Comments from Larc

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Larc
Larc commented about Tower Theatre on Oct 30, 2010 at 5:23 pm

A Wurlitzer model 216 pipe organ (2/10) was installed in the Tower Theatre when it opened. There has been some confusion about this Opus 1620 Wurlitzer since it is reported to have been shipped to the Garrick Theatre on Apr 23, 1927. But the Garrick had already been demolished by then to make way for the Tower. The organ remained in the Tower for only a couple of years before being moved to the Los Angeles Theatre for its opening in Jan 1931. It has subsequently gone into private hands.

Larc
Larc commented about Los Angeles Theatre on Oct 30, 2010 at 3:26 pm

A Wurlitzer model 216 organ (2/10) was installed in the Los Angeles Theatre for its opening after being moved from the nearby Tower Theatre. There has been some confusion about this Opus 1620 Wurlitzer since records show it was shipped to the Garrick Theatre on Apr 23, 1927. But the Garrick had already been demolished by then to make way for the Tower, which opened on Oct 27 of that year. Original plans for the Los Angeles called for installation of a larger Wurlitzer, and chamber space was provided to accommodate it, but the owner ran out of funds and was forced to move the organ from the Tower instead.

The organ had been in the Tower for only a couple of years. After its move to the Los Angeles, it was played for only a short time before being allowed to fall into disrepair. It was restored to playing condition in the early ‘60s, and organist Ann Leaf performed to a full house on Aug 23, 1963. She also recorded tracks for an LP on it (Concert Recording #CR-0083). The organ was eventually sold or, as some reports have it, stolen from the Los Angeles. It’s now known to be part of a larger organ that is in private hands.

Larc
Larc commented about Strand Theater on Jun 6, 2010 at 10:05 am

A 3/14 Wurlitzer Balaban 2 (opus 2112) was installed in 1930 when Paramount-Publix leased the old Strand. The console was destroyed by a hurricane in 1938 as has already been mentioned, but the remainder of the organ was eventually sold to an individual in Providence. It has been owned since 2001 by a known theatre organ enthusiast in Minnesota.

The original Strand organ was a 2/15 Moller (#1939) installed in 1915. It was substantially enlarged to 3/28 in 1917 (new #2267) and again in 1924 with the addition of two ranks of pipes and more percussions (3/30 as new #3990). There’s no indication about the fate of the Moller.

Larc
Larc commented about State Theatre on Mar 29, 2010 at 7:04 pm

The State Theatre closed for a period in the early 1950s and underwent an intensive interior renovation that included new seats, carpets and stage curtains. They made a big deal out of the reopening (I was there) and soon after started a series of talent shows.

They had an extra wide seat in the back row that was installed for a rather “hefty” assistant coach at a local college who loved going to movies. Anybody sitting in that seat when he came in would be asked to move.

The State once had a Style 49 Robert Morton 2/3 organ.

Larc
Larc commented about Palace Theater on Mar 29, 2010 at 6:49 pm

The Palace Theatre was a second run house when my family moved to Raleigh in 1946. It was owned by Wilby-Kincey that also owned the Ambassador Theatre. First run movies would play at the Ambassador and would then usually go directly to the Palace for a run of a few days to as long as a week.

The Robert Morton organ at the Palace was 2 manual, but I can’t find any info on ranks.

Larc
Larc commented about Capitol Theater on Mar 29, 2010 at 6:32 pm

The News & Observer press building now occupies land where the Capitol Theatre once stood. The Capitol and buildings that once stood on each side of it have been demolished.

For anybody interested in seeing exactly where the Capitol stood, use Google Earth to go to 158 W. Martin St. in Raleigh (nearer where the theatre actually was than the 124 W. Martin address in Earth). Go to street level and click on the 158 W. Martin St. icon. Look north. The Capitol box office was approximately behind where you see the small tree. A clue is in the slant of the sidewalk . Note the sidewalk in the linked picture of the Capitol begins a slight uphill slant toward the left in front of the theatre. The same slant is visible in Google Earth.

Larc
Larc commented about Capitol Theater on Jun 17, 2008 at 9:22 am

The Robert-Morton organ was replaced by a Wurlitzer B Special (opus 1567) in January 1927. A standard B was 2/4, but the “Special” status indicates an additional rank of pipes or other departure from specs.

Larc
Larc commented about Capitol Theater on Mar 12, 2008 at 1:57 pm

We kids called this theatre “The Two Stick” in the early 50s. You needed to take two sticks with you when you went: one to prop up the seat and another to keep the rats away! It always had a Saturday matinee western double feature. I saw some great stage shows there including The Three Stooges right after Curly left and Shemp joined the team. Smiley Burnette was there another time.