Comments from Mortonman

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Mortonman
Mortonman commented about John W. Engeman Theater on Jul 1, 2009 at 8:00 am

I went to the Northport Theatre, now the John Engeman theatre in memory of a fallen soldier in Iraq, to see Crazy for You. The place is quite nice. The lobby is more like a classy cocktail lounge in a NYC hotel than a cheesy, popcorn counter in a greasy old movie theatre. They actually bulldozed the interior of the theatre to start from scratch. Now 400 seats, the orchestra sweeps up in stadium formate to where the balcony used to be. All seats get a great view. They installed $400K sound system, and all the singers have rather expensive wireless mics, just like on Broadway. The “cup holders” at each seat hold the cocktail glasses quite nicely. Even the wine glasses are stemless so they fit nicely into the seats.
The actors were all equity, and the choreography was fantastic. The owners actually produce the show — they do not simply play host to touring companies. They have their own scenic studios in Lake Ronkonkema, and the movement of scenes was silent and rapid.
I recommend this venue for a fine evening of entertainment.

Mortonman
Mortonman commented about Mineola Theatre on Jun 21, 2009 at 6:26 pm

Mea Culpa. I was confused between the Westbury Theatre and Mineola’s Corpus Christi church — both of which had Midmer Losh organs. The Moeller information seemed so precise that it forced me to double check.
Thanks, Lost Memory.

Mortonman
Mortonman commented about Mineola Theatre on Jun 21, 2009 at 6:21 pm

I remember during the demolition I saw some of the pipes dangling out of what had been the house right chamber. Sad.

Mortonman
Mortonman commented about Mineola Theatre on Jun 21, 2009 at 6:20 pm

The organ may have been a Midmer Losh. A check of the ACCHOS website allows you to go through the archives of their journal. One of the issues has a complete Opus list for Midmer Losh, and the Mineola Theatre is listed. Midmer Losh was a lot closer than Moeller in Maryland.

Mortonman
Mortonman commented about Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts on Jun 22, 2008 at 5:59 pm

Until very recently a Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ was slated to go into the theatre — It would have been maintained by the New York Theatre Organ Society. Unfortunately, with a change in managers the impetus was lost. The guy in charge of putting it in kept getting more and more resistance till he finally gave up.

Mortonman
Mortonman commented about Fine Arts Theater on Jun 9, 2008 at 6:48 pm

When I was a kid (50’s and 60’s) it was primarily a porno theatre. The Calderone, Rivoli, and Hempstead Theatres showed more traditional fare! I’m surprised to hear it had a pipe organ.

Mortonman
Mortonman commented about Mineola Theatre on Jun 9, 2008 at 6:44 pm

I remember seeing its destruction. Looked to me like there had been some kind of organ in it. I saw part of a chamber (house right) with a chest and pipes all ready for the wrecking ball and dumpster. I bet it was a Midmer-Losh. I never saw the console even though I had patronized the theatre.

Mortonman
Mortonman commented about Avalon Theatre on Jun 6, 2008 at 4:57 pm

It did not have a “Wonder Morton.” Those were in the Loews Valencia, the Loews Kings, the Loews 175th St., the Paradise (Bronx), and the Loews Jersey City.

Mortonman
Mortonman commented about Queens Theatre on Nov 16, 2007 at 9:07 pm

I can solve the theatre organ mystery. Austin was primarily a church organ company, but theatre organs were generally “unified” instruments. 42 ranks certainly has more punch to it than 11 ranks, but opus 1569 had only 11 ranks. I was the recipient of the organ’s being donated to Chaminade High School in Mineola, Long Island. It was a 3/11, not a 3/42. The Valencia did, indeed, blow this instrument away. It had 23 ranks and 4 manuals, and the ranks were on an even higher pressure than the Queens Village Austin.

The QVT’s reed ranks had already been taken by “midnight organ supply” before I took out the remnant in 1978. We managed to get exact replacement reeds from the Prospect Theatre and from the Beacon Theatre in Port Washington.

9 original Austin ranks remain in the 15 rank Chaminade instrument. All the Austin chests have since been replaced since releathering them would have been even more costly than getting new chests. The Austin console was replaced (given away) when we got the Robert Morton console from the RKO Keiths Richmond Hill in the mid-1980’s. Even the 7.5 hp Spencer turbine was replaced by the 15 hp Spencer from the RKO Keiths Richmond Hill. The old 7.5 is now working for the Middletown NY theatre’s Wurlitzer.

Mortonman
Mortonman commented about RKO Keith's Richmond Hill on Nov 16, 2007 at 6:12 pm

The theatre used to feature a 3/13 Robert Morton Theatre Organ. It was on about 15" of wp. Most of it succumbed to either water damage (a tree had roots in the ceiling of the solo chamber) or to Midnight Organ Supply.

The console, blower, two ranks, and various regulators and trems were bought by Chaminade High School in Mineola. The console was restored and looks great. It is currently controlling 15 ranks of pipes.