Garden State Theatre Organ Society (GSTOS) was founded in 1973 to preserve the historic tradition of the Theatre Pipe Organ in American music. Based in northern and north-central New Jersey, we restore remaining specimens of the instrument where possible, encourage theatres to preserve them, and showcase them to the public for entertainment.
GSTOS owns four Theatre Pipe Organs and maintains a total of seven. In addition, a number of our members have pipe or electronic theatre organs in their homes.
The Garden State Theatre Organ Society, Inc. is a tax-exempt, non-profit 501(c)(3) Corporation. Contributions to further the Society’s goals are tax deductible.
Members have many interests, for example:
- Listening to theatre organ music
- Making music at the organ console
- Mechanical and electrical aspects of theatre organs
- American history & nostalgia
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October, 2012 The Village Voice names our Wonder Morton Organ in Jersey City Best Movie Theater Organ in NYC!
GSTOS Featured On The Web
Loew's Jersey Wonder Morton on NBC TV...
November 7, 2008
Loew's Jersey Wonder Morton in the "Star Ledger"...
Theatre Pipe Organ, What´s that?
The Theatre Pipe Organ was developed in the early 1900's by Robert Hope-Jones to replace expensive live orchestras that accompanied silent films. Playable by only one person, it is called a "unit orchestra" because it contains many ranks of pipes that imitate a full range of orchestral instruments, as well as real percussions and sound effects.
The sound is unmatched! From the power of a symphony orchestra, to the whisper of a single flute or violin, the Theatre Pipe Organ fascinates and thrills all who hear it.
Theatre Organs can play virtually any type of music from classical, to 1930’s music, modern popular music, show tunes, movie scores and jazz.
Want to see and hear a theatre pipe organ? Here are
some examples on YouTube that illustrate the many types of music
can be made on theatre organs. These links are provided as an
educational resource. If you like these examples you are encouraged
take advantage of the frequent opportunities in and around NJ to
- Jelani Eddington - "Of Thee I Sing" Gershwin standard on the Wurlitzer organ
- Jelani Eddington - "William Tell Overture" (Lone Ranger Theme) orchestral transcription on the Wurlitzer Organ
- Lew Williams - "Phantom of the Opera" songs on the Organ Stop Pizza Wurlitzer Organ
- Jim Riggs - "Dance of the Blue Danube" Duet: Wurlitzer Organ and Steinway Piano
- Lew Williams - "Oklahoma" medley on the Radio City Music Hall Wurlitzer Organ
- Don Reasons, singer Sandra Kaye, & drummer Rodrigo Villanueva plays a jazzy "All Of Me" on a Robert-Morton Organ
- Jesse Crawford plays "When Day Is Done" on a Wurlitzer Organ
- Dance music with the Tower Ballroom Wurlitzer, Blackpool, UK (notice the organ's sound easily fills the large ballroom)
The sound of theatre organs is shaped by the space they are in. Often they lived in spacious movie palaces, where their sound could swirl around, reverberate, and mix. Pure sonic delight! A prime example of such a movie palace in NJ is the 3100 seat Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre in Jersey City built in 1929. A group called Friends of the Loew's is renovating the theatre and GSTOS is installing a "Wonder Morton" theatre pipe organ, almost exactly like the one originally there.
GSTOS Contact Information
& Program Chairman
2nd Vice President,
John C. Kaiser
Become a member of GSTOS - Membership Info