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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinema Yak   » Theatre organs anyone? (Page 2)

 
This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Author Topic: Theatre organs anyone?
William Hooper
Member

Posts: 82
From: Mobile, AL
Registered: Mar 2003


 - posted April 20, 2004 11:19 PM      Profile for William Hooper   Email William Hooper         Edit/Delete Post 
Utterly doomed if not gone already. The old song: The theater went from having to pay its own way when it was sold by the University to the city, which formed a non-profit foundation of non-theatre people which began madly dumpstering everything in & on the theater.

The chambers were mostly finished & hooting, & the console was winding up. Metal pipes in trays in a storage area (including the crated kinura Harry Heth turned up from the Houston Loew's), & I fear they all went. New tech guys went through the chambers like bigfooted apes.

The Mobile Morton's a heartbreaker; it was a packed-out large scale 2/10 with a lot of rip, sizzling strings, beautiful orch oboe & clarinet, & punchy, chunky 16' tubas. I haven't been back there since 2000.

Keep your eyes peeled for a nice 2/little something that somebody would like to send to a good home. There's an excellent venue in New Orleans with sharp people & 14' ceilings, & I've been trying to find something to put in a case there under ownership of the sharp LA/MS ATOS group. But if I trip over another 2 manual Wicks around here, I'm gonna scream.

God bless the people who have to work to put butts in the seats.

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Donald E Story
New Member

Posts: 5
From: Tucson, AZ
Registered: Jun 2004


 - posted June 07, 2004 12:10 AM      Profile for Donald E Story   Email Donald E Story         Edit/Delete Post 
Adam, check the theatre organ site listing again. I think it was recently updated and enlarged to include makes other than Wurlitzer. It would also help you expand your city listing of historic (pre l930ish) theatres. I noticed quite a few missing theatres just in Arizona.

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Doug Carroll
New Member

Posts: 1
From: Columbus, OH
Registered: Jun 2004


 - posted July 04, 2004 07:09 PM      Profile for Doug Carroll   Author's Homepage   Email Doug Carroll         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Long-gone lobby organs:

Fox Theatre San Francisco 3/12 Moller

Not so long gone.
The Lobby organ from the old San Fransisco Fox theater
is alive and well in sacramento and getting ready to go up on auction at ebay as a first attempt to find a new home for it.

I haven't read the policy here about mentioning items for sale but the owner would appreciate it if the word got out.

She'd like to find a good home for it

It'll be posted on ebay by tomorrow with images of it until then here's two. recent taken 2 weeks ago and old image

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Ian Williams
New Member

Posts: 4
From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: Sep 2003


 - posted March 17, 2005 05:25 AM      Profile for Ian Williams   Email Ian Williams         Edit/Delete Post 
Some people might not know the latest on the 4/36 Wurlitzer from the Paramount (Granada Theatre) in San Franciso which was reinstalled in the Regent Theatre in Melbourne Australia when the theatre was rescued from demolition and restored in 1996. Due to various live shows which prevent the use of the instrument during their runs, the organ has had little use apart from an airing at occasional movie premieres. In keeping with the prestige of the theatre, and a substantial sum to hire it out for concerts, the local chapter of the Theatre Organ Society is loathe to take on the gamble of at least breaking even on a concert. It was used recently as a fund raising concert for the family of a local organist who passed away fron Cancer. With Disbey's Lion King opening mid year, and a run of between 6 and 1 months, this mighty instrument will remain silent for a while. In addition, some of the instrument that was installed in the boxes behind the drapes will have to be removed for the shows duration.
Fingers crossed that we will get to hear it again before the end of this decade!!!!

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William Hooper
Member

Posts: 82
From: Mobile, AL
Registered: Mar 2003


 - posted May 17, 2005 10:35 PM      Profile for William Hooper   Email William Hooper         Edit/Delete Post 
It's unfortunate, & there are a lot of theatre organs in the USA that are in the same predicament. Theatre organ groups & the community get behind a project to restore the organ, then the company operating the theatre (either a non-profit OR some national venue management company) imposes huge restrictions on the use of the organ, makes it impossible to schedule use without paying staff (that's there already on the clock), saddling the group with incredible insurance demands & full-scale rental fees, & more.

There are a bunch of excellent, restored organs rotting in the chambers in the USA in venues where management really doesn't like the organ.

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Jim Rankin
(Jim passed away in December 2006)
Posts: 123
From: Milwaukee, WI
Registered: Oct 2003


 - posted May 18, 2005 05:21 AM      Profile for Jim Rankin   Email Jim Rankin         Edit/Delete Post 
Bill is telling us the awful truth. Here in Milwaukee, for example, at least two wonderful organs in the RIVERSIDE and the ORIENTAL have been idle for years now for those very reasons. Owners of venues today are not interseted in culture, but only in profits, and if the organ does not bring in a ton of profits it may as well rot as far as the location owner is concerned.

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William Hooper
Member

Posts: 82
From: Mobile, AL
Registered: Mar 2003


 - posted May 18, 2005 10:38 PM      Profile for William Hooper   Email William Hooper         Edit/Delete Post 
It's not just the money, a lot of the operators just don't want the organ used, & would prefer that no one know that it's there. They just don't like it as a physical presence in the theatre, not just as a type of music. There are WAY too many instances of offers at these venues to provide organ music for variety shows, kids' shows, graduations, 'arts expos', movies, etc.; & requests by renters putting on the above types of shows; even extending to bring in professional, popular organists, at no charge to the venue; being halted by management by not allowing access for tuning; or throwing up more & more roadblocks by requiring that a day's rental, insurance, & personnel wages be paid for tuning on a day they'd be dark anyway; etc.; & when a way is found to satisfy some astounding condition that seems to have just been demanded to make use of the organ impossible, they'll throw up another at the last minute (the insurance thing is the usual stop-them-on-the-day-before new demand). It's even the case in venues that are owned by the municipality. The agreements with the municipality defer management decisions to the theatre's management, & even though the theatre & organ may both be owned by the city, & there's local popular demand for use of the organ, management will not allow it.

Honestly, the most reasonable seem to be the for-profits, who'll agree to anything that puts butts in the seats & black in the ledger. The non-profits can just operate on personal taste & whim. You're also more likely to get a straight answer from the for-profits, as opposed to this tendency with non-profits to love to BS.

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