THE CASTRO THEATRE IS ABOUT TO LOSE ITS WURLITZER ORGAN
The current Wurlitzer organ, thrilling audiences in the Castro Theatre since the early 80s, is privately owned, and the owner has moved away. The organ needs a total rebuild and is going to be removed from the theatre. Remaining true to the Castro Theatre tradition of providing organ music since 1922, we have designed a spectacular new organ of international significance that will save and supplement the familiar sound of the Wurlitzer.
This will be the largest pipe/digital organ in the world—with seven keyboards and over 800 stops. It will retain the iconic sound of the Wurlitzer pipes and will employ cutting-edge digital technology to expand it into a concert organ of unprecedented versatility.
This amazing concert instrument will dramatically surround the theatre with authentic organ music of every nationality and period—theatrical and classical, as well as a stunning reproduction of the full symphony orchestra (Audio Impressions). Get ready for an unparalleled sonic experience!
SFCODA—Castro Organ Devotees Association—is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donations are tax-deductible.
Find out more at our website: www.sfcoda.org
What We Need
- Thanks to 21st-century technology and a brilliant organbuilder who is designing the organ and supervising the installation pro bono, the price tag for this world-class instrument is approximately $700,000, rather than the many millions of dollars a full pipe organ of this size would normally cost.
- The new organ console is now under construction. The Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund in New York City got the ball rolling with a significant contribution, and the Castro Theatre is also generously supporting this project. You can play a part in bringing the largest pipe/digital organ in the world to San Francisco!
- All donors will be recognized with gratitude.
- Major sponsorships from private individuals and corporate foundations will receive significant name recognition at the Castro Theatre, a venue that serves over 150,000 patrons a year.
- This project coincides with the Streetscape Plan, Rainbow Honor Walk, and beautification of the historic Castro District. This distinctive neighborhood will be able to boast another major attraction for San Francisco residents and visitors—the magnificent Castro Symphonic Theatre Organ.
- The theatre organ division of this instrument is being augmented to duplicate the tonal resources of the beloved San Francisco Fox Wurlitzer which has not been heard in San Francisco since 1963.
- VIDEO—To see and hear a short example of what the new organ will do, please click on the "Gallery 1" link at the top of this page. As this video illustrates, the new organ will take us far beyond the familiar sound of the Wurlitzer. In this example, the classical organ and orchestral percussions are featured. This is a similar, but smaller, symphonic organ built by Allen Harrah, the master designer responsible for our organ.
Other Ways You Can Help
- Help us get the word out by forwarding this to your friends or posting it on your Facebook timeline.
- Remind them to use the Indiegogo share tools!
Special Thanks to
- Paul VanDeCarr for permission to use a segment of his 2003 video One Man Band in our video (www.paulvdc.com)
- The Nasser Family, Castro Theatre owners, for their generous support
- Morris & Alma Schapiro Fund, NYC, for several major grants
- Bob Ross Foundation, SF, for a significant grant
- Charlotte Ruffner for her invaluable help setting up this campaign
- Allen Harrah for making this project possible by donating his time and expertise designing and supervising the installation of the new organ