Wurlitzer  |  1931  |  2/11  |  5 Tuned Percussion  |  14 Traps  |  815 Pipes

The Lafayette Theatre "Ben Hall" Wurlitzer


The Lafayette Theatre’s Mighty Wurlitzer is a Style 150, 2-manual 11 rank theatre pipe organ owned and maintained by the New York Theatre Organ Society.  Opus 2095 was the last Style 150 (originally a 2-manual 5 rank organ) built by Wurlitzer, and was shipped from the Wurlitzer factory on January 31, 1931 to the Lawler Theatre in Greenfield, MA.  Like so many small town movie theatres in the 50’s and 60’s, the Lawler was closed for demolition, and the organ was removed and installed in the Rainbow Roller Rink in South Deerfield, MA, where it was rarely used. 


In 1968, noted theatre historian, author and film critic, Ben Hall, bought the organ and installed it in his Greenwich Village duplex in New York City.  The entire 2-manual 5 rank organ including pipes, chests, percussions, console, and blower, was carried up two flights of stairs to the apartment. Tragically, Ben died in 1971, and once again the organ was “orphaned.”  When the estate of Ben Hall donated the organ to the American Theatre Organ Society, ATOS packed up the instrument and shipped it to California where it was to be installed in the estate of the late Harold Lloyd, which was to become a museum to the silent film. However, plans for the museum fell through, and the organ was shipped back to New York City where NYTOS members installed it in the Carnegie Hall Cinema, a small movie theatre located in the basement of Carnegie Hall. Opus 2095 played in the Carnegie Hall Cinema for over ten years until it had to be removed in 1986 when the entire Carnegie Hall building underwent a major restoration. A crew of NYTOS members removed the organ and placed it in storage, and Opus 2095 was again homeless.


In 1990, NYTOS chairman Dave Kopp, approached Lafayette Theatre owner Al Venturini, about the possibility of installing the organ in the theatre in Suffern. Al was enthused about the idea, and everyone agreed that the Lafayette was an ideal place for the organ. Work was begun in November 1990, and after countless hours of labor by the volunteer crew and nearly $15,000 of donated funds, the organ which was enlarged to 11 ranks, was reborn and played again for the first time in its new home in December 1992. Since then, in the grand tradition of the American Theatre Organ, the Mighty Wurlitzer has been delighting audiences at the Lafayette Theatre every weekend before the feature films and for other special events in the historic theatre.   

10" | ​85
10" | 73
10" | 61
10" | 73
10" | 61
10" | 61
10" | 61
10" | 73
10" | 61
10" | 97
6" | 61
88 Notes - Digital
25 Notes
37 Notes
37 Notes
25 Notes
49 Notes

16 Diaphonic Diapason

8 Harmonic Tuba

8 Post Horn
8 Tibia Clausa
8 Clarinet
8 Kinura
8 Orchestral Oboe
8 Viol d'orchestre
8 Viol Celeste (TC)
16 Flute
8 Vox Humana
Cathedral Chimes
Sleigh Bells

pressure | pipe count


© 2019 New York Theatre Organ Society