A view of the museum's combined music performance and broadcast studio in Richmond, VA.
More information, photos and specifications here
In answer to requests, here is a copy of the Artisan relay configuration file for this organ.
The theatre organ is a uniquely American invention. The instrument was developed for the purpose of accompanying silent films during the first quarter of the 20th Century. When it was rendered "obsolete" in 1929 by the event of talking pictures, many theatre organs sat abandoned in theatres, and others were removed and transplanted into the burgeoning Radio broadcasting industry. Sadly, of the more than ten thousand instruments built in the heyday of motion picture palaces, only a few hundred remain in existence, and fewer than thirty remain as unaltered installations in their original homes. In the 1950's, thanks to the introduction of High Fidelity recording, there was a rebirth of interest in the theatre organ and its unique musical style. As we mark the hundredth anniversary of the invention of this fantastic musical machine, many folks who appreciate it are departing this life. Again, as in the 1950's, there is a movement underway to introduce new generations to the wonderful sounds it can produce.
As part of our quest to preserve the industrial and technological history of America, the DeMajo Family has added an authentic Wurlitzer theatre organ to our collection of American historical artifacts. The organ has been made 100% playable and it is kept in playing condition at all times. This portion of our web site is devoted to the organ and to information about this and other theatre organs. We hope that you will enjoy the site.
To hear the museum's theatre organ, as played by our founder John DeMajo, click here.