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I just went by the theatre on Sunday. The front of it is covered in scaffolding. The marquee is gone in prep for a new replica of the original to be installed. The extended stage house also needs to be walled in. My mentor, Lee Erwin, played the last concert on the organ, and tried to save it. NYU dropped the ball and refused to take ownership of it. The console was then put into Carnegie Hall Cinema, and the pipework put into storage. While in storage, the pipework was terribly vandelized and damaged. I do not believe any of it still exists. Paul Van der Mohlen bought the console and had it restored for his home. He put Morton pipework to it. If the Kings gets the organ, it will be a Wonder Morton console with Morton pipework that needs a lot of work on it in order to fill the room. I hope this happenes, and that the theatre gets its voice back.
I am very upset about this change to bowtie. The little movie theatre in my home town of Allwood, Clifton, New Jersey, was also taken over by them as the Allwood 6 and is to close in June. I know it is not as fancy as the Loews Jersey where I am an organist, but it meant so much to the people when it opened in 1951. It will also continue to ruin our Market Street as the bank across the street has been empty 6 years and there are a few other stores empty. Now the only alternative is to pay a lot of money for the mega plex at the Clifton Commens, and expect your car to be stolen or a fight to break out there for the added fun, as there is no other place to go. As far as I am cocerned , the group should rot and take all the other theatres they took over with them, as the small ones that are still popular are doomed. Only garbage will come after the theatre is gone, as shown when the Clifton Theatre in Clifton Center was torn down for yet another Wallgreens, just what they needed, and all was just fine with our City Government when this happened. First we have lost our industry and now this. What sayeth the Mayor on the Allwood house? “ WELL I’M NOT REALLY INTO MOVIES ANYWAY”. I think that speaks volumes. No wonder why Europe is far ahead of us on many things.
First of all, its amazing the number of negative comments there are already concerning the Kings. If we had listened to all the comments when our project was getting of the ground with the Loews Jersey, then it would be only a memory now. I really don’t think that people understand the ground work that is needed to even consider reopening one of these theatres, let alone updating them to make it pay. There has been numerous set backs for our project, but we continue to plug along. If it takes a program each night at the King’s to make things work, then so be it. Is this not what it was intended to do? I for one wish the people involved good luck, and have great enthusiasm for the project. I donn’t see any of the people who have a criticism,offering to help with anything.
Now , on a personal level, My Mentor anf=d close friend, Lee Erwin not only was closely linked to the organ, but played the last concert on it. It was his goal to first have the organ reinstalled when there was some hope of that, and then secondly have it installed in Town Hall. It was a hoorible disappointment when NYU who bought it not only dropped the ball, but incinerated it, when it was refused. It was heart breaking to him and all involved when it was vandalized, with the console remaining the best part. I am pleased as I am sure that Lee would be that this console is returning to its theatre. How the pipework will sound as it is Morton stock, but not original, I am not sure. However, I am told by those invoved, it is working out well, and will be ready for the theatre.
These projects take a lot of planning, and and forethought. I would love to go there tomorrow, but is this realistic, no. I am confident, despite those already complaining, that the project will succeed. I just had to get a few things out, I will now step down from my soapbox.
The St. George had a beautiful Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ.
I have long been wondering whats up here. If anymore of it can be saved, then more power to whoever can. We have lost too much history. When I enter whats left of the Paramount Paramount in Times Square, its disgusting that there is not one photo of what was there.
I am doing a drawing of the San Fransisco Granada/ Paramount theatre. Does anyone know the colors of the auditrium…the walls, curtains,ect.? The drawings are for sale through this site.