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Thread: Atlantic city Ballroom Kimball

  1. #1
    ff Fortissimo Orgrinder010's Avatar
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    Apr 2004

    Atlantic city Ballroom Kimball

    Just received word that the Ballroom Kimball at the Atlantic City Convention hall (now Boardwalk Hall) will be undergoing restoration in 2007.

    I guess that the plan is if they get this organ up and running, they can play concerts to help fund the restoration of the Municipal Organ in the main hall.

    As far as I heard, both organs have been inoperable since 1999. The main auditorium organ only having one chamber of 8 working.

    Hope that we get these running 100%!

    ~1936 Hammond AV - Leslie 122 & PR40~~1954 Wurlitzer ElectroStatic 4602 - Leslie 125~

  2. #2
    p Piano solotibiaclausa's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: Atlantic city Ballroom Kimball

    I have heard the organ on DVD and CD and it sounds nothing like a theatre organ. A very powerful classical type sound but no throbbing tremulants. I hope they can get Clark Wilson in there to go over everything. He has a great way of making everything sounds "perfect"!

  3. #3
    ff Fortissimo Orgrinder010's Avatar
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    Apr 2004

    Re: Atlantic city Ballroom Kimball

    I too have heard this organ on DVD, and I believe that it was voiced to be more orchestral than theatrical. I guess they wanted an "all-purpose" organ that was neither either, but both.

    Good old Clark would be perfect for the job!

    ~1936 Hammond AV - Leslie 122 & PR40~~1954 Wurlitzer ElectroStatic 4602 - Leslie 125~

  4. #4
    p Piano solotibiaclausa's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: Atlantic city Ballroom Kimball

    The Kimball has some nice sounds but a Clark Wilson do-over is definetly in order.</P>

    Clark just did our 4/18 wurlitzer over at Babson College in Wellesley, MA. It has never sounded better! There are a pair of nasty salicionals which now sound really sweet! The Tibias are also back on their correct pressures (12" for main and 15" for solo) so the organ sounds wonderful!</P>

  5. #5
    ff Fortissimo Orgrinder010's Avatar
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    Apr 2004

    Re: Atlantic city Ballroom Kimball

    I got in touch with Clark this week, but forgot to mention this to him. He just got done rebuilding the water-damaged chests for the 3/8 Robert Morton in Beaumont. That was the first theatre organ I have ever played, so its kind of sentimental to me.
    Lol, he also told me to come over to Columbus and try out his big 4-manual Robert Morton, quite exciting!

    ~1936 Hammond AV - Leslie 122 & PR40~~1954 Wurlitzer ElectroStatic 4602 - Leslie 125~

  6. #6
    ff Fortissimo sesquialtera16's Avatar
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    Oct 2006

    Re: Atlantic city Ballroom Kimball

    Ballroom Organ
    Rank List

    The ballroom is a room of gigantic size. It is 181 feet long, 128 feet wide, and 75 feet high. It can accommodate an audience of over 3,000 people. It faces the Boardwalk and the ocean and has a large stage at the front of the room. The organ is sited in two chambers, one on each side of the stage. The console is located on a balcony half way along the inner side of the room about 110 feet from the right chamber and about 150 feet from the left chamber, (facing the stage). From the console the organist has a clear view of the room and hears both sides of the organ equally well.

    It was the intention of Mr. Lincoln Dickey, the first manager of the Hall, to use this room as a dance hall and also as a motion picture theatre. Therefore, he wanted an organ of the orchestral type (or as he viewed it, a theater organ). Senator Richards, who also designed this organ, was unwilling to design the organ for the limited purpose of accompanying motion pictures, (something that sound pictures were soon to displace), and therefore designed an all purpose organ that would be orchestral in character but would likewise have the foundation of a true organ. The result was again a pioneer organ that as events developed, has proved adequate for all the purposes to which the room is now used. The room is now an auxiliary hall for the use of small conventions, large dinners, and social affairs. For these purposes the organ serves very effectively.

    The organ is powerful enough to fill the Ballroom on all occasions and at the same time is itself a very beautiful instrument. Senator Richards departed from usual theater organ designs which consists of employing a total of from 8 to 15 "units" of orchestral reeds, flutes, strings, and diaphones all on high wind pressures. These "units" are spread over several manuals at the same and different pitches to give the impression of large size and power.

    In the case of the Ballroom, the organ architect first gave the instrument a proper ensemble of chorus diapasons and reeds in both chambers. These choruses consist of 20 voices up to mixtures. These voices are almost unheard of in the theater organ. Then, upon this foundation, Senator Richards imposed 22 voices of unit character consisting of flutes, strings, and reeds, all of orchestral character. The combination proved to be an outstanding success and an organ of solid but brilliant character resulted. Because of this combined character, this organ is much larger (both in the number of pipes and in decibel output) than any theater organ ever built, and the console is also larger in the number of stop controls than any similar organ.

    The organ was built by the W.W. Kimball Company of Chicago and was completed in 1931. It was voiced under the personal direction of its designer, Senator Richards.


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    Ballroom Organ ~ Rank List
    Atlantic City Boardwalk Convention Hall Ballroom
    Atlantic City, New Jersey

    Kimball Opus 7073, 1930
    Designed by Senator Emerson Richards

    The Ballroom Organ under construction
    in the Kimball Factory Erecting Room


    Pitch & Name Pipes Wind Misc.
    1. 16 Diaphone 85p 15" L
    2. 8 Open Diapason 73p 10" S P
    3. 16 Trumpet 85p 15" P L
    4. 32 Bombarde-Tuba 97p 25"
    5. 16 Tibia Clausa 97p 10" L
    6. 16 Violin 97p 10" L
    7. 8 Violin 73p 10" L
    8. 8 Viola 85p 10" P L
    9 8 Viola Celeste 73p 10" P L
    10. 8 Cello 73p 15"
    11. 8 Cello Celeste 73p 15"
    12. 8 Clarabella 85p 10" P L
    13. 16 Stopped Flute 101p 10" P L
    14. 8 English Horn 61p 10" P L
    15. 16 Post Horn 85p 15"
    16. 16 Oboe Horn 85p 10" P L
    17. 8 Clarinet 73p 10" P
    18. 8 Kinura 61p 10" L
    19. 8 Vox Humana 73p 10" P L
    20. 8 Saxophone 73p 15" S
    21. 8 French Horn 73p 15" S P
    22. 8 Brass Trumpet 73p 15" S
    23. 8 Orchestral Oboe 73p 15" S
    24. 8 Melophone 73p 10" S L
    25. 8 Muted Strings II 134p 10" S P L
    26. 8 English Diapason 73p 10" S L
    27. 4 Octave 73p 10" S L
    28. V Mixture 305p 10" S L
    29. 16 Viola Diapason 85p 10"
    30. 8 Diapason 73p 15"
    31. 4 Major Octave 73p 10" S
    32. 2 Major Fifteenth 73p 10" S
    33.VII Grand Mixture 511p 10: S
    34. 8 Gemshorn 85p 10" L
    35. 8 Gemshorn Celeste 73p 10" S
    36. 8 Muted Diapason 73p 10" S P L
    37. 16 Tuba Mirabilis 85p 25"
    38. 8 Flauto Dolce 85p 10"
    39. 8 Flauto Celeste 73p 10" S
    40. 8 Flute Overte 73p 10" S
    41. 8 Orchestral Strings II 134p 10" S
    42. 8 Orchestral Strings II 134p 10" S L

    16 Piano 88n P
    Concert grand
    8 Celesta 49n P
    4 Xylophone 37n
    8 Vibra-harp 49n
    2 Orchestral Bells 37n
    8 Chimes 20n

    Bass Drum (Loud, Ludwig)
    Bass Drum (soft)
    Tympani Roll
    Chinese Gong (stroke and roll)
    Snare Drum (stroke and roll)
    Wood Block (stroke and roll)
    Sleigh Bells

    4-manual horseshoe console (Kimball's largest):

    Pedal: 39 stops, 2nd touch for traps
    (including Piano Sostenuto)
    Accompaniment: 53 stops, 14 2nd touch
    Orchestral: 71 stops, 14 2nd touch
    Solo: 61 stops
    Bombard: 36 stops

    Couplers: 24, 2 2nd touch
    Tremulants: 7

    Blowers: 30hp Orgoblo (#23635) for 10" and 15"

    This blower is located in the parking garage and has a
    large oil bath filter on its intake. Also, at one time,
    a water spray was in use. While the pneumatic to control
    it and the spray head are still in place, it is not in use.

    2nd blower for 25" is located in a dressing room
    area near the Ballroom

    Kimbal "Soloist" player action via paper rolls
    for some ranks.

    "Major" Diapason chorus plays from 4th manual;
    "Minor" Diapason chorus plays from 1st manual.

    "S": Straight stops (others are unified).
    "P": Can be controlled by the player mechanism.
    "L": In left chamber; others in right chamber.

  7. #7
    ppp Pianississmo wurlitzerman3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Smile Ballroom Kimball update

    Hello all. Figured I'd update everyone from what I heard/saw (I'm going on memory here so I could be wrong about some of the technical details, so I apologize if incorrect) from a tour I took last month in Atlantic City.....

    The ballroom Kimball's console restoration is now complete. The work was done my Ken Chrome and they are currently awaiting a date when it will be shipped back. I had heard that the console would be connected to the organ via wireless but I guess that decision was changed based upon what Harry Bellangy mentioned during the tour. The console will be returned to its alcove in the ballroom.

    The main Spencer blower has been completely restored and all the severed wind lines for it re-routed. At the time of my visit last month, provisions had been made for the booster blower (for the tubas) wind lines and the booster blower was undergoing restoration. The wiring lines between the new relay area and the two chambers had been removed and replaced with modern wiring. I don't know how/if the Soloist roll player will work with the modern relay as I forgot to ask that question. Perhaps if someone in the know reads this they can answer that.

    The piano's status was a question I brought up on the tour and Harry told us the original, which had been disconnected/moved for unknown reasons in the 1960s was relocated and attempts were made to bring it back to Boardwalk Hall, but the frame cracked in the process. He wasn't sure if they were going to use a sound module for the time being or not until a suitable replacement could be acquired.

    A re-dedication concert is planned/hoped for in 2011 and talks have been made/are on going with Hector Olivera, who has expressed an interest apparently in playing the instrument for the concert.

    Overall, it looks like 2011 will be a great year for the Kimball.
    Last edited by wurlitzerman3; 09-11-2010 at 06:52 PM.

  8. #8
    ppp Pianississmo wurlitzerman3's Avatar
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    Mar 2006

    Click on the link above to see/read a brand new article from the Atlantic City Press from 9/28/2010 about the return of the Kimball's newly restored console to the hall.

    A great development indeed.

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