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Fox Theatre Fundraises for Silent Film-Era Organ


The movie house and concert venue plans to acquire an authentic 1920s-era Wurlitzer organ to further authenticate their classic theatre experience.

Fox Theatre Fundraises for Silent Film-Era Organ

According to, the Historic Bakersfield Fox Theatre has been dedicated to recreating an authentic classic theatre experience since it opened ninety one years ago. Matt Spindler, the current manager of the Fox Theatre, has decided to undertake the process of acquiring a Wurlitzer organ. These organs were used in the 1920s to play soundtracks of films that were being shown, specifically in theaters that didn't have the financial resources to show talking pictures.

While the initial plan was to buy an original pipe organ, the theatre has realized that the expenses could easily reach $500,000. However, Spindler has found an option that is more economically feasible for the theatre, but almost as authentic as the original Wurlitzer organ. They plan to purchase a new age Wurlitzer instead, the price of which would be significantly lower. The total acquisition of the new age organ would end up costing around $100,000.

The organ that the Fox Theatre hopes to purchase would look and sound the same as an original Wurlitzer, only differing in that it is played through a computer and PA system. After talking pictures became popularized and widely feasible for movie theaters to show, the role of the organists shifted to that of intermission and pre-/post-show entertainment. Spindler believes that the Fox Theatre's audience would greatly appreciate the addition of the authentic experience that the Wurlitzer organ would provide to patrons.

To make a contribution to the fundraising campaign, email or call (661) 324-1369.

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