CO Springs City Auditorium Theatre Organ
The only original Colorado Springs theatre pipe organ still in existence, this Wurlitzer Unit Orchestra is complete and almost exactly as it was originally installed in the Burns Opera House (later known as the Chief Theatre) in 1927. The original cost of the organ was $14,000.00, a significant investment when you consider a new Model A Ford that year cost about $400.
The organ was carefully dismantled and removed from the theatre in the Spring of 1973 by members of the Pikes Peak Theatre Organ Society after the theatre was condemned to demolition. Over the next few years, members invested over 5000 man-hours rebuilding the instrument and performing the installation in City Auditorium where it was rededicated in March of 1979.
The organ has eight ranks (sets of pipes or voices), for a total of just over 600 pipes, plus many tuned percussion and special effects. All the pipes and sound producing effects are located in four chambers, two on each side of the stage, stacked one above the other behind the plaster grillework.
The Main Chamber (left side) contains five ranks:The Main Chamber (left side) contains five ranks: CONCERT FLUTE, DIAPASON, VIOLIN, CLARINET, and VIOLIN CELESTE. The CHRYSOGLOTT, a tuned percussion, is unenclosed, mounted behind the curved section of the plaster grillework. The Solo Chamber (right side) contains three ranks: TUBA, TIBIA, and VOX HUMANA.
The Percussion Chamber (upper right side) contains:
|Castanets||Bass Drum||Snare Drum||Triangle|
|Bird Call||Auto Horn||Surf||Tom-tom|
Air is supplied by two 5 HP blowers providing about 15 inches of static pressure. The "brains" of the organ (relay system and switching mechanism) are located directly below the center stage iin a room 16 feet long by 6 feet wide. The pipes range from pencil-size to more than sixteen feet in length.
The PPATOS maintains both this organ and another fine Wurlitzer at Mount Saint Francis Auditorium in Woodmen Valley. The goal of PPATOS is to preserve and promote the continued use of the theatre pipe organ.