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Orpheum Theatre - 3/13 Wurlitzer (original installation)
Vancouver, B.C. Canada
601 Smithe St at Seymour
Organ installation timeframe: 1927 - present
 
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Orpheum Theatre, c.1927. Photo courtesy Vancouver Public Library
 

Orpheum console in concert position.
The Orpheum Theatre opened November 8, 1927. Its Wurlitzer is Canada's last theatre organ still performing in its original home.
 
There was at least one earlier Orpheum Theatre.
 
The Orpheum Wurlitzer is opus #1746, a style 240. It cost $40,000 in November 1927.
 
Main: Diaphonic Diapason, Horn Diapason, Salicional, Viol d'Orchestra, Viol Celeste, Clarinet, Vox Humana and Concert Flute.
 
Solo: Harmonic Tuba, Brass Trumpet, Orchestral Oboe, Kinura and Tibia Clausa.
 
The console has 103 stop tabs and the blower is 7-1/2 HP rated at 2400 CFM.
 

Stage view showing Wurlitzer console, Photo courtesy Orpheum Theatre.
 

Proscenium and ceiling dome, photo courtesy Orpheum Theatre.
 
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Looking North on Granville Street, date unknown.
 
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Postcard view of Granville Street, c.1940s
 

Theatre District, looking North on Granville Street, early 1950s
 

Postcard view of Granville Street looking North from Robson, 1950s
 
Partial list of concerts:
 
Korla Pandit, Fall 1968
Don Stagg, July 1969
Ann Leaf, February 1978
George Blackmore, December 1978
Rex Koury, April 1979
Gaylord Carter, April 1990. Phantom of the Opera and Harold Lloyd's Billy Blazes.
 
Servicing and tuning of the organ for the Gaylord Carter concert was done by Ted and David Quinton.
 
Several LP recordings of the instrument have been made including Harold Ramsay's "Wurlitzer Pipe Organ Concert" (1964) and Patrick Weld's "Strike Up the Band" (1987). The latter may have been re-released on CD.

Advertisement for Ann Leaf concert at the Orpheum, c.1978
 
Two preliminary sketches for the Orpheum entrance from the workbook of B. Marcus Priteca, 1927. The final design is most similar to the sketch on the right.

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Orpheum interior, date unknown
 

Reginald Foort to play dual concert role in Vancouver
Excerpt from The Console magazine, October 1977 (v15 No 10, pp1):
 
Reginald Foort, one of Britain's leading theatre organists for many years, will reopen the former Vancouver Orpheum Theatre 3m/13r Wurlitzer organ in concert November 12 and 13. The theatre has been rennovated as a concert hall and home of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. The organ was retained to be used for recitals.
 
The two-day event is a dual engagement for the famous artist - the reopening of the instrument and Foort's final public appearance as a concert personality. It will be his farewell concert.
 
* Planning Regular Concert Programs*
 
Plans are being made to use the Wurlitzer at least four times yearly. Herbert McDonald is in charge of arrangements and will welcome inquiries from organ concert artists.
 
 

c.1920s

Orpheum, c.1990's
 

Opening Night Program, 1927
 

Program, 1931
 

c.1950s
 


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