Victoria Theatre - 2/ Dominion Orchestral reed organ
1112 and 1116 Douglas (at the corner of View St. and Douglas St.)
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The Victoria Theatre opened in 1885.
Victoria Theatre, c.1900
Many early theatres had reed organs instead of pipe organs. Not only were reed organs less expensive, but pipe organs designed specifically for theatres and the accompaniment of silent film did not fully develop until after 1914.
In this photo of the Victoria Theatre stage, we see a large two-manual reed organ in the orchestra pit. This instrument is most likely a Dominion Orchestral reed organ manufactured in Bowmanville, Ontario Canada. Some of the larger Dominion instruments had 15 or more sets of reeds and would have no problem filling a room the size of the Victoria Theatre.
Victoria Theatre, c.1900s. Image courtesy Royal BC Museum, public domain.