Paramount Theatre

22 Seventh Street West,
St. Paul, MN 55102

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Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on November 2, 2013 at 11:07 am

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.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 14, 2010 at 6:18 am

Here is a quote from the “Scope and Content Note” of the finding aid for the papers of the St. Paul architectural firm of Toltz, King & Day, at the University of Minnesota:

“There are plans and photos for the Hamm Building in St. Paul, Minnesota (1919-1920) that include drawings for the Capitol Theatre.”
I’m not sure what this indicates about the involvement of Rapp & Rapp in the design of this theater. It’s pretty clear from the finding aid that Toltz, King & Day designed the Hamm Building itself, but it doesn’t specify what sort of drawings of the theater are in the archive, or who drew them.

If Rapp & Rapp designed the theater and the local firm supervised construction of it as well as of the office building (which would seem a likely arrangement), they would probably have had copies of Rapp & Rapp’s drawings as a guide, and those might be what is in the archive. I wish the finding aid was more specific. None of the content of the collection is available online as far as I’ve been able to discover.

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on March 10, 2009 at 11:18 pm

Compare with the interior photo posted above….

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on March 10, 2009 at 11:11 pm

I’ve had this book for years now (America Goes to the Movies) and this is one of the saddest pics from it. Photo credit to George Aurelius August 13 1965

I’ll post more from the book, and make sure to give credit where due. Unless I can’t do that, of course…

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 4, 2006 at 8:37 pm

Here is an interior photo from the 1920s:
http://tinyurl.com/la67f

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 4, 2006 at 4:39 pm

Here are two interior photos from 1965, as well as an expanded shot of the photo above:
http://tinyurl.com/lz398
http://tinyurl.com/n5tjf
http://tinyurl.com/r4kog

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 30, 2004 at 5:15 pm

The architects of the Capitol/Paramount were C.W. & George L. Rapp