One Night Only, Thursday, December 21 at 7pm – Tickets $10 at the door
The Orpheum Theatre Group is pleased to announce a special one-night concert “Wurlitzer Wonderland” featuring the historic Mighty Wurlitzer Organ on Thursday December 21 at 7pm at the Orpheum Theatre. Tickets will be $10 at the door.
Resident Orpheum House Organist Tony Thomas with special guests Dr. Jay Cox and Curtis Jones will get attendees in the holiday spirit with festive tunes played on the Orpheum’s 95-year-old Mighty Wurlitzer Organ. The evening will include selections from the recently released album The Orpheum Theatre Group presents A Very Mighty Christmas – Tony Thomas plays the Mighty Wurlitzer Organavailable now for $35 at orpheumgiftshop.com and available for pickup only.
“The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ is as integral to the Orpheum as the gold leaf and chandeliers. We are so happy we can present this concert for the holidays,” said Brett Batterson, President & CEO. “We hope everyone will celebrate the spirit of the season at the Orpheum with our grand organ.”
Tickets for Wurlitzer Wonderland are $10 will be available for purchase when doors open the night of the event. For more information, visit orpheum-memphis.com.
About the Orpheum Theatre Group:
The mission of the Orpheum Theatre Group is to enhance the communities we serve by utilizing the performing arts to entertain, educate, and enlighten while preserving the historic Orpheum Theatre and the Halloran Centre for Performing Arts & Education. For more information, visit https://orpheum-memphis.com/.
About the Orpheum’s Mighty Wurlitzer Organ:
The Orpheum’s Mighty Wurlitzer Organ was bult in North Tonawanda, New York in 1928 and was shipped to the Orpheum on September 25th of that same year. The $19,000 instrument was originally purchased to play for vaudeville shows and silent movies and was most recently enjoyed by patrons through the Orpheum’s annual Summer Movie Series. After a study of the organ was commissioned by the Orpheum Theatre Group and completed by JL Weiler, Inc. of Chicago, the nation’s most noted restorer of theatre organs, it was determined that approximately $500,000 worth of rebuilding was needed to fully restore the instrument. They estimated that without the major improvements the organ would have been inoperable within the next year and a half. Generous Memphians then rallied to “Save the Wurlitzer” in 2017. In June 2018, the organ was packed up and shipped to Chicago for a full restoration. After over a year of undergoing a complete restoration by JL Weiler Inc. in Chicago, the Orpheum’s Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ returned to Memphis in fall 2020.
It is a registered 3 manual, 13 rank 240 style Wurlitzer. Its horseshoe console rests on its own hydraulic lift that can raise or lower it out of the orchestra pit. Noted organists have included Vincent Astor, Bill Oberg, Art Hays, John Hiltonsmith, Milton Slosser, Tony Thomas and more.