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The Majestic Theatre's formal opening week of June 14-19, 1926, featured a $20,000 Wurlitzer Pipe Organ

Bob Cox • Nov 13, 2017 at 12:00 PM

An announcement was boldly printed in the Johnson City Chronicle for June 14-19, 1926, for the Majestic Theatre that was once situated at 239 E. Main St. The manager was George W. Keys; he resided at 105 E. Watauga Ave.

" ‘For your approval’ accurately defined the policy and intent of the management of the Majestic Theatre in their recent installation of a mammoth Wurlitzer Organ, the latest model to be developed by the company.

"It is the hope and belief of the management that the great instrument under the masterly control of Mr. Frank Wilson of Cincinnati will add immeasurable to the enjoyment of the Majestic programs. If it does, we are gratified.

"To every patron, we extend a pressing invitation to visit the Majestic during ‘Opening Week’ and to pay particular attention to the Organ Preludes to each program and organ accompaniment. Let us know how you like it.

"Mr. Wilson, who is a noted theatre organist and a composer of numerous numbers, plays a happy mixture of both classical and popular music.

"His years of training with the special Wurlitzer theatre organs gives him perfect control of the hundreds of special effects, which are built into these mammoth musical instruments.

"This enables him to reproduce practically every effect needed to furnish perfect accompaniment to any and all productions.

"You who have visited the Majestic Theatre during recent weeks had undoubtedly noted much general activity throughout the building.

"We are now pleased to call attention to the results of this work, most of which was done at night to prevent interruption to programs. This included the installation of the Mammoth $20,000 Wurlitzer Organ, which was explained in detail elsewhere.

"New opera chairs of the most modern type that are cozy and comfortable add much to the enjoyment of the programs. Thousands of dollars were invested in those upholstered chairs, and we want you to see them.

"The installation of the most complete and perfect cooling system obtainable anywhere is in operation. Huge blowers, which pump into the theatre from the clean upper air, provide a steady flow of fresh cooling, spreading it through the auditorium in a magnificent manner so as to prevent draughts, yet maintain a steady pleasant temperature in the theatre.

"The system at the same time drew from the upper part of the theatre all the exhausted or used air, providing for health, pleasure and comfort. We know you will appreciate this during the warm days of summer because this will really and truly be the ‘coolest place in town.’

"A general renovation and decoration of the interior of the theatre has provided many little touches having been added here and there, all tending toward increased comfort and pleasure for our patrons.

"All of these things and many more to come in the way of special features, choice programs and improved service are but the working out of the Public Theatre Policy, which was announced some months ago.

"No higher standard could be attained than that set by the Public Theatres, of which the ‘Greater Majestic’ is a part."

This flyer was before our time, but those of us who routinely took some time out of our busy day to visit the Majestic Theatre recall how nice it was.

Even when it became time for the building to be razed, the roof collapsed during the night and sealed its doom. I guess it wanted to say "goodbye" in its own unique way.


Reach Bob Cox at boblcox@bcyesteryear.com or go to www.bcyesteryear.com.

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