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Thread: A very Red (Wing) theater organ!

  1. #1
    mp Mezzo-Piano AllenAnalog's Avatar
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    7 members found this post helpful.

    A very Red (Wing) theater organ!

    The Detroit Red Wings hockey team has a new theater organ at Little Caesars Arena. The bright red and white console, a 4-manual Allen Walt Strony Signature instrument, made its debut last month with Lance Luce as the official organist of the Red Wings.

    Evidently the late Mike Illitch, founder of the Little Caesars Pizza chain, was a supporter of putting a "real" organ in the new arena. Illitch purchased and renovated the incredible 5,000+ seat Fox Theater in Detroit in 1988 so he was certainly familiar with the 4/36 Wurlitzer there.

    It's nice to see a large instrument back in an arena. The loss of the old Chicago Stadium and its Barton seemed to be part of a trend to having a DJ or some dinky keyboard or home organ plugged into the sound system provide the music. Coors Field here in Denver had an electronic organ when it opened but it is long gone.

    Here's the Allen Organ of the Week post; the spec of the organ is impressive.

    https://www.allenorgan.com/www/allen...OfTheWeek.html

    A Detroit News story from December 8, 2017 about the instrument:

    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/spo...lca/108431826/

    And a fun interview with Lance Luce, wearing dazzling red jacket that certainly goes with the red paint on the console:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RuoRtQU4tg
    Last edited by Admin; 01-14-2018 at 12:35 PM. Reason: embedded video
    Larry

    Main: Allen RMWTHEA.3 with Rocky Mount piano, Allen 423-C + Gyro cabinet, Britson Opus OEM38, Saville Series IV Opus 209, Steinway AR Duo-Art, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI, Moller Artiste organ roll player
    Lower Level: Hammond 9812H with roll player, Gulbransen Rialto, Roland E-200, Vintage Moog
    Shop: Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with 18 speakers, 4 matching Allen tone cabinets (including 2 Gyros, but don't call me Gyro Gearloose!).

  2. #2
    mp Mezzo-Piano AllenAnalog's Avatar
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    Thanks to the one person leaving the helpful vote for this post. But no responses??? Perhaps its not worth the effort any more to put together a general interest post with multiple researched links.

    So I'll comment on my own post since it was #350 and I wanted to celebrate with something fun.

    This is probably the largest recent/new electronic organ with no speakers connected directly to it and with all of those native audio channels coming out of the organ mixed down to a single mono feed for the PA system. I at least hope his headphones are stereo.
    Larry

    Main: Allen RMWTHEA.3 with Rocky Mount piano, Allen 423-C + Gyro cabinet, Britson Opus OEM38, Saville Series IV Opus 209, Steinway AR Duo-Art, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI, Moller Artiste organ roll player
    Lower Level: Hammond 9812H with roll player, Gulbransen Rialto, Roland E-200, Vintage Moog
    Shop: Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with 18 speakers, 4 matching Allen tone cabinets (including 2 Gyros, but don't call me Gyro Gearloose!).

  3. #3
    pp Pianissimo jimsmith77006's Avatar
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    Larry:

    I enjoyed your post, followed the links, then did some online searches for this instrument. Thanks for sharing it!

    Jim
    I'm so poor, my cats get free health care!

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    Moderator myorgan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllenAnalog View Post
    Thanks to the one person leaving the helpful vote for this post. But no responses??? Perhaps its not worth the effort any more to put together a general interest post with multiple researched links.
    Larry,

    I, for one, lack the expertise to comment on a theatre installation. Therefore, no comment. It's nice to see an organ being used for hockey games instead of recordings. I do wish Mr. Luce could have played it, though. I would love to have heard him play.

    Michael
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

  5. #5
    mp Mezzo-Piano Pipeorganbuilder's Avatar
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    Thanks Larry for the links. I really enjoyed viewing them. I have owned four theater pipe organs over the years and am amazed how much sound one gets from so few ranks. Unification at its best.

    Michael

  6. #6
    Administrator Admin's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, this site has never attracted an active theatre organ contingent. Perhaps they prefer the acrimony and drama of the TO mail list.

  7. #7
    Moderator myorgan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Admin View Post
    Unfortunately, this site has never attracted an active theatre organ contingent. Perhaps they prefer the acrimony and drama of the TO mail list.
    That's positively wicked!
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

  8. #8
    pp Pianissimo Ordinary_Man's Avatar
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    Larry, thanks for posting this.

    This will be somewhat OT but your mention of the Detroit Fox Theatre and the organ got me to do some researching. I live in St. Louis and we also have a restored Fox Theatre with a Wurlitzer 4/36. I found out that the St. Louis theatre was opened a year after the Detroit and shares much of the interior and design theme.

    We had the late great Stan Kann for a long time on the St. Louis Wurlitzer. I got to speak to him a couple of times when touring the theatre. The tour, at least at the time, included a short recital (including him ascending on the riser) and some talk about the organ.

    To get back ON topic, I think the Allen in the Little Caesars Arena should have red sharps!
    Thanks again, enjoyed the video and the articles.

    Steve

  9. #9
    ppp Pianississmo wilsons1003's Avatar
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    I remember an Allen install of the week for a Chicago sports fan that had a black 3 manual console, either 319 or the Lyn Larsen, with the Blackhawk and Bulls logo. Very cool. I have played the Larsen 3 manual a few times, but never the 4 manual. It's my lotto fantasy organ, the TO-5 is just too tall and you have to add a music rack floater to even see the pages. We are lucky in Indianapolis with several theatre installations maintained by Carlton Smith and the ATOS-CIC group. The high school my kids went to has a 3 manual Barton and an Allen 319 was put side by side as the audience tried to guess which one was playing. Consoles behind the curtain and speakers in the chambers with a lot a balancing work beforehand. The samples for the Barton suite are taken from this organ and it was very hard to tell the difference.

    And we got a jab at the TO group....they are a tough bunch.

    Obligatory Lowrey section:

    The drawer with the GenSys alt voices looks like it says Genius if you squint at it.......

    Ron in Indy

  10. #10
    pp Pianissimo cpv's Avatar
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    So happy to hear! Hope more venues bring back these incredible instruments!

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