ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

From: Erik Winter, April 2001

I have recently had the opportunity to play the Wurlitzer at the State Theatre in Portland, Maine. A good friend of mine does sound there and recently fired it up.

It looks beat to hell but amazingly most of it still works. It was a dream come true to play such an amazing old instrument.

The next step is to make sure it gets preserved. It's such a beautiful instrument I hate to see it get abused anymore.

One of the most interesting things was that one of the buttons down by the foot pedals sounds like a woman screaming up in the organ! Its so bizarre because it sounds so real. I need to get up inside and have someone hit that button so I can see how it works. Anyway, to make my night even more surreal I think I saw a ghost out of the corner of my eye by the consession stand after I played it.

From: Terry Hochmuth, July 2009

There is (or at least was in the mid 1980s) an original Wurlitzer Style 190 (Op 2067) in the State Theatre in Portland, ME. I was approached by a gentleman, as I recall, from Boston, who owned the building to go there to have a look at the instrument - he did not know what the organ was as far as size or brand.

He picked me up at Logan and we drove to Portland - the house, at that time, had been divided up into 2 smaller theatres in the area under the balcony only. They had basically built a wall straight down from the line of the balcony and then divided that space into 2 theatres laterally. He felt that he had to 'warn' me on the drive up that they were porn houses - one showing M/F films and the other M/M. We entered through the M/M side (I covered my eyes) and through a door into the main part of the theatre - it was early December and cold outside - but when we entered the main auditorium, it was warm and comfy - there before us was an original unaltered small movie palace! He took me down to the pit and I could see a console (or something) covered by a black cloth - I removed it and found a pristine 2-manual Wurlitzer french-style console!

He told me that it had 'a room full of pipes' - and we found a ladder and I crawled into the main - before I got in there, I could hear water dripping - not a good sign! But when I got in, the small bit of water was only coming down the rear outside wall - well away from the relay and pipework and chests. There was a very thick layer of dirt and dust on everything - but it was totally original and all there - every single pipe! It looked as if it had been put in and never touched again! There were 5 ranks on this side. I insisted that there had to be more, which he refuted - so I went over to the solo and we found a door into that chamber - there were the other 3 ranks plus all the percussions, toys, etc - again, pristine and untouched.

He wanted to sell the organ as he had plans to demolish the building. We made a deal for the instrument but gladly, the demolition never happened and I believe that it is now used as a performance center.

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