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You are helping us create a monumental, one-of-a-kind, world-class musical instrument for San Francisco!
David Hegarty
San Francisco, California
United States
8 Team Members



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.

[artist's rendering]

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.

The Impact

  • 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
Find This Campaign On
raised by 204 people in 2 months
50% funded
No time left
Verified Nonprofit
$40,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on September 25, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $20USD
    Credit on Website

    Get your name listed as a donor, as with all the others, on the SFCODA website.

    10 claimed
  • $25USD
    MP3 Organ Music

    Get an idea of the amazing versatility of the Castro Symphonic Theatre Organ. David Hegarty plays a suite from "Phantom of the Opera," incorporating an excerpt from Bach's "Toccata in D minor," on the prototype of our new organ—the Harrah Symphonic Organ in West Virginia. We will send it to you via MP3.

    39 claimed
  • $50USD
    Ticket to the Castro Theatre

    The above described MP3, plus a certificate for free admission to the Castro Theatre. (Does not include film festivals or special events.) To be used within three months.

    36 claimed
  • $100USD
    2 Castro Theatre Tickets

    The above described MP3, plus two certificates for free admission to the Castro Theatre. (Does not include film festivals or special events.) To be used within three months.

    46 claimed
  • $250USD
    Organ CD

    Two tickets to the Castro Theatre, plus your choice of David Hegarty's CDs: "The Symphonic Organ Goes to Hollywood" or "Live! Symphonic Organ Pops Concert," played on the Harrah Symphonic Organ in West Virginia.

    3 out of 400 claimed
  • $500USD
    Sing-Along Event, photo

    The above-described CD, plus—bring your family to the Castro Theatre for one of its famous Sing-Along events. This Perk entitles two adults and two children to attend the Sing-Along event of your choice and have your photo taken at the organ with organist David Hegarty prior to the show.

    2 claimed
  • $750USD
    Private Organ Demonstration

    A thirty minute demonstration or lesson with David Hegarty at the new Castro Symphonic Theatre Organ. This is your opportunity to play one of the largest organs in the world or watch how its done—up close and personal! Come and pull out all the stops!

    1 claimed
  • $1,000USD
    Organ Party and Concert

    For all of the $1,000 and up donors, we will host a champagne and light hors d'oeuvres party in the Mezzanine of the Castro Theater when the new organ is installed. David Hegarty will play a program on the Castro Symphonic Theatre Organ just for you and up to five guests.

    4 claimed
  • $5,000USD
    Name on a plaque in the lobby

    Besides the Organ Party and Private Concert (above), your name will appear prominently in the theatre lobby as a major supporter of the Castro Symphonic Theatre Organ.

    0 claimed
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