Pipe Organ Database

a project of the organ historical society

Rudolph Wurlitzer Manufacturing Co. (1922)


B.F. Keith Theatre
44 W. 4th Street
Dayton, OH 45402 US
Organ ID: 67511

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Status and Condition:

  • This instrument's location type is: Theatres, Cinemas, Movie Houses
  • The organ has been relocated.
  • The organ's condition is unknown.
We received the most recent update for this instrument's status from Paul R. Marchesano on February 05, 2021.

Technical Details:

  • 657 pipes.
Paul R. Marchesano on February 05, 2021:

This describes an original installation of a Wurlitzer Unit Orchestra, "introduced to much acclaim at the B.F. Keith Theatre in Dayton, Ohio, on Nov. 27, 1922." From an article describing it's history and installation in a new theater space. The theatre was slated for demolition in 1967.

A local organ enthusiast, Dave Bowers, inquired about the long unused instrument, whose presence was unknown to the owner.

Bowers was told he could have the Wurlitzer for $4,000 — provided he could remove it before the wrecking ball started swinging. He snagged the organ and had it reinstalled it in a specially made building in nearby Troy, Ohio, where it remained until 1986 when it was donated to the Pine Tree Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society in Maine. After some 10 years, a suitable home in Maine couldn't be found. In 2002 the nonprofit Chevalier Theatre Organ Society was created with a mission to repair, restore and install the organ, and raise all necessary funds to install it in the Chevalier Theatre in Medford, Massachusetts. The restoration and installation is ongoing and expected to be completed by 2022. -- Information from the Medford Transcript, wickedlocal.com retrieved 5 Feb 2021. Full article linked under websites

We received the most recent update for this note from Paul R. Marchesano on February 05, 2021.

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