Empress Theater

770 E. Long Street,
Columbus, OH 43203

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AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett on January 17, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Further per the database, in-between the Wurlitzer 135F and the Robert-Morton 23N, the Empress had a Wurlitzer D Special theatre pipe organ (the standard model D had two manuals and six ranks, and a horseshoe console; this D special may have had an extra rank, or percussion, or something), opus 837, installed on May 29, 1924.

This is likely the instrument the theatre owners purchased as a trade-up from the old 135F organ, which is why the former was repossessed by Wurlitzer (taken in on trade).

This makes for a natural progression of instruments:

1921: Wurlitzer 135F (two manual, four rank, piano console);

1924: Wurlitzer D Special (two manual, at least six rank, horseshoe console);

1928: Robert-Morton 23N (three manual, 12 rank, horseshoe console).

I don’t know what happened to the Wurlitzer D Special opus 837, perhaps someone else does?

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett on January 17, 2014 at 12:59 pm

According to the TheatreOrgans.com Searchable Opus List Database,

the Empress Theatre had a Wurlitzer model 135F theatre pipe organ (I don’t know what the “F” suffix means, but a 135 was a two manual, four rank piano console instrument), Opus 381, installed on January 7, 1921.

This organ was later repossessed by Wurlitzer, and a three manual, 12 rank Robert Morton theatre pipe organ (style 23N, opus 2401) was installed in the theatre in 1928.

I don’t know what happened to Wurlitzer Opus 381 after it was repossessed by the company, but the Robert-Morton organ opus 2401 was moved to a private residence in Cincinnati and expanded to 15 ranks, where it was playing as of October 25, 1998. I don’t know it’s current status.