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HELP! I have two major areas of interest/inquiry regarding the Paramount.
1) I’ve been commissioned to write the biography of theatre organist George Wright (who played at the P around 1950)…does anybody have stories, memorabilia/pictures concerning George’s time there?
2) A friend has acquired the studio Wurlitzer made famous by Jesse Crawford. We’re restoring it and installing it in a private hall in California. Looking for studio blueprints, pictures, news articles, etc.
Any help/suggestions GREATLY appreciated! -Bill
We’re very confident that we’ll be able to generate enough funding to purchase and rebuild the Wurlitzer (Phase 1). The instrument is near and dear to many San Franciscans! Thanks for your interest!
@ajtarantex: absolutely untrue! The organ’s owner installed it thirty plus years ago and has faithfully maintained it during that entire time. He has been nothing but gracious and generous, allowing the iconic Wurlitzer to be heard and enjoyed by Castro Theatre audiences for decades. If you were moving out of town, would you donate your house to the city, in that you wouldn’t have use for it in your new locale? The fact of the matter is that the organ’s owner is relocating and WILL be installing a Wurlitzer, and will be using some of the Castro’s original pipework (but swapping in replacement ranks). So…no scam! :–)
Major efforts are underway to save the San Francisco Castro Theatre’s Mighty Wurlitzer. Please visit our CODA (Castro Organ Devotees Association) 501©(3)’s website at: http://www.sfcoda.org to make a tax-deductible donation via PayPal and/or sign up for our newsletter to keep up-to-date on our progress. Thanks!
Just in from Peter Hammond via Facebook:
Peter Hammondis rather gutted at the destruction of another cinema organ in its original venue
Quentin Bellamy Which one is that?
Peter Hammond State Grays
Simon Gledhill How has it been destroyed?
Peter Hammond Metal thieves broke in in July and have stolen most of the pipework. They even bent some of the tubas in half and left them on the stage presumably waiting their return to collect them. They also took other metal items in the building I believe. Console and other parts still in situ and OK I believe. We have been lobbying the local authority for ages to make sure the place was secure, especially after the caretaker died earlier this year. A few days ago new security measures were put into place – somewhat late!!! Simon please can the COS join forces with us to demand some action regarding the State?
Simon Gledhill Peter, let’s discuss privately. I will e-mail you.
Peter Hammond OK
Gary Davies This is a disgrace.
Stephen Dutfield It’s terrible news. Do we know what the state of play is with insurance? It’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that the stolen pipework could be replaced from Compton material available from other sources, although of course it would never be the State organ as it was. I just hope nobody has the idea to dump what’s left of it because the pipes are missing.
Quentin Bellamy What a calamity!
The proprietor of the Lacey Street Theatre (now the Ice Museum) acquired the original Kimball(?) theater pipe organ from the Empress Theater (now converted to shops) down the street, and has it in storage upstairs at the Ice Museum.