From: Allen Walker, December 2002
The Keith Memorial Theatre organ had gone through a lot before it
was dismantled and sold for parts back in the nineteen-seventies. It
had to have damage and vandalism repaired more than once. Finally,
in an attempt to restore a downtown theatre elegance, it was used for
intermission performances during shows. Lou Weir as organist there
had some ranks swapped, including "borrowing" the Post Horn from
the large Wurlitzer in the Metropolitan Theatre in Boston (run by the
same management). The Keith's organ, a 260 special, didn't have a
Post Horn originally and it never occurred to me that it needed one.
Silly me, I just loved the sound as it originally was.
The Keith Memorial Theatre had its stage converted to a small movie
theatre (sort of a mini-multiplex), then finally closed. An opera
company leased it, renaming it the Boston Opera House. [By then,
the original opera house that Boston had was long gone.] This
company was chronically short of funds, and the building was closed
again, with its roof in danger of collapsing.
Clear Channel Entertainment entered the picture, wanting to spend
many millions on refurbishing the Opera House, and using it as a
venue for touring shows. After some battles with abutting high-priced
condo owners (who objected to the increased activity that a busy
downtown theatre would bring!) the refurbishment has started.
There are no plans for an organ in the refurbished theatre. I don't even
plan on thinking about it. There already is the example of the
gorgeous Beacon Theatre in New York City with its splendid
Wurlitzer. Amount of organ use: zero. Modern mass market
commercial showbiz and organs seem to have nothing to do with