From: Ed M Stout, October 2002
Palace Theatre Organ History recap:
When Weldon Flanagan (Dallas) assumed ownership, the
Wurlitzer went to his house on Haverford Street. The
theatre turned over the ownership to him in
appreciation of his work on it and because of his
presenting programs to the public and the business he
brought to the theatre. As the time for closing and
destruction of the Palace Theatre came closer, Weldon
removed the organ, and most of it was stored behind
the Wilshire Theatre on Mockingbird Lane in Dallas.
At that time Weldon sold a slightly smaller Wurlitzer
which had been in his house for some years. He then
installed the Palace Wurlitzer in his house. As the
children grew up, he and Mary thought it would be
better to move north for a better school situation in
Plano. The organ itself was sold to Fred Graybeal of
Ft. Worth, and eventually the house was also sold to
Graybeal intended to keep living in Ft. Worth, so the
organ was eventually removed to storage in Fort Worth.
In time Graybeal decided not to build the large
house, and the organ was sold to Jim and Tammy Baker
in North Carolina for their theme park to be
combined with two smaller instruments and installed
for their purposes. This all happened at the
approximate time the fraud of that endeavor was
uncovered; therefore, the organ was left in limbo and
simply stored in moving vans.
The console remains with Dr. Graybeal in Fort Worth,
and at present, is not for sale.
After the failure of PTL (the Bakers), the organ was
in storage containers in Los Angeles. The organ,
while in the containers, was sold to a group of
people, represented by Dave Junchen. In 1989, Dick
Taylor, who works with Edward Stout, purchased the
majority of the organ. Junchen kept the Trumpet,
Saxophone, blower and piano. Dick Taylor and Edward
brought the organ to the Bay Area for proper storage.
In 2001, Taylor sold the organ to the Packard
Humanities Institute in Los Altos, California. At the
present time, 2002, Edward Millington Stout, Inc. is
restoring the Palace organ, using the four manual
console from the Chicago Uptown theatre. The twenty
rank organ is to be installed in the auditorium of the
Fox-California Theatre in downtown San Jose,
California. The Packard Humanities Institute is
funding the restoration and installation of the Palace
organ, as well as funding a major portion of the
theatre’s restoration costs. The 1927 motion picture
house, which once had a 13 rank Wurlitzer, will be
used for the presentation of silent photoplays and
will be the home of Opera San Jose. The Packard
Humanities Institute is retaining ownership of the
Palace organ as well as a fine Wurlitzer Style 216,
which is to be installed in the grand lobby of the
restored theatre. The California Theatre is scheduled
to open in the fall of 2004. Mr. David W. Packard, of
the Packard Humanities Institute, is directly
responsible for the restoration and installation of
the two Wurlitzer organs.
From: Ed M Stout, May 2005
The California originally had a three manual, thirteen rank Wurlitzer and the chambers were designed for that
amount of organ. The grills are very open, so what ever sound is produced is clearly heard in the house.
David Packard wanted a first rate installation to compliment the restoration of the fine old theatre.
We had the Palace in Dallas organ, minus the console and thought that might work for the project.
The difficulty was to fit twenty one ranks in the space designed for thirteen.
Dick Taylor and I tossed ideas around for some time until we had the basic layout for both the Main and Solo.
Due to the extensive open grillwork, we wanted to design the organ in such a way as to enclose all of the
noise making components. The manual chests are elevated on tall bearers, which allowed for two levels of
reservoirs beneath the chests. The entire area is completely enclosed within removable paneling.
We created an un-enclosed percussion "chamber" in the lower part of the grill, beneath the eight by twelve
foot shutter openings.
The Main has ten ranks and the Solo has eleven ranks.
SOLO (From the shutters back)
8' Orch. Oboe
16' Tibia Clausa
8' Brass Trumpet
8' Tuba Mirabilis
8' Solo String
8' Solo String Celeste
16' Horn Diapason (Metal Diaphone)
8' English Horn
16' Concert Flute
8' VDO Cel.
8' Open Diapason (10")
8' Vox Humana
8' Tibia Clausa (10")
16' Diaphonic Diapason (Wood Diaphone)
16' Tuba Horn
The stagehouse is completely new with the gridiron up 87'. We had them design and install a fly gallery
on the stage right side that runs from the proscenium wall to the back wall of the stagehouse.
It extends five feet out from the side wall of the stagehouse and begins forty-three feet up.
We have a 32' Diaphone of 260 scale on 15" pressure. The 260 scale was 28" instead of the 285 scale of 34".
The organ is powered by a 15 HP Spencer, which delivers 3,000 CFM @ 24" static.
We have a static reservoir on the system that sends 20" out to the chambers.