Comments from jwgregory

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jwgregory commented about Belmont Theater on Mar 22, 2007 at 12:18 am

The Chicago Belmont Theater maybe lost, but the theater organ that was in this wonderful movie house still lives on. I am a theater organ fan and have done some research on the organ that was in this theater. This theater was home to one of Wurlitzer’s Publix 1 style theater organs, or more commonly know as a ‘Crawford Special’ Wurlitzer in the theater organ world. The organ style was designed by the famous theater organ artist, Jesse Crawford, and consisted of four manuals, and 20 ranks of pipes. This organ style was one of the few common 4 manual Wurlitzer styles to make it out of the early 20th Century alive, as many 4 or even 3 manual original styles have few, or none at all, organs that exist today. The theater organs that played in these theater houses are just as rare as these theaters are. We must do everything that we can to make sure these two great things stay around for a long time to come! Anyhow, I am proud to say that to my knowledge and understanding that the organ that was in this theater still exists, and remains unaltered! In June of 1963 the organ was purchased, and moved to Manitowoc, Wisconsin into a restaurant call ‘Castle North’ which was designed to house this theater organ. The restaurant went under, and the building and organ was sold to a man by the name of Christopher Feiereisen who last known ran a pipe organ business. He uses the building for storage and to run his business. You can go here to and see pictures of the restaurant and the organ. The organ still plays and Mr. Feireisen is still welcome to visitors to come see the Belmont Wurlitzer. Well folks here you have it, history on the Belmont’s theater organ. I strongly suggest that you stop by and see the organ, more so if you remember going to this theater. Hearing such instruments is quickly becoming a thing of the past, as are these theaters.