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Adding to my recent comment about finding a photoplayer, I meant to say that he found the photoplayer in a Chino movie theatre.
Sometime between 1968 and probably 1971 I worked at the Crest Player Piano shop which is in the front corner of the Crest (Lyric) theatre on Foothill in Monrovia. I remember that the owner came in one day and said that he found an original photoplayer, possibly an American Fotoplayer, in a Chino Theatre. If I remember correctly, he removed the photoplayer from the theatre, but it was too large for his Crest player piano shop so he moved it to his garage or somebody’s else’s shop. Does anyone know this story or what Chino movie theatre had a photoplayer? It obviously had to be a theatre that presented silent movies.
Sometime between 1968 and probably 1971 I worked at the Crest Player Piano shop which is in the front corner of the Crest (Lyric) theatre on Foothill in Monrovia. I remember that the owner came in one day and said that he found an original photoplayer, possibly an American Fotoplayer. If I remember correctly, he removed the photoplayer from the theatre, but it was too large for his Crest player piano shop so he moved it to his garage or somebody’s else’s shop. Does anyone know this story or what Chino movie theatre had a photoplayer? It obviously had to be a theatre that presented silent movies.
Uploaded photos of the organ from a December 27, 2008 trip.
As of April 2012 the El Monte Theatre has been transformed into a two story office complex with a dentist office on the second floor. A local developer purchased the theatre and built the dentist office for his daughter. He is developing a small night club and event center on the first floor and is considering knocking a large opening in the house left wall to have patio seating in the parking lot next to the theatre. Nothing remains of the original decor of the theatre and it is very difficult to see any traces of the theatre architecture except for the exterior blade sign.
The Marr & Colton pipe organ console was buried in the orchestra pit under a concrete platform installed during the Cinerama era. The ATOE(S) referred to the organ as entombed like an Egyptian mummy. I think that the organ was removed sometime in the 70â€™s or maybe early 80â€™s.
An Estey theater organ opus 1925 size 2/10 was installed in the Iris Theater in 1921. Note: Moved from Queen Theater Long Beach, California.
This note was posted in 2007. I have the 1955 Golden Jubilee Book from Immaculate Conception Church in Monrovia, CA. and in the section on the church choir it is stated “A much appreciated step was taken by Father John Moclair, then pastor, when in 1935 he purchased a fine organ from the Fox Hollywood Theatre.” They probably called it the Fox because it was 1955 when the theatre’s name was changed to Fox. Also in the Jubilee Book was an advertisement for Ed J. McDonald the â€œBuilder of the Church Organâ€. Mr. McDonald probably modified the organ from a theatre organ to a church organ. I used to play the organ in the 60â€™s and remember seeing unused relays for traps and a toy counter.
The installation of the Wurlizter pipe organ at the Lyric was unique because it had 4 sets of swell shade shutters. The organ not only spoke into the auditorium, but it also spoke onto the stage. Jut Williams used to play the organ at the Lyric and he said that the sound of the organ was very rich because of the dual chamber openings, especially when the stage curtains were open. When the organ was moved to the high school in 1937, it was very muffled because they stacked the organ in the stage left chamber, with the solo chamber being completely buried by architecture. The organ was separated into 2 chambers (left and right) in 1957 (I think).
The Lyric/Crest was demolished in September 1979. I have many photos of the demolition that my mother took while she watched them knock down the theatre from the Union gas station across the street. I used to work at the Crest Player Piano Shop that was in the theatre building at the corner of Ivy and Foothill. I also used to play and maintain the Wurlitzer 210 Special theatre pipe organ that was moved from the Lyric to the auditorium at Monrovia High school in 1937. The organ was not maintained for the past 15 years and it was heavily damaged by staff and students to the point that it could not be played. The organ was recently removed from the auditorium and used for parts.