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Paramount Center for the Arts in Bristol, Tennessee
3/11 Mighty Kimball/WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ

Click here to download a 2847 x 2059 JPG image showing the keydesk of the Mighty Kimball/WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ installed at the Paramount Center in Bristol, Tennessee.
The keydesk of the Mighty Kimball/WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ
installed at the Paramount Center for the Arts in Bristol, Tennessee.

Our Featured Organ for the Month of March 2006 is the 3/11 Mighty Kimball/WurliTzer installed at the Paramount Center for the Arts in Bristol, Tennessee. The instrument is under the care of the Piedmont Theater Organ Society, a proud chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society.

PTOS owns the Theatre Pipe Organs located in the Paramount Center for the Arts, The Carolina Civic Center and the Walter Williams High School. It also maintains, under contract, the instruments at the Abernethy Residence and the Carolina Theatre.

The Paramount Center for the Arts 3/11 Mighty Kimball/WurliTzer was originally installed in the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1930. Sometime during the 1940's, fire destroyed the original WurliTzer console. Both the WurliTzer and Kimball factories were asked to bid on a replacement console. Kimball was the low bidder and installed the beautiful white console that we see today.

The instrument was purchased in the 1960's by Mr. Hugh Cummings of Burlington, North Carolina under the urging of Mr. George Anthony, a charter member and the Secretary/Treasurer of PTOS at the time. Mr. Anthony removed the organ from the theater in the back of his station wagon, one car load at a time, and stored it in Burlington, North Carolina.

Click here to download a 1205 x 863 JPG image showing the console of the 3/11 Mighty Kimball/WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ<BR>installed at the Paramount Center for the Arts in Bristol, Tennessee.
The Console of the 3/11 Mighty Kimball/WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ
installed at the Paramount Center for the Arts in Bristol, Tennessee.

In 1974, Mr. Cummings donated the organ to Elon College in North Carolina with the stipulation that PTOS would install it there. The organ was installed in the War Memorial Gymnasium at the college, where it was played for athletic events and public concerts. It was dedicated by Searle Wright on April 1, 1980. The gymnasium was razed in 1984 to provide space for a new building. At that time, the organ was given to PTOS and it was removed and again put in storage at the H. P. King Company Building in Bristol, Tennessee.

Click here to download a 3836 x 2591 JPG image showing the 3/11 Mighty Kimball/WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ on the stage at the Paramount Center for the Arts in Bristol, Tennessee.
The 3/11 Mighty Kimball/WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ
on the stage at the Paramount Center for the Arts in Bristol, Tennessee.

On August 31, 1989, Mrs. Mary Beth Rainero from the Paramount Foundation contacted PTOS to see if PTOS would consider installing an organ in the Paramount Center for the Arts in Bristol, Tennessee. On October 29, 1989 a 48 foot tractor/trailer pulled up at the H. P. King Company Building. The instrument was loaded up and taken to be rebuilt and later installed at the Paramount Center.

Click here to download a 3367 x 2374 JPG image showing the 3/11 Mighty Kimball/WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ on the stage at the Paramount Center for the Arts in Bristol, Tennessee.
The 3/11 Mighty Kimball/WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ
on the stage at the Paramount Center for the Arts in Bristol, Tennessee.

On April 18, 1993, this magnificent Theatre Pipe Organ was introduced to the public by Lee Erwin accompanying the classic Lon Chaney film, The Phantom of the Opera. Since then, the organ has been refined and regulated. The original WurliTzer relay has been replace by a Uniflex 2000 Electronic Relay System.

Today, the 3/11 Mighty Kimball/WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ is used for concerts, public meetings, before stage shows and movies, and to accompany silent movies.

Free music downloads from The Bristol WurliTzer!

Free Music Downloads

The three tracks below were recordedafter the instrument was relocated to the Paramount Center for the Arts in Bristol, Tennessee. Extra sounds have been added through the use of electonic samples of real pipes.

  1. Hoedown
    Playing time = 3:32, file size = 3.27MB, bit rate = 128KB/sec.
  2. Amazing Grace
    Playing time = 8:29, file size = 7.82MB, bit rate = 128KB/sec.
  3. The Wicked Witch Is Dead
    Playing time = 1:53, file size = 1.75MB, bit rate = 128KB/sec.

Go back to the Featured Artists main page. Go back to the Featured Organ for February, 2006. Go to the Walnut Hill Graphical Website Map Go forward to the Featured Organ for April, 2006. Go forward to The MidiTzer Project main page.

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