Mozart Theatre

East Market Street,
Elmira, NY 14901

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Mozart Theater..Elmira New York

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Located on East Market Street near Lake Street, the Mozart Theatre was opened November 23, 1908.

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Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on November 1, 2010 at 5:02 am

From the early 1900s a postcard view of the Mozart Theater in Elmira.

AndrewBarrett on December 28, 2014 at 7:29 am

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ”, pg. 630, the “Mozart Th.” in Elmira, New York, had a Smith theatre pipe organ installed in 1914.

The book does not list the size of the organ (# of manuals / # of ranks), since that was apparently not known at publication time, but they do give the blower info, which was a Simplex, serial #C346, 1 horsepower, giving 10" of static wind pressure. The number of horsepower of the blower motor indicates to me that this was probably a smaller size theatre organ, maybe around 4 ranks or so.

This was apparently amongst the very earliest installations made by this new firm, the first Smith company, which was operating in North Tonawanda, New York at this time. (They only installed a relatively few organs before moving to Chicago to partner with the Seeburg piano firm)

It was not THE earliest Smith installation, since that honor goes to a handful of installations made in 1913 (including the prestigious Shea’s Hippodrome in Buffalo), but 1914 is still pretty dang early, since the majority, out of all of the Smith instruments sold (of the various Smith firms) appear to have been the numerous Seeburg-Smith organs sold between 1916 and 1921, and then also the few dozen Leathurby-Smith organs sold up and down the West Coast from 1924 through 1928.

Other Smith organs (built in North Tonawanda, NY from 1913-1916; built in Chicago, IL, without Seeburg from 1921-1924, and built in Geneva, IL ONLY in 1924) are comparatively scarce since fewer of these were ever built.

Does anybody know what happened to this organ, and where it (or its parts) is/are today? Thanks!

AndrewBarrett on December 28, 2014 at 7:33 am

The Mozart Theatre must have loved their Smith pipe organ, as evidenced by this endorsement reprinted on a page of a very rare Smith organ catalog (which itself is reprinted on pg. 627 of Mr. Junchen’s book):


“It is with pleasure I can write you telling you how highly pleased we are with the results obtained with your splendid instrument installed in our Mozart Theatre two years ago. Our business increased daily and much credit is due the Smith Unit Organ for a share of the credit of the wonderful showing.” – M. D. Gibson, Manager Mozart Theatre, Elmira, N. Y. Dated September 30, 1916.


AndrewBarrett on December 28, 2014 at 8:22 am

*The organ had a Kinetic blower, not a Simplex blower, sorry!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 17, 2015 at 10:49 am

Construction was about to begin on the Mozart Theatre when the Elmira Star-Gazette published an article about the project in its issue of April 8, 1908, which can be read in this PDF of the paper’s second page. The architect of the Mozart Theatre was Albert E. Westover (though the article mistakenly gives him the middle initial C instead of E.)

The December 19, 1908, issue of The Billboard noted that the Mozart Theatre in Elmira had opened on November 23.

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