pipe organ installed in 1920.

This organ had Spencer blower serial #10999, which was 5 horsepower and delivered wind at 10" static pressure.

This was apparently one of the few 3-manual Smith organs ever built, and also one of the few organs over 10 ranks in size that they built (the majority of Smith’s output appears to have been 2-manual organs of between 4 and 9 ranks). Thus, this organ must have been one of Seeburg-Smith’s big “prestige” organ installations.

Does anybody know what happened to the Seeburg-Smith organ after it was moved to the Cadle Tabernacle?

The Saturday, September 2, 1922 issue of “The Indianapolis News” (pg. 27) has an article about the “New $17,000 pipe organ” just installed in the Tabernacle and about to be dedicated, but (and it is hard to tell given the poor OCR transcription of this page, and the fact that I can’t see the actual page image since I’m not a newspapers dot com subscriber), it doesn’t seem like the article mentions the make of the organ at all.

Given that Smith was still in business at the time of the move, (although now known just as the Smith Organ Co, no longer Seeburg-Smith), and given that they were known as primarily a builder of theatre-type organs for performing popular music (most were installed in theatres; a few were installed in lodge halls, radio stations, and hotels; Smith built only a handful of actual church organs their entire existence), it is possible that Mr. Cadle didn’t want the public to learn that the “new” church organ was really a used theatre organ from the recently closed theatre! (I am not sure if the $17,000 figure was at all accurate, either!)

A Google search has not helped matters much, since I’ve only been able to find out about the history of the Cadle Tabernacle building itself and nothing about the organ.

Here are a couple of the most useful links about the building and its history:

http://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/imh/article/view/12250/18207

http://archive.indystar.com/article/99999999/NEWS06/101210031/RetroIndy-Cadle-Tabernacle-an-evangelical-broadcasting-hub-1930s

Does anybody know what happened to the 3-manual, 11-rank Seeburg-Smith theatre pipe organ when the Cadle Tabernacle was razed / demolished in 1968?

Do it, or its parts, still exist today, and if so, where? Thanks a lot!


I have not yet checked the Möller section of Mr. Junchen’s book to see about an earlier Möller organ installation at this theatre, but I will do so when I have time.

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about Cozy Theatre on Jan 28, 2015 at 1:09 pm

Thanks for putting up the page for this theatre! I am so glad the building is still standing and hope I can visit it someday when I am traveling through Indiana.

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Pipe Organ”, pg. 629, the “Linden Th.” in South Bend, Indiana, originally had a 2 manual, 4 rank Smith theatre pipe organ installed.

No further details, such as blower info, nameplate (Seeburg-Smith, Smith, Smith-Geneva, etc), or install date are given in the book, since they weren’t known at the time of publication.

Does anybody know where this organ (or its parts) is/are today? Could it still be installed in the building, but now in use as a church organ?

(Don’t laugh; the removal and resale of unwanted smaller theatre pipe organs to poorer or less discriminating churches, often with some changes, such as: 1. removal and sometimes trashing of the traps and some percussions, and/or 2. swapping of some of the louder theatrical pipe ranks for softer churchier ones, saved many theatre pipe organs from going to the dump in the days when they were completely unwanted and being trashed left and right).

Thanks for any info anyone can provide! This is all for the Smith theatre pipe organ webpage I’ll be putting up eventually (not ready yet). I’d also really like to see some interior photos of this building, if the church is so inclined to provide any (they may not want to).


Does anybody know about the “Castle Theatre”, or the “LaSalle Theatre” in South Bend? I would create pages for them but don’t know how to do that.

According to Mr. Junchen’s book (same page), the “Castle Theatre” had a Seeburg-Smith organ installed in 1920 and the LaSalle Theatre also had some type of Smith organ, further details and install date unknown.

I have no idea what happened to these two theatres and organs and would like to know more. Thanks!

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about Lyric Theatre on Jan 28, 2015 at 12:40 pm

deaddude, maybe you could share some of the many stories you’ve heard here for posterity?

Hopefully other people have some other stories they can add too.

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about Boice Theater on Jan 28, 2015 at 12:31 pm

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Pipe Organ” by Mr. David Junchen, pg. 629, there was a Seeburg-Smith theatre pipe organ installed at the “Centennial Th.” in Warsaw, Indiana, in 1917.

The organ had a Spencer blower, serial #6681.

The blower’s horsepower and static wind pressure are not given in the book, being unknown at the time of publication.

Also unknown is the size of the organ, the number of manuals and ranks.

Does anybody know any more about this organ, and where it (or its parts) is/are today? Thanks a lot!

If a Marr & Colton organ was actually installed at this theatre in 1926 (I don’t have the Marr & Colton section of the book handy to check right now), then it would either be a replacement for, or a remodel/enlargement(?) of, the existing Seeburg-Smith instrument.

Does anybody know more about this Marr & Colton organ, and where it (or its parts) is/are today? Thanks!

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about Murray Hill Cinema on Dec 28, 2014 at 12:23 am

*The organ had a Kinetic blower, not a Simplex blower, sorry!

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about Mozart Theatre on Dec 28, 2014 at 12:22 am

*The organ had a Kinetic blower, not a Simplex blower, sorry!

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about Beverly Theater on Dec 28, 2014 at 12:18 am

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ” by David L. Junchen, pg. 630, the “Beverly Th.” in Brooklyn, New York, had a Seeburg-Smith pipe organ installed in 1919.

The number of manuals and ranks of this organ is not listed in the book, being unknown at the time of publication.

This organ had a Kinetic blower, serial #G382, which had a 1 and ½ horsepower motor. The book also lists two additional blowers going to the organ in 1919, both also Kinetic: serial #H329, another 1 and ½ horsepower blower; and serial #H627, a 3 horsepower blower, producing wind at 15" pressure (the highest pressure I’ve ever seen listed for any Smith organ). [The static pressure of the two 1 and ½ HP blowers is not listed]

Except in the extremely rare occasion when a brand-new blower would fail and need to be replaced (again, not common), most entries for multiple organ blowers going to the same theatre (listed in the book) represent enlargements of the organ, or occasionally a new replacement organ from the same manufacturer. The fact that all three blowers went to the same theatre in the same year means that PROBABLY either:

  1. the organ was installed with the first blower, but was enlarged by the factory either during installation (on commission from the theatre owner/builder) or soon after (probably if it was found to be insufficient to fill the house with sound). However, if true, this would be the only Smith organ I’m aware of with THREE blowers, producing a total of SIX horsepower, quite a lot for a Smith organ and larger than one of the two largest known Smith organs (the total HP of the other one is unknown).

  2. the organ was enlarged from whatever its original size (possibly only about 5 ranks with the 1 and ½ HP blower) to a significantly larger size, warranting the addition of a second blower (another 1 and ½ HP for a total of 3 HP). Then, it may have been found that it was more useful (and easier on the building’s electrical system, and less of a pain in the rear for the organist) to fit one larger blower INSTEAD of the two smaller blowers, the 3 HP total representing the sum of the output of the two smaller blowers. So the third blower, if this situation was true, would have been a REPLACEMENT for BOTH of the earlier blowers, which then probably were repossessed by the Smith factory to use on other new organs. A 3 HP blower can power up to about an 8-rank theatre pipe organ, so it is entirely probable that the original smaller organ was enlarged within the year. This is a likely scenario, since the serial numbers of the second and third blowers are about 300 numbers apart, and that probably would have represented a time span of many months of blower sales (nearly a year). Also, the serial numbers of the first and second blowers are many numbers apart, also indicating that the second one probably represents some sort of later addition to the very first one.

(The Kinetic blower serial number letter prefixes roughly correspond to the year made, with the subsequent two-, three- or four-digit number representing the sequential number of the blower within that year, with the numbering starting all over for every new year/lettered batch).

  1. Less likely, but possible: The organ could have been installed as a small organ, with additions made during construction, the additions eventually consisting of two(!) echo chambers, each winded by its own smaller blower. However, this doesn’t make as much sense, since the two smaller blowers have lower serial numbers and were presumably sold first, whereas the largest blower (presumably to power the main organ) was apparently made and sold last.

Regardless of all of this ridiculous speculation on my part, the organ was indeed built, and if all three blowers were indeed used at the same time, this may have been one of the largest Smith organs ever built, with a total of 6 horsepower making it over 10 ranks, and maybe over 15.

Does anybody have any photos or info on this organ, or know where it (or its parts) is/are today? Thanks!

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about Mozart Theatre on Dec 27, 2014 at 11:33 pm

The Mozart Theatre must have loved their Smith pipe organ, as evidenced by this endorsement reprinted on a page of a very rare Smith organ catalog (which itself is reprinted on pg. 627 of Mr. Junchen’s book):

"

“It is with pleasure I can write you telling you how highly pleased we are with the results obtained with your splendid instrument installed in our Mozart Theatre two years ago. Our business increased daily and much credit is due the Smith Unit Organ for a share of the credit of the wonderful showing.” – M. D. Gibson, Manager Mozart Theatre, Elmira, N. Y. Dated September 30, 1916.

"

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about Mozart Theatre on Dec 27, 2014 at 11:29 pm

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ”, pg. 630, the “Mozart Th.” in Elmira, New York, had a Smith theatre pipe organ installed in 1914.

The book does not list the size of the organ (# of manuals / # of ranks), since that was apparently not known at publication time, but they do give the blower info, which was a Simplex, serial #C346, 1 horsepower, giving 10" of static wind pressure. The number of horsepower of the blower motor indicates to me that this was probably a smaller size theatre organ, maybe around 4 ranks or so.

This was apparently amongst the very earliest installations made by this new firm, the first Smith company, which was operating in North Tonawanda, New York at this time. (They only installed a relatively few organs before moving to Chicago to partner with the Seeburg piano firm)

It was not THE earliest Smith installation, since that honor goes to a handful of installations made in 1913 (including the prestigious Shea’s Hippodrome in Buffalo), but 1914 is still pretty dang early, since the majority, out of all of the Smith instruments sold (of the various Smith firms) appear to have been the numerous Seeburg-Smith organs sold between 1916 and 1921, and then also the few dozen Leathurby-Smith organs sold up and down the West Coast from 1924 through 1928.

Other Smith organs (built in North Tonawanda, NY from 1913-1916; built in Chicago, IL, without Seeburg from 1921-1924, and built in Geneva, IL ONLY in 1924) are comparatively scarce since fewer of these were ever built.

Does anybody know what happened to this organ, and where it (or its parts) is/are today? Thanks!

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about RKO Columbia Theater on Dec 27, 2014 at 11:12 pm

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ” by David L. Junchen, pg. 630, the “Columbia Th.” in Far Rockaway, New York had a two-manual, 8-rank Smith theatre pipe organ installed at some point.

No other details, like installation date, blower info, or nameplate (Smith, Seeburg-Smith etc) were available when the book was published.

Does anybody know more about this organ, and where it (or its parts) is/are today?

Does anybody know more about this theatre?

Thanks a lot!

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about Biltmore Theater on Dec 27, 2014 at 11:07 pm

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ” by David L. Junchen, pg. 630, the “Westchester Th.” in Mt. Vernon, New York, had a Smith theatre pipe organ installed at some point. No further details, such as size (# of manuals/# of ranks), blower info, nameplate (Smith, Seeburg-Smith etc) or install date are available in the book, and probably weren’t documented at publication time.

Does anybody know any more about this organ or theatre, and where the organ (or its parts) is/are today?

Also, is this theatre building still standing? (empty, converted to other uses, etc) OR has it actually been demolished? It is very unclear from the listing on this site and also from the comments of some users, what is actually going on with this theatre.

Thanks a lot!

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett commented about Murray Hill Cinema on Dec 27, 2014 at 10:18 pm

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ” by David L. Junchen, pg. 630, the “34th Street Th.” in New York, New York, had a Seeburg-Smith organ installed in 1920.

This organ had a Simplex blower, serial #I134, which was 2 horsepower and delivered 10" of static wind pressure.

The organ’s size (# of manuals/# of ranks) is not given in the book (was not known at time of publication), but from what little I’ve learned about Smith organs so far, the 2 horsepower blower would indicate probably around a 6 rank organ, maybe 5 or 7 ranks, but probably not any larger or smaller than that.

It is a shame to hear about all of the tragedy associated with this theatre, and then about its demolition (and the demolition of the more recent theatre built on the site), but that’s the way it goes sometimes I guess.

Does anybody know where this organ, or its parts, is/are today?

jackbauer24, do you know if there was a pipe organ or any organ parts in the theatre when your father was the manager?

Smeeglereegle, do you remember anything about an organ in this theatre during the time you worked there, or a story of where it went?

Thanks!