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The New York Theatre Society is planning an organ concert at the former Brooklyn Paramount on Sunday, October 8th at 3 PM. This will be the last time the organ can be heard until after the renovation which is scheduled to start very soon. I’ll put up more details as they come in.
The first Christmas show I ever saw at RCMH was in 1958. I was taking accordion lessons for only 2 months. In the stage show presentation Santa came out on stage playing the accordion. I turned to my mother and said that someday I’d do that. It took 34 years but I did perform on stage on keyboards in a show there and mom was in the audience. I am now curator of the Wurlitzer Organ at the old Brooklyn Paramount and one thing I’d like to do is play the 4/58 Wurlitzer at RCMH.
I’m not sure when the Park closed but I remember seeing “Old Yella” (Walt Disney)there about 1957.
It’s now just a hole in the ground.
Passed by yesterday. They are taking the building down.
You can now take a video tour of the 4/26 Wurlitzer Organ that is still there on UTube at:
There was a silent film “The Phantom of the Opera” done with the organ which went over very well except that it was the day before Sandy came and that kept people away but quite a few did show up. The last concert that was open to the public was I don’t even know how many years ago. It is hoped that a concert and 2 or 3 silent movies will be put on each year. Let’s see.
Do you want to hear the Mighty Wurlitzer at LIU Brooklyn, (The Brooklyn Paramount)? On Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 7:00 P.M. An evening of pops, show tues, and light classical will be performed by Theatre Organist Jelani Eddington. For more information go to
Not such a big deal but the organ for the Kings is a Robert Morton.
Maybe not anytime soon but you can still come and hear the mighty Wurlitzer roar. An organ concert is being planned for the middle of February. More details latter.
Here’s some news!! The New York Theatre Organ Society will present the 1925 Horror Movie Classic “The Phantom of the Opera” Starring Lon Chaney at the Brooklyn Paramount on Sunday, October 28th 2012 at 3PM. The Brooklyn Paramount Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ will be played with the movie. General Admission will be $10.00. $8.00 for Seniors.
There is now a fence around the place with a sign that says “Coming soon, Olive Garden Resturant.
Here is a link to a larger photo.
To Adam S, there is one photo some place on the internet which does show a small piece of the first mezzanine. It was in Life magazzine right after the first conversion. The photo shows a student jumping over a gym horse and you can just make out part of the mezz. You’ll have to do a web. search to find it. It’s the only photo I ever saw which has the mezz. in it.
To LuisV, There will be a One Credit Course/Conference at the old Brooklyn Paramount tomorrow, April 15 that is open and free to the public. We’ll see if there is any talk re: the above. For more info see the Brooklyn Paramount page.
For Hank.sykes, Many years ago I read an article that stated they were water. When I performed there I went down to the bottom of the pit and found it so clean that you could do surgery down there.
I remember going to see that show. Long lines around the block waiting to get in as usual. When I buy tickets for the Christmas show now I tell the people in the box office what the price was back then and they look at me as if I’m nuts!!
I don’t know if that discussion will take place. As far as I know there is no talk of restoring it back to a theatre. All I can tell you is to come. All the powers that be will be there so you can ask them. I plan on being there for the whole thing. I think it is going to be very interesting and informative. Not to mention they now have a small museum for the Brooklyn Paramount. Photos, Uniforms, etc.
Brooklyn Paramount fans, now is your chance!!! There will be “A one credit course/ conference at the old Brooklyn Paramount on Friday, April 15, 2011. This will be free and open to the public. From 9 am to 5 pm. Lunch will be provided only for those paying for the credit course. The schedule as it stands now will be panels in the morning session from Joe Baskin (Rebeilious Laughter) Mary Favia (Palace Theatre Veteran) Joe Franklin (Memory Lane) David Harmon (Harmony Productions) Dr. Sue Horowitz (Women in Vaudeville) Ron Hurchinson (The Vitaphone Project) Craig Morrison (Brooklyn Theatre History) Richie "O” (Producer, “The Joe Franklin Show”) Don K. Reed (The Doo-Wop Shop -WCBS FM) Ron Schweiger (Brooklyn Borough Historian) Norman Steinberg (Blazing Saddles) Travis Stewart (Vaudeville Historian) Peter Tymus (Architecture & Theatre Engineering). Performers will include: A short concert showing off the Mighty Wurlitzer. Sammy Sax and the MD’s will perform songs from the old Alan Freed shows, Travis Stewart will bring you back to the Vaudeville days, The Giacomo Gates Quintet (feturing Sam Newsone) Greg Lewis, Carlo de Rosa & suprise guests will also perform.
I also have confidence in Ron Bishop. Most people have no idea how many things can go wrong with a pipe organ. The 4/58 has over 4,000 pipes. Not counting all the toys it has. Most of the time you would find a small problem, like one or two pipes not speaking. But, for the entire instrument not to play (I can only guess) it was probably a main electrical problem. Then getting the part or parts and installing them. At least those things can be got at a supply house near-by.
Re: the Wurlitzer 4/58. I am sure that getting parts is not the problem. I’ll bet that funding for the parts is. Mr. Bishop can only do so much. There comes a time that one must spend some money for maintenance on something so large and complex as that. Also there are a few things that if any one thing goes out, the organ will not play. I am sure that Mr. Bishop will find and fix the problem. I just hope that the organist still gets paid.
In answer to Myron’s comment. I know that Hunter College used RCMH for their graduations. I have no idea who else might use it.
To longislandmovies, The building is still there. Still with a for lease sign on it. I don’t think the inside has been touched. Last I heard the owner of the property wanted too much rent to make it work for an operator.
My father had a butcher and grocery store in east new york brooklyn and sold merkel products for years. I thought there bacon was the best. Merkel’s building could be seen from the Long Island Railroad platforms at the Jamaica station. The Merkel Big sign above the building has been gone for many years but the building was there until about a year ago. One of the reasons Merkel closed down was that government inspectors found that to save money they were mixing horse meat into their products. If you go back that far you would have read that in the Long Island Press.
rvb, That is not a second organ. It is a second console connected to the same organ. Also, it is not a slave console. I also have been impressed when both are used. djf7 The Paramount organ can still kick. I was there yesterday. I’ll try resending you that e-mail.