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An article about the Regent. http://media.democratandchronicle.com/retrofitting-rochester/regent-theatre
Wurlitzer’s records show that they shipped a 2-manual, 8 rank pipe organ, Style F, opus 1390 to the Bushwick Theatre in Brooklyn in the summer of 1926. This implies that the Bushwick had started showing movies by that date.
Several photos available here: http://www.pstos.org/instruments/wa/seattle/5th-ave.htm
A small Wurlitzer pipe organ opus 1383, a Style B, was installed here in the summer of 1926.
The Rudolph Wurlitzer Company shipped a small pipe organ, their opus 1376, style B, II/4+percussions, to “Rivington Theatre, NY” in the summer of 1926. Since the Ruby is a small theatre, on Rivington Street, and the only theatre of 3 on the street listed on Cinema Treasures as opening in 1926, seems likely that that organ was installed in this theatre. It’s a just a guess though.
Just cross referencing some information, I find a listing that the Washington Theatre, New York (it doesn’t say Brooklyn) got a pipe organ from the Beman Organ Company in 1915. Beman was a very minor organ builder with just a handful of instruments listed around New York and Pennsylvania. The date, name and modest scale certainly seem right for this hall.
As The Grand Theatre, the hall had a small Wurlitzer pipe organ installed in 1926. Wurlitzer’s opus 1374 was a style B special with 2 manuals and 5 ranks of pipes. The top of the console is visible in the photo link posted by Lost Memory.
The Avenue B had a large organ built by M. P. Moller, their opus 1947 with four manuals and 31 ranks. It is interesting that the organ records state “contained many used parts, $5,700.” You gotta laugh, Marcus Loew builds a spectacular new theatre on the site of his childhood home, but let’s see if we can’t save a few dollars on that organ, okay?
I also find reference that Wurlitzer sold a little 2-manual, 3-rank organ to “Avenue B Theatre, New York, NY” in 1926 (opus 1372). Was there another hall with the same name? Maybe this was a lobby organ? Another mystery!
The Athens Theatre briefly had a tiny Wurlitzer pipe organ. Wurlitzer’s records show a Style 105 Special, opus 1371, 2 manuals, 3 ranks, with a curved console was installed in June 1926, but the organ was moved to a theatre in Maryland in September 1927. The theatre’s website says the hall was equipped for sound pictures in 1929 so the short life of the organ there is something of a mystery.
In June 1926, the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company shipped their opus 1356, a Style 109 pipe organ of 2 manuals and 3 ranks plus a piano to the Midland Theatre, Pittsburg Kansas. This is a very small instrument, implying that the Midland was not a big hall.
In June 1926 the Rudolph Wurlitzer company shipped a pipe organ to the Alhambra in San Francisco. It was Wurlitzer’s opus 1364, a style “D,” 2 manuals, 6 ranks in a single chamber: an unusually small organ for a theatre of this size and quality. It was removed around 1960 and supposedly still exists in a private residence.
Wurlitzer records indicate a small organ, II/4, Style BX, their opus 1362 was shipped to the “Rothwell” Theatre in Willow Grove PA on June 12, 1926. That sounds suspiciously like the Grove being referred to by the company name: Rothwell. Or did the Rothwells open a 2nd theatre in Willow Grove? The organ apparently survives in a private residence in Glenside PA.
The Arcada’s pipe organ was built by Marr & Colton, originally 3 manuals and 10 ranks of pipes. Its original console supposedly adorned with flamingos. Early in the organ’s life it was rebuilt and expanded to 16 ranks by the Geneva organ company. The existing Art Deco style console dates from that time. Marr & Colton and Geneva were companies that specialized in building pipe organs for theatres but they are not remembered as being the top tier in that category (as for example, Wurlitzer, Kimball, Robert Morton). In short, a Marr & Colton was a lot cheaper than a Wurlitzer. It’s interesting that the owners of the Aracada, obviously building to high standards, choose an organ which was a definite nod to “economy.”
Advertisement in the Knoxville Journal Tribune July 17, 1914.
5¢ REX THEATRE 5¢TODAY“Lucile Love, the Girl of Mystery”In 2 Parts —– Featuring Francis Ford and Grace Cunard.
Reliance —– 2 parts
“Blue Pete’s Escape”
A Forceful Drama with a Moral.
Keystone Comedy“Love and Salt Water”The Worlds Oldest living ThingsOne of the Funniest Keystone Comedies Yet Produced.
THE NEW “PHOTOPLAYER”
Arthur H. Graves, Expert Demonstrator in Charge.
This most modern of musical instruments must be heard to be understood. It is not the mechanical music box you have heard at other places, but produces music thoroughly in harmony with the play at all times, sad, sentimental, tragic, patriotic or popular airs.
Really nicely produced 8 minute video about the organ, but with several good images of the auditorium’s interior. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbOEkXnNnB8
drewc – The sign you found is a modern casting made in some quantities for unknown purposes. I bought one on eBay too, thinking it was a unique if regrettable relic of the Jim Crow era. I then discovered that there were dozens of them floating around and that the Broadway hadn’t even opened until 1925.
Notice on the photo above, the feature film is “Stool Pigeon.” According to imdb.com that feature was released October 25, 1928: we can assume this photo was taken sometime around shortly after that date. Stool Pigeon was a silent. Wonder what sort of accompaniment was provided. I have not found a record of an organ installed here.
According to the website http://barton.theatreorgans.com/ the Capitol opened with a 3 manual, 38 rank Hillgreen – Lane pipe organ. It seems very odd that a theatre of this quality should have had an organ from a distinctly second (if not third) tier organ builder. If the website is correct and the original cost was only $8000, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the chandeliers in the theatre didn’t cost more than the organ.
According to David Junchen’s book The Wurlitzer Pipe Organ, an Illustrated History p. 675, Wurlitzer shipped their organ opus 1684 – 2 manuals 4 ranks – to the Parmele Theatre in Plattsmouth, Nebraska in July 1927. Junchen notes that the theatre subsequently was renamed the Cass Theatre. Wurlitzer removed the organ in 1932 and sold it to a hospital in Cincinnati Ohio. It is easy to imagine that the Parmele became the Cass at about that time.
The description of the organ in the header appears to be a compression of two different instruments.
When the Capitol opened, the organ was Kilgen opus 3037, a 4 manual, 31 rank organ which would indeed have been an unusually large theatre organ. Kilgen, better known as a church organ builder, did not have the cache or power of Wurlitzer’s instruments.
When Paramount took over the hall in 1926, they bought
a new Wurlitzer organ, opus 1404, a customized 3 manual, 16 ranks organ (possibly 15, there is an ambiguity in the data). As of 2013 the Wurlitzer survives in the Phipps Center for the Performing Arts, Hudson, Wisconsin, slightly altered. Fate of the Kilgen is unknown.
I’ve run across a reference that may not be accurate. It says that Wurlitzer organ opus 1117 (10 ranks) was moved to the Rivoli (Rutherford NJ) but there’s no date when that might have happened. Opus 1117 had originally been installed at the Regent in Kearny NJ in 1925. Seems odd that the Rivoli would sell opus 482 (9 ranks) and buy the used 1117 which was only 1 rank bigger. That’s a lot of money and hassle for 1 rank. Wonder if the Rivoli and the Regent were owned by the same company?
Lost Memory, I also find that a Wurlitzer theatre organ opus 600 style “D” was installed in the Regent Theatre, in November 1922. That organ was moved to the Capitol Theatre in Elizabeth NJ in July 1925. It appears that opus 1117 (10 ranks) was purchased as an upgrade since opus 600 only had 6 ranks (in one chamber).
According to IMDB.com King of the Khyber Rifles with Tyron Power and Terry Moore was a 20th Century Fox production which premiered in December 1953. It would have gotten to Memphis soon afterwards.
The Princess Theatre got a tiny Wurlitzer pipe organ, opus 900, 2 manuals, 4 ranks, in 1924. The organ was moved to a church in 1931.
The Wurlitzer company records show a small pipe organ, opus 800, a stock, 5-rank residential model, was installed at the Savoy in May 1925, but moved to a Philadelphia residence just a month later. Maybe this was a demonstration for the theatre – in hopes that it would lead to a sale.(It didn’t.) One source says the organ was repossessed from the Savoy, but that seems unlikely in only a month’s time.