Photoplayers wanted!

posted by AndrewBarrett on February 22, 2008 at 10:46 am

If you have or know of an old dilapidated musical instrument known as a photoplayer, sometimes called a fotoplayer or “pit organ”, and usually having a piano and one or two attached side cabinets… especially one in bad shape… don’t throw it out! Even if it is in what appears to be junk condition, or is missing most of the parts, or is merely a pile of parts, don’t junk it! Gutted piano portions, music rolls (“Filmusic” etc), case parts, random organ pipes, percussion effects and actions, pneumatic and mechanical parts, and complete instruments will all be considered. Even the simple twin-roll player pianos or self-contained piano/organ combination instruments (without attached side cabinets) are of interest to me.

I am interested in any of these instruments, from makers such as American Photo Player Company, Wurlitzer, Seeburg, Coinola Reproduco, Cremona, North Tonawanda Musical Instrument Works AKA Capitol Piano and Organ Co, Gulbransen, Watson, Bartola, etc.

I am not only personally interested in purchasing these type of instruments, I know others who would be interested in these things and parts, too, and can put you in touch with them if for whatever reason I cannot afford or am not directly interested in what you have.

These things are extremely rare, so if you discover one, even one in very bad condition, missing most of its parts, encrusted in animal droppings/mercury/asbestos/etc holding up the stage in a theatre you are renovating, do not hesitate to contact me. One more photoplayer that is junked is one less for current and future generations to enjoy. Also, if you have any old advertising, catalogs, owners manuals or ephemera of any kind relating to these instruments, I would like to hear about it as well.

Thank you.

Comments (9)

tomdelay on February 25, 2008 at 8:25 pm

Check out this example of a restored Photoplayer:

rcalcutt on March 20, 2008 at 10:29 pm

I have an American Photoplayer Co. player piano. It does not have any side cabinets. It is in very good condition and still plays the rolls I have.

I am interested in selling. Please contact me.

Rick Calcutt


JEmanuelB on October 16, 2009 at 8:40 pm

If you’re still interested in Fotoplayers, please contact:

woksamit on March 28, 2010 at 10:05 pm

My grandfather has a wurlitzer model YU photoplayer without side cabinets and is looking for a buyer. He was a professional player piano/juke box restorer. This unit was restored about 15 years ago. It has a new sound board, pin block, and many other parts. He has all documentation from the restoration. He’s not looking to make alot of money off it, just needs to liquidate it for what he has into it. If you are interested or know of someone that is please e-mail me.
Thanks, Tim

bigbadbruce on November 18, 2010 at 1:28 pm


I have the two mostly complete side cabinets to a Style 40 American Fotoplayer along with the master valve chest. I’m looking for the piano unit that goes in the center to complete the instrument.

I have a gutted original piano so if anyone has the player innards out of a Fotoplayer piano that could work too.

I called about the piano listed in the ad above but of course it had already been sold. If the person that bought it wishes to sell please contact me.

If you can help me complete this Photoplayer please give me a call at 541-332-0703.

Thank you!

mjsachnoff on October 22, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Wanted: American Fotoplayer for use in public silent theater. I’m looking for one of these great machines to reintroduce to a new generation the experience of American movie going in the first three decades of the 20th century. Also seeking Steinway Duo-Art upright player piano, piano rolls, automatic violin by Seeburg, Seeburg G or KT nickelodeon. Also buying brass model train collections. what do you have? thanks! Marc S. 425 298 4385

jcande_21 on March 19, 2012 at 12:53 am

i have an american photo player co. piano style 20 that i recently inherited i myself do not know how to play the piano and have no interest in it. if anyone is interested please e-mail me. it is not in great condition for it has not been played in years but the inside and keys are in good condition they just need to be tweeked and cleaned.

Photoplayertrust on July 12, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Hi Just found this cite. I am a member of The Photoplayer Restoration Trust.Two years ago we located New Zealand’s only Photoplayer It is a Wurlitzer Style “K” It has been hidden in a shed for 50+years We have just received funding to restore it which will start at the end of this year.Its present condition is not good and many parts are missing, so if you know of parts being available let us know also looking for some original Wurlitzer or Philips ( pc or pm) Rolls made especially for accompanying films. We have a website our email is

sgrattan on September 12, 2013 at 4:03 pm

I am looking for any and all information available regarding the tubing connections and lock and cancel mechanisms for a Wurlitzer Style O I am rebuilding. I received it as boxes, bags and piles of parts with no documentation. Please contact Steve Grattan 888 742-6644 toll free

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