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Great photo of the Roxy! I looked up the film Damaged Lives on www.imdb.com and find this:
“Although the film’s credits say it was produced and released by Weldon Pictures, it was actually filmed and distributed by Columbia. Weldon Pictures was a dummy company set up by Columbia, which didn’t want to be associated with the film’s topic, syphilis.”
Though produced in 1933, the film wasn’t released until June 1937.
An odd distinction for this theatre: in 1925 this theatre purchased a Wurlitzer pipe organ, opus 1118, a style F-special, 3 manuals and 10 ranks. A customized organ, but nothing too usual.
The sad twist on this is that in 1943 this organ went back to the Wurlitzer factory in North Tonawanda NY where it was rebuilt for radio station WGR/WKBW Buffalo NY and in its rebuilt state, was the last pipe organ to leave Wurlitzer. Shortly afterwards all the remaining pipe organ stock, parts and tools were burned or melted down for scrap metal.
The Wurlitzer company, in a little over 22 years had turned out +/– 2,200 organs. Justly or not, Wurlitzer remains, in the mind of the general public, the most famous pipe organ builder.
The Sea Wolf, starring Hobart Bosworth, premiered in December 1913. This photo must not be too much later than that date.
The Clemmer Theatre had a III/28 Estey organ installed in 1912. Ten years later, when the hall became The Columbia Theatre, the Estey was removed and a II/9 style 210 Wurlitzer organ, opus 533, was installed.
Wurlitzer theatre organ opus 1815 replaced an earlier, smaller Wurlitzer, their opus 1139 which had been installed in the East Side on 08/19/1925. Wurlitzer took Opus 1139 in trade and later sold it to the Sylvia Theatre in Bellevue, Kentucky.
There is a photo of the Princess showing Sally of the Sawdust, a 1925 W.C. Fields feature. Looks like the Princess may have had 2 incarnations.
Another date discrepancy with the Theatre Organ Database which lists a II/4 Robert Morton pipe organ installed at Macon’s Ritz Theatre in 1927. Maybe the theatre changed hands in 1930? Maybe the database is just wrong?
The Theatre Organ Database says that Macon’s Rialto had a tiny Robert Morton pipe organ (II/3) installed in 1921. CT lists an opening date of 1925. Any supporting documents for either date?
The Robert Morton Organ Company records selling a 2 manual organ to the Grand Theatre in Macon Georgia in 1925. That is possibly this theatre. Is an organ still in this hall? Are there even empty chambers where an organ once stood?
Dating this photo, Bird of Paradise with Jeff Chandler was released in the U.S. on March 14, 1951. It probably got to Macon somewhat later.
The Wurlitzer organ was moved here from the defunct Majestic Theatre in Boise Idaho.
In 1917 the Majestic got a Wurlitzer pipe organ, opus 119, Style 3 “Special” (meaning customized) 2 manuals, 7 ranks, in a free standing case which implies the organ was either installed on the stage or in an orchestra pit. It was moved to the Ideal Theatre in Burns Oregon in 1928.
Speculating: The Arcade’s address is on 7th Street. Wurlitzer built a small organ for the (or “a”) 7th Street Theatre in 1924, but the current 7th Street Theatre didn’t open until 1928/1929. Wonder if Wurlitzer built their organ for this hall in 1924? When the new 7th Street Theatre opened in 1928, this got converted to the “Arcade” and the organ got moved to the new hall. Later, this building got converted back into a theatre. Possible?
The Lawler Theatre appears to have opened with a Barton pipe organ. The Barton was replaced by Wurlitzer pipe organ opus 1350, a Style B Special, III/5, installed in 1926.
The Harris (Casino) had 2 Wurlitzer organs during the 1920’s. The first, opus 961, dated December 1924, was a highly customized Style B – listed as a 3 manual, 8 rank organ. The 2nd, opus 1344, dated May 1926, was a stock E-X, 2 manuals, 7 ranks.
In 1926 the Sheridan Square Theatre got a new Wurlitzer pipe organ, opus 1344, a style E-X, 2 manuals, 7 ranks. Interestingly, the next Wurlitzer opus number, 1345, an identical organ, went to Pittsburg’s Harris Theatre. Were the Harris and the Sheridan Square under the same management?
The Balboa got the Wurlitzer pipe organ, opus 1339, a style B, 2 manuals 4 ranks in 1930. This was the organ originally installed at the Uptown Theatre in Seattle in 1926. The organ reportedly moved to a church in Oak Harbor Washington in 1941.
The Uptown Theatre had a tiny Wurlitzer pipe organ when it opened: opus 1339, built in 1926 for this theatre was 2 manuals and 4 ranks, a style B stock model. It seems the organ was removed in 1930 and is now (supposedly) at the Presbyterian Church in Oak Harbor, Washington.
Chuck, thanks for clarifying the theatre’s previous names. CT doesn’t list the alternate name PALACE for this hall. The Wurlitzer pipe organ factory records indicate their opus 1338, a tiny 2 manual, 4 rank (Style B) organ was installed in the Palace Theatre, McAlester, OK, in 1926.
The Wurlitzer factory records show a pipe organ Style B “Special” (meaning a customized design) 2 manuals, 6 ranks sold to the Beyer Theatre, Excelsior Springs MO in May 1926.
Joe, that fits nicely with the 1926 ad you posted that says “always the best music” especially since the price of a Wurlitzer was often double the cost of some of the other organ builders, and therefor something of an extravagance for a small theatre, feasible only because of the cache of the Wurlitzer name.
Chuck – on your description at the head of the page it says the Beyer opened in 1942. Is that correct or should it read 1924?
A substantial Kimball pipe organ, a III/18 was installed in the Liberty Theatre (later known as the Crest) ca. 1922. It was a used organ bought from the Doric Theatre in Kansas City Missouri (q.v.) which had closed after a gas explosion.
Finally found the story on the organ at the Linden Circle. It was built for the Loew’s State Theatre in Buffalo NY in 1921 – Moller opus 2888. In 1925 the Buffalo theatre upgraded to a new, larger Moller organ and Moller took #2888 in trade. It was rebuilt and renumber as #4551 and installed in the Linden Circle the following year.
Looks like the Loew’s State opened with a Moller pipe organ, opus 2888, a III/17 in 1921. In 1925, they traded that one back to Moller for opus 4318, a III/32. Opus 2888 wound up in Memphis Tennessee at the Linden Circle Theatre.
Some confusion, I’m finding a listing for the Central Coliseum Theatre, Washington DC in 1916. Would it be this one? From what I’m reading above, this hall was called Moore’s Garden in 1916. Thoughts?
According to www.imdb.com What’s Your Hurry opened August 15, 1920.