Theatre organ

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Console of the 3/13 Barton Theatre Pipe Organ at Ann Arbor's Michigan Theatre Console.jpg
Console of the 3/13 Barton Theatre Pipe Organ at Ann Arbor's Michigan Theatre

A theatre organ (also known as a theater organ, or especially in the United Kingdom a cinema organ) is a distinct type of pipe organ originally developed to provide music and sound effects to accompany silent films during the first 3 decades of the 20th century.

Contents

Console of the Rhinestone Barton theatre organ, installed in Theatre Cedar Rapids Rhinestone Barton Organ.JPG
Console of the Rhinestone Barton theatre organ, installed in Theatre Cedar Rapids

Theatre organs are usually identified by the distinctive horseshoe-shaped arrangement of stop tabs (tongue-shaped switches) above and around the instrument's keyboards on their consoles. Given their prominent placement in houses of popular entertainment, theatre organ consoles were typically decorated in gaudy ways, with brightly colored stop tabs, and painted bright red and black, or solid gold, or ivory with gold trim, with built-in console lighting. In organs installed in the UK, a common feature was large translucent surrounds extending from both sides of the console, with internal colored lighting. One example is the so-called Rhinestone Barton, installed in 1928 in the former RKO Iowa Theatre. The console of this 3-manual 14-rank Wangerin-built Barton is completely covered in black felt fabric embedded with glass glitter in swirling patterns, with all edges trimmed with bands of rhinestones. Another example is the 3/13 Barton from Ann Arbor's historic Michigan Theatre. The organ was installed in 1927 and is currently played five nights during a week before most film screenings. [1] As the concept of the theatre organ was embraced, theatre organs began to be installed in other types of venues, such as civic auditoriums, sports arenas, private residences, and even churches. One of the largest theatre organs ever built (and certainly boasting the largest console ever built for a theatre organ) was the 6 manual 52 rank Barton installed in the massive Chicago Stadium.

There were over 7,000 such organs installed in America and elsewhere from 1915 to 1933, but fewer than 40 instruments remain in their original venues. [2] [ failed verification ] Though there are few original instruments in their original homes, hundreds of theatre pipe organs (typically rescued from defunct theaters or from venues no longer using and maintaining their organs) are installed in public venues throughout the world today, [3] while many more exist in private residences.

Design elements

The console of the Crawford Special-Publix One Mighty Wurlitzer, at the Alabama Theatre. Only 25 of this model were built, and it illustrates the high level of beauty and artistic work some consoles exhibit. Alabama Theatre Wurlitzer Organ.jpg
The console of the Crawford Special-Publix One Mighty Wurlitzer, at the Alabama Theatre. Only 25 of this model were built, and it illustrates the high level of beauty and artistic work some consoles exhibit.

Many organ builders supplied instruments to theatres. The Rudolph Wurlitzer company, to whom Robert Hope-Jones licensed his name and patents, was the most prolific and well-known manufacturer (2,234 were built), and the phrase Mighty Wurlitzer became an almost generic term for the theatre organ.

Many of the design elements of the theatre organ simply allowed it to do its job better than anything else could. Although not all of these ideas originated with Robert Hope-Jones, he was the first to successfully employ and combine many of these innovations within a single organ aesthetic. As described on the website of the American Theatre Organ Society, these design elements include: [4]

Unification

Previously, each rank of pipes could be played on only one manual (keyboard) at one pitch level. (A rank is one graduated set of similar pipes that produces a distinct sound or tonal color.) In other words, there was one pipe for each key on the keyboard. With the advent of unification, ranks were extended by adding more pipes and made playable at different pitch levels, and on different manuals. Thus, fewer ranks (but with more pipes) could be used in a wide variety of combinations and pitches, and on different manuals simultaneously.

Horseshoe console

To turn the pipe ranks on and off, the traditional organ console used drawknobs placed on panels on both sides of the manuals. Using electricity, Robert Hope-Jones substituted tongue-shaped tabs arranged on a curved panel around and above the manuals. These stop tabs could be quickly and easily flipped up or down to select or deactivate any ranks of pipes.

Traps, toy counter, and effects

Real musical instruments, not previously associated with the pipe organ, were installed in the pipe chambers to be pneumatically operated at will by the organist. Such instruments as piano, drums, cymbals, xylophone, marimba, orchestra bells, chimes, castanets, wood blocks, and even tuned sleigh bells could be played from the organ keyboards. Sound effects such as train and boat whistles, car horns, sirens, bird whistles, and an imitation of ocean surf could be used to great effect at appropriate times during a silent film.

Increased wind pressure, pipe placement, and volume control

Higher wind pressures increased the speaking volume of theatre organ pipes, and they were placed in chambers, usually high in the auditorium. The fronts of these chambers were covered with a set of swell shades which opened and closed like venetian blinds. When closed, the sound of the organ was reduced to a whisper. With a foot pedal, the organist could gradually open the shutters to produce louder and louder sounds from the same pipes. Although this type of swell chamber was not new, theatre organ developments permitted a much broader dynamic range than ever before.

Tremulants

Tremulants are devices that create a vibrato effect by mechanically shaking the wind source or by other means. Although the organ tremulant had existed for centuries, it was dramatically refined and changed in the theatre organ, and was used in entirely new ways. Traditional organs used tremulants only occasionally on solo stops. The theatre organ tremulants—smoother and broader than ever before—now became the standard, defining characteristic of theatre organ sound.

New tonal colors

Robert Hope-Jones and others designed many new kinds of pipes in an effort to create colorful sounds for the theatre organ. Many of these new stops attempted to imitate the sounds of real orchestral instruments, while others simply contributed unique new colors to the tonal palette. Important new stops invented or refined by Hope-Jones included the Tibia Clausa, Tibia Plena, and the Diaphone.

These are but some of the basic differences between traditional concert organs and theatre organs, highlighting the elements which make the theatre pipe organ a unique instrument. [5]

After some major disagreements with the Wurlitzer management, Robert Hope-Jones took his own life in 1914—but not before profoundly influencing the development of the theatre organ. The Wurlitzer company continued to flourish, becoming the largest manufacturer of theatre pipe organs in the world. Indeed, while there were many other builders of these instruments, the name "Wurlitzer" became generically synonymous with the theatre organ.

History

Originally, films were accompanied by pit orchestras in larger houses, and pit pianists in small venues. The first organs installed in theatres were nothing more than transplanted church organs, some of which even featured displays of dummy pipes. But these organs were ill-suited to the necessary tasks of the theatre setting, namely accompanying the film and the performance of popular tunes of the day. The earliest examples of the true theatre organ concept were modified pianos equipped with a few ranks of pipes and various sound effects, housed in one cabinet, and typically located in the pit area. These instruments were known as photoplayers and some were equipped with automatic player mechanisms using punched paper rolls, much like the popular player piano. Transplanted Englishman Robert Hope-Jones had a better idea, and his concept, which he called a "unit orchestra", was developed and promoted, initially by the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company of North Tonawanda, New York. The idea quickly caught on, and a new type of instrument, the Wurlitzer Hope Jones Unit-Orchestra or simply the theatre organ, was born. This model was immediately embraced by theatre owners and soon hundreds of instruments were being ordered from Wurlitzer and other manufacturers who quickly copied the important elements of the design for their own theatre organs.

Other manufacturers included, in the United States, The Bartola Musical Instrument Company of Oshkosh, Wisconsin (maker of the Barton organ), The Page Organ Company of Lima, Ohio, The Marr & Colton Company of Warsaw, New York, and The Robert-Morton Company of Van Nuys, California (a large model was known as the Wonder Morton). In addition, makers of traditional pipe organs for churches promptly jumped on the bandwagon and began producing and selling theatre organs, such as The Kimball Company of Chicago, Illinois, The Wicks Organ Company of Highland, Illinois, M.P. Moller of Hagerstown, Maryland, and Austin Organs of Hartford, Connecticut. In the United Kingdom, important builders of theatre organs included The John Compton Organ Company and William Hill & Son & Norman & Beard Ltd., commonly referred to as Hill, Norman and Beard, who manufactured theatre organs under the Christie brand.

On the European continent the theatre organ appeared only after World War I in the cinemas. Some instruments came from Wurlitzer, but there were European organ builders like M. Welte & Söhne and Walcker in Germany, and Standaart in the Netherlands.

After the development of sound movies, theatre organs remained installed in many theatres to provide live music between features. However, after the 'golden years' of the 1920s and 1930s, many were scrapped or sold to churches, private homes, museums, ice rinks, rollatoriums, and restaurants. In the 1950s, sometimes known as the theatre organ's second golden age, the development of high-fidelity recording and the LP phonograph record created new interest in the theatre organ. This period also saw the formation of the American Theatre Organ Society (ATOS), originally the American Theatre Organ Enthusiasts (ATOE).

Many composers got their start by playing the theatre organ. Oliver Wallace, arguably America's first real theatre organist, was soon employed by Walt Disney, and composed, among other things, the score to Dumbo . Jesse Crawford, the first organist ever to sell over a million recordings, was known in households across America as the "Poet of the Organ". He was also responsible for developing many of the techniques and registrations used in the performance of popular music on the instrument. Rex Koury composed the Gunsmoke theme heard on television and radio for many years. Reginald Dixon MBE was the most popular organist of all time, being a household name all over the UK, The British Empire (which at the time consisted of over 25% of the worlds population) and Europe. During his 40 years at the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool, he performed at the Wurlitzer there some 80,000 times to audiences of 6500+ at a time. He is widely recognised as recording and selling more records than any other organist. Among the most "heard" organists in the United States was Dick Leibert, who held for many years the enviable position of Head Organist at New York's Radio City Music Hall, presiding over the largest original theatre organ ever build by the Wurlitzer firm (4 manuals, 58 ranks). Another legendary theatre organist of modern times was the late George Wright, who created a huge series of studio recordings on theatre organs which sold millions. The late Richard Purvis, who was for many years the organist and master of choristers at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, was also an enthusiastic promoter of theatre organ, and wrote many arrangements for it. And famed Mormon Tabernacle organist Alexander Schreiner was also an active theatre organist.

Manufacturers and production totals

These were the major builders of theatre organs, listed in order of production. The numbers listed here are for theatre organs only, and do not include any classical organs that may have been produced. Many builders of church organs also made theatre organs in very small numbers, such as Casavant, which only made seven theatre organs, [6] but thousands of church organs.

The offices of the Wurlitzer factory in New York, previously known as the North Tonawanda Barrel Organ Factory. Wurlitzer Factory Tower Top.JPG
The offices of the Wurlitzer factory in New York, previously known as the North Tonawanda Barrel Organ Factory.
Manufacturer [6] Production [6] Timeframe
Wurlitzer over 2,2341911-1942
Robert Morton about 9001920s-1931
Möller about 700
Kimball about 700
Marr and Colton 500-6001915-1932
Barton 250-3501918-1931
Kilgen 200-300
Robert Hope-Jones 2461887-1911, sold to Wurlitzer.
Hillgreen-Lane about 175
Estey about 170
Austin about 130
Link about 1301914-1932
Page over 1001922-1930
Balcom and Vaughan about 75
Reuter about 57
Hill, Norman & Beard (Christie) >52 [7] [8] [9] [10] 1926-1938
Midmer-Losh about 50
Compton
Geneva
Welte-Mignon
Wicks

Technical

View inside pipe chamber at Meyer Theatre, in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Green Bay-Wisconsin-Meyer-Theatre-Wurlizer-Theater-Pipe-Organ.jpg
View inside pipe chamber at Meyer Theatre, in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

As in a traditional pipe organ, a theatre organ uses pressurized air to produce musical tones. Unification and extension give the theatre organ its unique flexibility. A rank is extended by adding pipes above and below the original pitch, allowing the organist to play that rank at various pitches by selecting separate stop tabs.

By way of example, consider an organ where the Tibia Clausa rank at 8' (standard) pitch has 61 pipes. A traditional organ would require a further 61 pipes for the Tibia 4' (an octave higher); the unified theatre organ achieves the same effect by playing on the same pipes but transposing up an octave, thus requiring only an additional 12 pipes to play the top octave. Tibia 2' (yet another octave higher) is similarly accomplished by adding 12 more pipes. The Tibia Clausa 16' is accomplished by transposing down an octave, and adding 12 pipes to the bottom of the Tibia rank. Hence, in a unified organ, four stops (each a separate stop tab) can be obtained from a total of 97 pipes. In a classically designed organ, four 61-note Tibia ranks, requiring 244 pipes, would be needed for the same four stops. Additionally, several mutation stops can be drawn from this 97-pipe rank, resulting in eight or nine stops from a single unified and extended 8' Tibia Clausa rank.

These ranks are voiced in relation to other pipe ranks in the organ, allowing a handful of ranks in a typical theatre organ to imitate a wide range of instruments. Unification also makes it possible to play any rank of pipes from any manual and the pedals independently, unlike a traditional church organ, where a rank of pipes is playable only from one manual or the pedals, unless couplers are employed.

The "Toy Counter" in the Solo Chamber at Ann Arbor's Michigan Theatre (3/13 Barton) SoloToyCounter.jpg
The "Toy Counter" in the Solo Chamber at Ann Arbor's Michigan Theatre (3/13 Barton)

The electro-pneumatic action was invented by Robert Hope-Jones, and is considered by many to be the single most significant development in pipe organs. Up to the turn of the 20th century, all pipe organs were operated by a tracker, tubular pneumatic, or pneumatic Barker-lever action, where the keys and pedals were physically connected to the pipe valves via wooden trackers, except in the case of tubular pneumatic, where all actions were operated by air pressure. Hope-Jones' electro-pneumatic action eliminated this by using wind pressure, controlled by electric solenoids, to operate the pipe valves, and solenoids and pistons to control and operate the various stop tabs, controls, keys and pedals on the console. This action allowed the console to be physically detached from the organ. All signals from the console were transmitted by an electric cable to an electro-pneumatic relay, and from there to the pipes and effects in the organ chambers. [11]

Hope-Jones believed that higher wind pressures would allow pipes to more accurately imitate orchestral instruments by causing the pipes to produce harmonic overtones which, when mixed with other pipe ranks, produced tones more imitative of actual instruments. The high wind pressures also led to the development of instruments that are unique in theatre organs (such as the diaphone and tibia clausa), and allowed any rank in the organ to function as a solo instrument. These higher pressures were possible due to the development of high-velocity, motor-driven blowers and wind regulators.

Marimba in the Solo Chamber at Ann Arbor's Michigan Theatre (3/13 Barton) SoloMarHarp.jpg
Marimba in the Solo Chamber at Ann Arbor's Michigan Theatre (3/13 Barton)

Another hallmark of theatre organs is the addition of chromatic (tuned) percussions. In keeping with his idea of a "unit orchestra," Hope-Jones added pneumatically- and electrically operated instruments such as xylophones, wood harps, chimes, sleigh bells, chrysoglotts and glockenspiels to reproduce the orchestral versions of these instruments.

Later, Wurlitzer added other effects, such as drums, cymbals, wood blocks and other non-chromatic percussions and effects to allow the theatre organ to accompany silent movies. [12]

A traditional organ console was not adequate to control a theatre organ, as the large number of draw knobs required made the console so huge an organist could not possibly reach all of them while playing. Thus, the horseshoe console was born. Based on a curved French console design and using stop tabs instead of drawknobs, the horseshoe console now allowed the organist to reach any stop or control while playing any piece of music, eliminating the need to move around awkwardly on the bench. The smaller stop tabs also permitted the addition of many more stops on the console than could be added on a traditional console.

Percussion on a Wurlitzer at the Meyer Theatre in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Theatreorgan drum lg.jpg
Percussion on a Wurlitzer at the Meyer Theatre in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

After the advent of unification and the electro-pneumatic action, builders of church organs started to see the advantages of these systems. As a result, several organ builders began adopting these concepts for use in their church organs. Among these were Austin, Möller, Aeolian-Skinner and Kimball, who used electro-pneumatic action in many of their organs. Today, approximately one fourth of all new or rebuilt church pipe organs use an electro-pneumatic action either exclusively, or as an augmentation to existing tracker actions. In the same vein, some amount of unification was utilized in some church organs, and even today many church pipe organs utilize some degree of unification in areas where it is not critical to the classical sound sought in such instruments, or in instruments where space for pipes is limited. By making a single rank available at more than one pitch (such as a bourdon in the pedal division available at both 32' and 16', or a Trumpet in a manual division available at both 16' and 8'), the concept of extension is commonly—but discreetly—used by even the most noted organ builders.

Current status

There are many theatre organs still in operation but only a handful are in their original installation.

Most notable of these are the world's largest original installation theatre organs (in order of number of ranks). [13]

North America

United States

Avalon Casino's Page Organ console with portraits of Gaylord Carter and Bob Salisbury. Avalon Theater organ.jpg
Avalon Casino's Page Organ console with portraits of Gaylord Carter and Bob Salisbury.

Canada

  • Casa Loma, Toronto - 4 manuals, 21 ranks (Wurlitzer Opus 558, July 1922) (Warren console)
  • Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver - 3 manuals, 13 ranks (Wurlitzer, 1927)
  • Ancaster Secondary School, Ancaster Ontario. 3 manuals, 17 ranks Warren (from Palace and Capital Theatres, Hamilton, Ontario)
  • National Music Centre, Calgary - 2 manuals, 21 ranks (Kimball Unit Orchestra, 1924) [21]

Europe

United Kingdom

See also Wurlitzers in the United Kingdom

Continental Europe

Germany
Netherlands
Switzerland
  • Dream Factory, Degersheim, 3/14 Wurlitzer
  • Collège Claparède, Geneva, 3/8 Wurlitzer
  • Theatre Barnabè, Servion, M. Welte & Söhne
  • Protestant Church, St. Gallen, Wurlitzer
France
Italy
  • Alessandro Giacobazzi, Modena, 2/7 Wurlitzer, 1927 (no longer present)

New vs. original technology

So-called "new" organs have been recently built, mainly from parts of other theatre organs, with some construction of new pipework, windchests and consoles. Among the largest of these are the 5-manual (keyboard), 80-rank (sets of pipes) organ at the Sanfilippo Residence in Barrington, Illinois; the 4-manual, 78-rank organ at the Organ Stop Pizza Restaurant in Mesa, Arizona; the 5-Manual 108-rank organ at the Adrian Phillips Residence in Phoenix, Arizona: and the 4-manual, 77-rank organ of the Nethercutt Collection at San Sylmar in Sylmar, California. ]

Other theatre organs that have been silent for years are being refurbished and installed in new venues.

Some of these refurbished organs have had their original electro-pneumatic relays replaced with electronic and/or computerized relays and modern, electronic consoles.

Digital theatre organ

Built by companies such as Walker Theatre Organs , Allen and Rodgers , incorporating sampling, a MIDI interface, and newly designed speaker systems, are being produced in the attempt to recreate authentic-sounding pipe tones, thus providing an affordable alternative to an actual pipe organ.

The future

The theatre organ and its progenitors

The future of the theatre organ is always fluid, but several organizations are active in preserving and promoting these grand, old instruments. Among these are the American Theatre Organ Society and numerous independent theatre organ clubs who exist to refurbish and reinstall theatre organs to their former glory. Similar work is being done in the UK by the Cinema Organ Society and the Theatre Organ Club; in Australia the various divisions of TOSA have saved many theatre organs once in cinemas and theatres. Many of these rebuilt instruments have been installed in restaurants and auditoriums, as well as in a few theatres and churches, allowing the public to gain access to them.

Independent chapters of ATOS, individuals and venue operators have produced and continue to produce various events and shows to promote the theatre organ. In recent years, increased interest in silent films and the use of the theatre organ in conjunction with orchestras, concert bands, and other instrumentalists has helped to broaden the appeal of the theatre organ to newer audiences.[ citation needed ]

Within the past several years, ATOS has become very active in promoting young theatre organists and enthusiasts, primarily through its work in hosting the ATOS Summer Youth Camp. The ATOS Summer Camp is a week-long educational event aimed at instructing budding, young theatre organists in the art form. Beginning in 2007, the ATOS Summer Camp has hosted dozens of new, young theatre organists. With the help of its core educational staff of Jonas Nordwall, Donna Parker and Jelani Eddington, the Summer Camp program has developed an extensive and successful curriculum for teaching the art of the theatre organ.

Organists then and now

By the late 1920s, there were over 7,000 organists employed in theatres across the United States.[ citation needed ] Organists such as Ron Rhode, Walt Strony, Jelani Eddington, Peter Carroll-Held, Jonas Nordwall, Donna Parker, David Peckham, Martin Ellis, Ken Double, Chris Elliott, Dave Wickerham, Lew Williams, and Bob Ralston maintain concert schedules. Other organists such as Clark Wilson, Andrew Rogers, Bob Mitchell, Dorothy Papadakos, and Rob Richards, frequently accompany silent films and/or are resident staff organists for a commercial theatre.[ citation needed ]

Other full- or part-time theatre organists in other parts of the world include Phil Kelsall, resident organist of the Tower Ballroom Wurlitzer in the Blackpool Tower, and plays mainly in a style called the Blackpool Style, which was originally developed by Reginald Dixon, a previous resident organist.[ citation needed ] Robert Wolfe, Donald Mackenzie, John Mann, Simon Gledhill, Richard Hills, Nigel Ogden, Matthew Bason, Byron Jones, Tom Horton and Michael Wooldridge are other British organists who play regularly to audiences throughout the world. In Australia, Margaret Hall, Wendy Hambly, Peter (Carroll-) Held, David Johnston, Neil Jensen, Bill Schumacher, Tony Fenelon, Simon Ellis, John Giacchi, Paul Fitzgerald, John Atwell, Robert Wetherall and Chris McPhee are among the most prolific.[ citation needed ] In France Jean-Philippe Le Trévou, Titular Organist at Sainte-Claire Church in Paris continues the tradition by accompanying silent films at the Kinopanorama in Paris, at the Vidéothèque de Paris for the Ciné-Mémoire Festival, as well as at the Cinema Museum in Frankfurt, Germany, during the Music Fair.[ citation needed ]

See also

Footnotes

  1. Steven Ball. The Barton Organ of the Michigan Theatre. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2008-01-15.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)Journal of the American Theatre Organ Society (September/October 1998).
  2. Steven Ball. The Story of The Hollywood Barton. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2013-08-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)Journal of the American Theatre Organ Society (November/December), citing The Hollywood Theatre, Detroit, MI Detroit News March 17, 1963.
  3. "Theatre Organ Locator". American Theatre Organ Society.
  4. Kelzenberg, David C. "History of the Theatre Organ". American Theatre Organ Society.
  5. "Theatre Organ History - Innovations - ATOS". www.atos.org.
  6. 1 2 3 "Searchable Opus Database". barton.theatreorgans.com. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
  7. "UK organs". The Cinema Organ Society. Retrieved 27 October 2015
  8. IanM. "List of All Known Australian Theatre Organs - Past and Present". theatreorgans.com. Retrieved 27 October 2015
  9. cinematreasures.org. "Gaumont Palace in Paris". Retrieved 27 October 2015
  10. Douglas Earl Bush & Richard Kassel (editors) (2006). The Organ: An Encyclopedia. Psychology Press. p. 253.{{cite book}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  11. The earliest unit orchestras utilized a separate wind supply to the console to operate combination pistons, which at that time were pneumatically operated. Later designs electrified the combination action, eliminating the need for the console wind supply.
  12. Various builders of church organs, notably Möller, Austin, Aeolian-Skinner and Kimball, added a limited number of chromatic percussions to their church instruments.
  13. Original installation refers to a theatre pipe organ that is still located in its originally-installed venue (never removed and installed elsewhere) and still contains its original specification (organ retains its original pipes and chamber layout and console, no additions or deletions except for update of relays). The addition and/or deletion of only one rank of pipes negates this status.
  14. YouTube behind-the-scenes tour of the organ, posted by the New York Theatre Organ Society volunteers on 20 Mar 2013.
  15. "New York Theatre Organ Society website, list of organs". nytos.org.
  16. "Wonders of The Wurlitzer". Providence Performing Arts Center. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  17. "ATOS | 2/10 Model H Wurlitzer - Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Centre".
  18. "Proctor's Theatre Schenectady, NY". www.theatreorgans.com.
  19. "At 90, Proctors a cultural gem with storied past". timesunion.com. 8 December 2016.
  20. "A Brief History of the Kilgen Organ". cantonpalacetheatre.org.
  21. "Kimball Theatre Organ – Works – National Music Centre". collections.nmc.ca.

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Castro Organ Devotees Association

The Castro Organ Devotees Association (CODA) is an American nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing the tradition of live organ music in San Francisco's Castro Theatre. The theater is a popular San Francisco movie palace, built in the 1920s, which gained Historic Landmark status in 1976. The original Robert Morton organ was removed in the 1950s. The present organ, widely regarded as one of the finest theatre organs assembled, was assembled in the late 1970s using components from other organs, including its console, which was originally built in 1925 for the State Theatre in Detroit, Michigan to accompany silent pictures. The current console and organ were built by the Taylor family starting in 1979, and it has been owned and maintained by them since, but in 2014 they moved taking the console and one fourth of the pipework.

Casavant Frères Ltée. Opus 1841 (Highland Arts Centre Organ) Musical artist

Casavant Frères Ltée. Opus 1841 is a pipe organ built by the famous Casavant Frères of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. The organ was first completed in 1911 as Casavant Brothers - Opus 452 for St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church at 40 Bentinck Street, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. St. Andrew's later became St. Andrew's United Church and is now the Highland Arts Theatre.

The Organ Grinder Restaurant was a Portland, Oregon pizzeria in operation from 1973 to 1996. At one point it housed the largest theater pipe organ of its type in the world.