The Paramount’s Mighty Wurlitzer Organ
An historic instrument holds the keys to another era.
The Paramount Theatre is home to the Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ, one of the last three remaining organs of its kind to reside in its original environment. Installed in time for the theatre’s March 1, 1928 grand opening, the Paramount’s “Publix 1” style Wurlitzer has one of the most ornate organ consoles ever produced. Its elegant keydesk was decorated at the Wurlitzer factory in Louis XVI style to match the theatre décor, including replication of the ornate flower basket designs featured throughout the grand theatre.
Installed at a cost of over $100,000, The Paramount's Mighty Wurlitzer includes an entire grand piano and drum-set built into the side panels of the auditorium. Next to these run hundreds of pipes and bells, chimes, whistles, and horns allowing one musician to fill a large auditorium with a “symphony” of music.
Lovingly cared for by the Puget Sound Theatre Organ Society, the Mighty Wurlitzer has stood the test of time performing well beyond its originally projected lifespan. Much of the instrument still operates on its original mechanism. A high-tech wonder of its day, there are over 20,000 moving parts - requiring careful restoration, a painstaking process requiring thousands of hours of labor and many special materials.
Since the late 1950's, members of Puget Sound Theatre Organ Society (PSTOS) have spent literally thousands of hours each year to keep the instrument playing. Unfortunately, there is no suitable synthetic substitute for natural leather (modern organ builders still use it today). The only solution is to completely replace all of this leather with new material, which is not an easy job.
PSTOS is a non-profit organization furthering the appreciation, preservation and use of the Theatre Pipe Organs of yesteryear. Members include musicians, technicians, and enthusiastic listeners - all devoted to the preservation and continued enjoyment of what we believe to be a national treasure.
Silent Movie Mondays Transport Visitors Back in Time
For over 10 years, STG presents silent film as part of keeping the historic Mighty Wurlitzer Organ alive and heard by present day audiences.
Click here to enjoy the Seattle Channel story on the Mighty Wurlitzer and Silent Movie Mondays!
As part of Silent Movie Mondays, STG presents beautifully preserved and/or restored prints of the films as they were meant to be seen - in their original format and at their correct speeds on a large theatre-size screen via projectors especially adapted to correctly show films of the silent period. These showings are held in a fully restored motion picture palace including live performance with period-music scores performed on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ.
As the lights dim, be transported back in time and experience these rare cinematic gems and hear the organ as it was so many years ago.