Theater Organ Played by Local Minister

June 23, 2010
Santa Paula News

First Christian Church congregants and guests boarded a luxury bus last Saturday morning and headed off to Santa Barbara to hear their pastor play a grand old theater organ there.

In the silent film era, theater organs provided a musical accompaniment for the action and emotions being portrayed on the screen. After the advent of sound movies, the theater organ survived a few more years by providing music before and after movies, and during intermissions. Eventually, these musical interludes were provided by recordings.

The Arlington’s organ was manufactured in Van Nuys, California, then shipped off to a theater in New Jersey, where it soon met the fate of countless other theater organs across the country.

Dr Phil, and several of his friends, took two years to restore this magnificent theater organ which now resides at the Arlington Theater in Santa Barbara. By doing so, these men have helped keep alive this classic instrument’s spirit and style of music which are slowly disappearing from the American theater. As a thank you, the Arlington opens its doors to Phil and his restoration buddies the second Saturday morning of every month.

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