Shanklin Music Hall Wurlitzer Pipe Organ

The Shanklin Music Hall’s Wurlitzer Theater Pipe Organ consists of 34 ranks of pipes, 12 tuned percussions, and numerous traps and sound effects, all played from the 4 manual console that was originally installed in Boston’s Metropolitan Theatre in 1930. The “Met” organ was the largest Wurlitzer organ to be installed in New England. The restoration of the Music Hall Wurlitzer was done with two objectives in mind.
The first was to create a superb musical instrument.
The second was to carefully restore an irreplaceable antique.

During the summer of 1993, the Shanklins purchased the 15 rank Wurlitzer that was originally in the Palace Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio. During the next 4 years they were able to acquire all the pipe work, percussions, wind chests, and numerous other components that would be required to augment it to the 26 rank specification of the original Metropolitan organ. Best of all, they were able to acquire the original console from the Boston Metropolitan Theatre!

Along the way, they also purchased eight additional ranks of pipes, which add richness to the ensemble. All pipes and percussions are Wurlitzer, except for the Trumpet-en-Chamade and a very rare 1927 Mason & Hamlin Model RBB, 7 foot Grand Piano with its original AMPICO Reproducing Player. Both pianos, and all the other instruments in the Music Hall, are played from the organ console.

Prior to installation, all components of the organ were completely rebuilt using original style materials insofar as practicable. The Metropolitan Theatre Console was rebuilt retaining the original electro-pneumatic stop action in the bolsters, and the manuals were restored using original type materials in order to preserve the original feel of the console. The console was refinished with ivory lacquer, and its decoration was meticulously gold leafed. This installation is somewhat different from the original, however, in that many of the percussion instruments are mounted on the front wall of the auditorium instead of in the chambers, so that they may be better heard and enjoyed.

All of the organ’s sounds are produced by real pipes and percussion instruments being played by the wind from a 25 HP blower. There are no electronic sounds or sound enhancements to the organ. On the other hand, the organ relay, recorder/player, and combination action are new solid-state units. They control the organ, but they do not affect its sound.

A computerized Recorder/Player has been installed on the organ, which will record the actual notes as they are played on the pipes and percussion instruments of the organ during the performance.
Later, when the recording is played back, the actual pipes and percussions of the organ will play, just as they did during the original performance.
By this means, concerts held at the Shanklin Music Hall can be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

Organ Specs

Main Chamber

Rank Scale (ft) Pipes/Notes
Tuba Horn 16-8 73
Diaphonic Diapason 16-4 85
Open Diapason 8-4 73
Tibia Clausa 8-2 73
Clarinet 16-8 73
Violin 8-4 73   *
Violin Celeste 8-4 73   *
Viol D’Orchestre 8-2 85
Viol Celeste 8-4 73
Oboe Horn 8 61
Harmonic Flute 4 61   *
Concert Flute 32-2 109
Concert Flute Celeste 4 61   *
Dulciana 8-4 73
Unda Maris 8-4 73
Vox Humana 8 61
Enclosed Harp 49
Chrysoglott 49

* Ranks added to the original Wurlitzer Publix 4 Specifications of the Boston Metropolitan Theatre.

Solo Chamber

Rank Scale (ft) Pipes/Notes
Tuba Mirabilis 16-8 73
English Horn 16-8 73
Brass Trumpet 8 61
Horn Diapason 16-4 85
Horn Celeste 8-4 73   *
Tibia Clausa 16-2 97
Krumet 8 61
Kinura 8 61
Orchestral Oboe 8 61
Brass Saxaphone 8 61
Solo String 16-4 85
Solo String Celeste 8-4 73
Gamba 16-4 85
Gamba Celeste 8-4 73
Quintadena 8 61
Solo Vox Humana 8 61
Xylophone 37

* Ranks added to the original Wurlitzer Publix 4 Specifications of the Boston Metropolitan Theatre.

Unenclosed

Rank Scale (ft) Pipes/Notes
Pedal Tibia 8 32   *
Trumpet-en-Chamade (Trivo) 8 61   *
Marimba Harp 49
Vibraphone 49
Xylophone 37
Glockenspiel 37
Cathedral Chimes 25
Tuned Sleigh Bells 25
Tuned Saucer Bells 25
Upright Piano (Wurlitzer) 85
Grand Piano (Mason & Hamlin – AMPICO) 85
Traps and Effects

* Ranks added to the original Wurlitzer Publix 4 Specifications of the Boston Metropolitan Theatre.

Wurlitzer Console

Rank Scale (ft) Pipes/Notes
4 Manuals (Keyboards)
280 Stop Tabs
5 Expression Pedals & Crescendo Pedal
2 Piano Pedals
2 Swing-out Trays
Organ Relay: Z-Tronics
Combination Action: Z-Tronics
Recorder/Player: Trousdale

Wind Supply

Rank Scale (ft) Pipes/Notes
20 Reservoirs
15 Tremolos
25 HP, 1150 RPM 3-Stage Spencer Turbine Blower

THE SHANKLIN MUSIC HALL
MIGHTY WURLITZER THEATRE PIPE ORGAN

The Shanklin Music Hall’s Wurlitzer Theater Pipe Organ is a preservation & presentation of the magnificent
musical instruments that accompanied the silent films of the Silver Screen in the Roaring 20’s.
The ornate console that controls the entire organ was originally installed in Boston’s Metropolitan Theatre.
The “Met” organ was the largest Wurlitzer organ installation in New England.
The Shanklin Mighty Wurlitzer is a dutifully restored enhancement of original theater installations.
All is set in a hall architecturally designed to house and showcase this amazing piece of history.

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Orchestra Sounds
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Pipes of various Woods & Metals
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Percussive Instruments
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Electronic Instruments