The Rudolph Wurlitzer Co. (1928)


Minnesota (Radio City) Theatre
36-40 9th St. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55403 US
Organ ID: 63678

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Status and Condition:

  • This instrument's location type is: Theatres, Cinemas, Movie Houses
  • The organ has been altered from its original state.
  • The organ's condition is good, used occasionally.
We received the most recent update for this instrument's status from Database Manager on February 10, 2019.

Technical Details:

  • Chests: Wurlitzer
  • 20 ranks. 4 manuals.
  • Chest Type(s): Wurlitzer chests
  • Position: In side chambers at the front of the room. No visible pipes.
We received the most recent update for this division from Database Manager on February 10, 2019.
  • Manuals: 4
  • Position: Console on lift.
  • Manual Compass: 61
  • Pedal Compass: 32
  • Key Action: Electrical connection from key to chest.
  • Stop Action: Electric connection between stop control and chest.
  • Console Style: Horseshoe style console.
  • Stop Controls: Stop keys in horseshoe curves.
  • Combination Action: Setterboard (remote or in console).
  • Swell Control Type: Balanced swell shoes/pedals.
  • Pedalboard Type: Concave radiating pedalboard.
  • Has Crescendo Pedal
  • Has Combination Action Thumb Pistons
We received the most recent update for this console from Database Manager on February 10, 2019.
Database Manager on February 10, 2019:

Updated by Eric Schmiedeberg, naming this as the source of information: Personal correspondence from Dennis Hedberg--Stock Wurlitzer Publix #1 stoplist--September, 1979.

This instrument was mismatched to the Minnesota Theatre: The auditorium seated a little over 4,000. At that size, the Publix #1 Model Wurlitzer was fairly lost in such a huge space once the seats were filled. However, it is apparent that the musical qualities of the Minnesota Wurlitzer were pretty good overall. There are at least three selections by famed Midwest organist Eddie Dunstedter that have survived. "If I Had You" and "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers" being two of them. Even for 1928/'29 recordings, the cavernous acoustics of the Minnesota are in evidence.

The console of the organ was mounted on a revolving lift located in the house-left end of the orchestra pit.

The Wurlitzer has fared much better after leaving its original home. The Minnesota (called "Radio City" in the last years of its existence) was torn down in 1959. The Wurlitzer found its way into the hands of Reiny Delzer of Bismarck, North Dakota who installed it in his home! According to THEATRE ORGAN magazine, it was the focal point of the 1963 American Theatre Organ Enthusiasts convention. Dunstedter was at the bench again, much to his own delight and to all of those heard him play.

The organ currently resides in the home of a private party and has been very well installed.

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on February 11, 2019.

Database Manager on January 26, 2019:

This entry describes an original installation of a new pipe organ.
Identified by Eric Schmiedeberg, citing information from this publication: Numerous citations throughout the years from (among others) THEATRE ORGAN, CONSOLE and MARQUEE magazine..

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on January 27, 2019.

Instrument Images:

Organist Eddie Dunstedter and Console on Revolving Lift: Photo in my private collection, courtesy of Eric Schmiedeberg (c.1928).

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