The Wurlitzer organ in the main auditorium at the Fabulous Fox Theatre sits on an elevator. It can move 10 feet above and 10 feet below the floor. Organist David Stephens invited Dana Dean for a ride.
This show at the Fabulous Fox Theatre is not on stage, it's in front of the stage. The sounds of an entire orchestra are coming from just one man playing the Wurlitzer organ, an instrument installed in the Fabulous Fox Theatre 89 years ago.
Organist David Stephens said, "And she's doing pretty good."
The Fox has three people who take turns playing the organ for Saturday tours at 10:30 AM. Not only do they know how to tickle the ivories but they also aren't scared of heights.
David said, "Luckily no, I'd be in a fix if I were."
Because at the Fox, the mighty Wurlitzer organ, sits on an elevator.
He said, "The big thrill I think is... seeing the insutment come out of the floor."
This Wurlitzer organ can move ten feet above and ten feet below the floor. The late stan kann, who appeared on the tonight show 77 times, played the Fox theatre's Wurlitzer organ from 1953 to 1975.
Carl Vogt, a tour guide, said, "At intermission, between movies, Stan would play. And the movie would end, the theater is still dark, they would throw on the spotlight and organ would rise up."
What people don't see from their seats is just how mighty the mighty Wurlitzer is. It has more than 2500 pipes and 500 plus tuned percussions and is spread out in 7 rooms on the 3rd and 4th floors. It's Al Haker's job to go from room to room and keep everything sounding like it did back in 1929.
Al said, "There are actually computers that do this in a little box. You can do this same thing but we strive to maintain it in its orginal condition... so we can preserve the artform as it was in the 20s."
For more information on tours, visit fabulousfox.com/visit/tours.