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3/19 Mighty WurliTzer
Theatre Pipe Organ
Civic Theatre in Akron, Ohio

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing the stop sweep of the Civic Theatre's 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.
The stop sweep of the Civic Theatre's
3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.



This month's featured organ is the Civic Theatre's 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ in Akron, Ohio. It is the fourtieth instrument featured at Walnut Hill thus far, and very dear to fellow Walnut Hill Wall of Fame member Dan Rowland.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing the console of the Civic Theatre's 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.
The console of the Civic Theatre's
3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.

The tone of this fine Theatre Pipe Organ is truly awesome. There is a haunting magic in the acoustics of the beautiful auditorium where it resides. Seen in the shot above is the console of this splendid and well kept machine.



Through The Eyes Of A Photographer


Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing Danny Rowland getting shots of of the Civic Theatre.
Danny Rowland getting shots of the Civic Theatre.

Danny Rowland, son of Dan Rowland, was at the theatre with his trusty Nikon Digital camera, tripod, and lights. He left no stone unturned as he walked about the place taking shot after shot with uncanny precision. So here it is, the movie palace through the eyes of the phtographer.

A word of warning. These pictures are huge. Some are over eight megabytes in size. If you are having trouble downloading the full-size file, try right-clicking the page image and choose "Save Target As" from the fly-out menu.

Click here to download a 3072 x 2056 JPG image showing the stop sweep of the 3/17 Mighty WurliTzer.
The stop sweep of the 3/17 Mighty WurliTzer.
Photograph by Danny Rowland.

Click here to download a 3072 x 2056 JPG image showing the left bolster of the console.
The left bolster of the console.
Photograph by Danny Rowland.

Click here to download a 3072 x 2056 JPG image showing the playing table of the 3/12 Mighty WurliTzer.
The playing table of the 3/17 Mighty WurliTzer.
Photograph by Danny Rowland.

Click here to download a 3072 x 2056 JPG image showing the fallboard below the Great stops.
The Fallboard.
Photograph by Danny Rowland.

Click here to download a 3072 x 2056 JPG image showing the right bolster of the console.
The right bolster of the console.
Photograph by Danny Rowland.

Click here to download a 3072 x 2056 JPG image showing the console of the 3/17 Mighty WurliTzer.
The console of the 3/17 Mighty WurliTzer.
Photograph by Danny Rowland.

Click here to download a 3072 x 2056 JPG image showing the console of the 3/17 Mighty WurliTzer..
The console of the 3/17 Mighty WurliTzer.
Photograph by Danny Rowland.

Click here to download a 3072 x 2056 JPG image showing the console of the 3/17 Mighty WurliTzer.
The console of the 3/17 Mighty WurliTzer.
Photograph by Danny Rowland.



A Closer Look at the Console


Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing the keydesk of the 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ installed at the Civic Theatre in Akron, Ohio.
The keydesk of the 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer
Theatre Pipe Organ installed at the Civic Theatre.

This Theatre Pipe Organ has three manuals andnineteen ranks. There are enough tonal flavours to keep any organist happy for a long time exploring the millions of possibilities it offers. The instrument is very comfortable to sit at and play, and the sound is heavenly to behold in the huge room where it lives.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing the playing table of the 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.
The playing table of the 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer
Theatre Pipe Organ.

In this shot, we are looking up at the keydesk of the gorgeous white and gold leafed console. The only direct illumination provided is the light coming from the horseshoe lamps. A small camera-mounted flash suppliments the lighting to give more detail and clarity to the shot, showing the many stop tabs and thumb pistons.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing the left bolster of the 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.
The left bolster of the 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.

This is the left end of the horseshoe containing the Pedal and some of the Accompaniment stops. There are a wide number of tonal flavours, including large Reeds and many Strings. Note the 32 footer in the Pedal. This stop shakes the house when drawn, but it is not overbearing, simply a rumbling purr.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing the center bolster of the 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.
The center bolster of the 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.

Moving on around the horseshoe, we come to the center bolster containing more of the Accompaniment stops and the Great stops. On the fallboard below, we find the Accompaniment Second Touch stops on the left of the row, the Great overflow stops in the middle of the row, and the Tremulants on the right end of the row of stops in the back rail. Note the original "Patent Applied For" number listing plaque in the center above the Solo manual.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing the right bolster of the 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.
The right bolster of the 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.

At the right end of the horseshoe are found the remainder of the Great stops and the Solo stops. Note the Solo Third and Solo Fifth couplers, which allow one to get that famous Blackpool WurliTzer sound. The illustrious Len Rawl would be right at home on this majestic instrument, indeed.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing the junk drawer of the 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.
The junk drawer of the 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.

Under the left bolser end block is a swing-out tray called the junk drawer. This contains push buttons for the various sound effects or "toys" available to the organist for silent movie accompaniment or novelty effects in concert performances. Just about all the prerequisite things are here, including sirens, bells, horse hooves, etc.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing the programmer drawer of the 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.
The programmer drawer of the 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.

Under the right bolster end block is a swing-out tray containing the console programming interface. This is used to access and assign memory levels for the Moving Combination Stop Action and the MIDI record and playback facilities. This is truly a world class organ with all the latest technology in place for the demanding player.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing the toe studs and swell shoes of the 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.
The toe studs and swell shoes of the 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.

Below the playing table and knee board at the left end of the Pedal clavier, we find two rows of toe studs that control general combinations and certain sound effects and untuned percussions such as snare and bass drums, cymbals, etc. We also see the Main and Solo swell shoes.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing the swell shoes and piano pedals of the 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.
The swell shoes and piano pedals of the 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.

To the right of the swell shoes we see the crescendo pedal and the three piano pedals that control cymbal crashes and rolls. THese are nice for that ending florish in a song. As you can see, this is a very well endowed console that was made in a time when Rudolph WurliTzer put all the goodies into a very deluxe instrument.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing the console of the 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ on stage at the Civic Theatre.
The console of the 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ on stage.

Here, we see the console of the 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ on the stage of the auditorium of the Civic Theatre. Note the gold leaf releived trimwork on the side panels. The styling of this organ console compliments the decor of the theatre perfectly, sitting on a lift equipped with a turntable so it can be rotated from side to side.



A Closer Look At The Chambers


The 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ installed at the Civic Theatre in Akron sounds as good as it looks. As we shall see in the pictures to follow, there are two pipe chambers filled to the brim with some very nice rankage. The installation is well cared for and clean as a whistle (no pun intended.) These photographs were taken by Dan Rowland's son, Danny. He used a 10 megapixel Nikon digial SLR camera, so the full-size pictures are very large.

Click here to download a 3072 x 2056 JPG image showing ranks of pipes inside the Main chamber to the left of the stage in the auditorium.
Ranks of pipes stand tall and proud inside the Main chamber.
Photograph by Danny Rowland.

Here, we see several ranks of pipes inside the main chamber, which is above and to the left of the stage in the huge auditorium. The beautiful Brass Trumpet is prominent to the right in the forground, and more colour Reeds are visible on the second set of chests further back in the chamber. Note the ample walk boards which make servicing and tuning the organ a rather easy task.

Click here to download a 3072 x 2056 JPG image showing the colour Reed pipes in the Main chamber.
Colour Reed pipes in the Main chamber.
Photograph by Danny Rowland.

This shot offors a neat perspective, looking down on the colour Reed ranks in the Main chamber. These pipes look and sound almost new. Notice how clean and shiney the top boards on the chests are.

Click here to download a 3072 x 2056 JPG image showing the Chorus Reeds and Strings in the Solo chamber.
Chorus Reeds and Strings in the Solo chamber.
Photograph by Danny Rowland.

In another shot looking down from above, we see some of the big Reeds and Strings in the Solo chamber. These chambers are long enough to allow two groups of wind chests to fit end to end. This lets as many as ten chests fit inside each chamber.

Click here to download a 3072 x 2056 JPG image showing the Percussions in the Solo chamber.
The Percussions in the Solo chamber.
Photograph by Danny Rowland.

Because space is tight in the chambers, it was hard to back up enough to get everything in the picture. However, seen here are some of the drums, tuned and untuned percussions, and more Reed pipes in the Solo chamber.

Click here to download a 3072 x 2056 JPG image showing the Solo Reeds in the Solo chamber.
Solo Reeds in the Solo chamber.
Photograph by Danny Rowland.

In this shot we are looking at the bright Solo Reeds in the Solo chamber. One of the neat features of this installation is the labels on the wind chests that tell what the various ranks of pipes are. Now you really know what an Orchestral Ohoe really looks like! This one sounds super sweet, indeed.



A Closer Look at the Civic Theatre


Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing the front entrance to the Civic Theatre in Akron, Ohio.
The front entrance to the Civic Theatre in Akron, Ohio.

The Civic Theatre in Akron, Ohio was constructed as an atmospheric movie house in 1929. It is one of only a few such theatres left which are open in the United States. And this movie house still has its original Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing the hallway entrances to the auditorium of the theatre.
Hallway entrances to the auditorium of the theatre.

Long recognized among the communityís cultural landmarks, the Civic Theatre has a rich and spectacular history. It has provided the community with a venue for quality entertainment and live performances for over seventy years. During that time, hundreds of thousands of people have been thrilled by various theatrical presentations, both on stage and on screen.

Click here to download a 3072 x 2056 JPG image showing the auditorium of the Civic Theatre as viewed form the center of the balcony. Photograph by Danny Rowland.
The auditorium of the Civic Theatre
as viewed form the center of the balcony
Photograph by Danny Rowland.

The majestic theater was built in 1929 by Marcus Loew and designed by famed theater architect, John Eberson. The interior structure was fashioned after a Moorish castle featuring Mediterranean decor, including medieval carvings, authentic European antiques and Italian alabaster sculptures.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing the Main chamber wall of the auditorium.
The Main chamber wall of the auditorium.

Among facilities of its size, the Civic is one of only five remaining atmospheric theaters in the country where patrons experience a twinkling star-lit sky and intermittent clouds moving across the horizon, all while sitting inside the auditorium.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing the Solo chamber wall of the auditorium.
The Solo chamber wall of the auditorium.

In June 2001, the Civic Theatre closed its doors for the most comprehensive restoration and expansion project in its history. Over the course of the next sixteen months, just over $19 million was spent bringing the theater up to modern performance and patron standards, and to restoring its failing 70-year old infrastructure.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing some of the main floor seating and the balcony, looking to the right.
Auditorium main floor seating and balcony, looking right.

Following its re-opening in November 2002, the Civic Theatre, along with its partner The University of Akronís E. J. Thomas Hall, continued to play a significant leadership role in downtown revitalization.

Click here to download a 3072 x 2056 JPG image showing the auditorium of the Civic Theatre as viewed form the main chamber.
The auditorium of the Civic Theatre
as viewed form the Main chamber.
Photograph by Danny Rowland.

In May 2003, the Civic began a partnership with the City of Akron to program and operate Lock 3 Live!, a new outdoor performance venue featuring more than 80 events and attractions scheduled between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing the view from the stage.
The view from the stage.

There are 2,400 seats in the cavernous space of the auditorium. In the picture above, we are standing on the stage looking back toward the entrance doors. THe facility has many house lights and amminities for touring shows, including a PA system and full stage rigging.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing the view from the balcony looking toward the stage.
The view from the balcony looking toward the stage.

When one stands in the balcony and looks down, the size of the place is evendent, along with the attention to detail placed on the many intricate decorations lavished upon it.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing the view from underneath the balcony, looking toward the stage.
The view from underneath the balcony, looking toward the stage.

In this picture, we are standing underneath the balcony looking toward the right of the stage. Note the mixing desk for the house PA system. Live recordings are possible using these elaborate electronics placed among the best seats in the auditorium.



Free Music Downloads


Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing the Bone Doctor posing for a publicity shot at the console of the 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ at the Civic Theatre in Akron, Ohio.
The Bone Doctor poses for a publicity shot
at the console of the 3/19 Mighty WurliTzer.
Photograph by Danny Rowland.


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