Theatre Pipe Organ Projects

Your help is needed with GSTOS organ projects !

Fun with glue
Fun with glue
Attaching wires
Attaching wires

The Garden State Theatre Organ Society is currently installing and/or repairing seven theatre organs in north and central NJ. If you ever wondered how these magnificent musical instruments work... here is your chance to see them up-close.

All help is always welcome. There are many types of skills (from artistic to scientific) needed on organ projects.

There are tens of thousands of parts in an average sized pipe organ.  While this may seem very complex, some parts are really simple and not too difficult to understand. Most of the organ is composed of commonly found materials such as wood, leather, glue, felt, screws, soft metal (tin and lead), copper wires, and magnets... very easy stuff to work with. Other than screwdrivers and other common wood working tools, a lot of work can even be done with household scissors and small paint brushes. There is always someone to help answer any questions you may have.

So what's the catch? When are these organs going to start making music?  As mentioned earlier, there are many thousand parts in a typical pipe organ, the more people come to help the sooner the organs will play. Too busy to help on a crew? Money or donation of supplies is always welcome... GSTOS is a registered non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, contributions are tax deductible.

Current GSTOS Projects

3/4 Kilgen opus 3677 style UG11 (1926) Mayfair Theatre, West New York NJ - repairs
3/10 Wurlitzer Brook Arts Center, Bound Brook NJ - final stages of installation & repairs
3/15 Griffith Beach * Newark Symphony Hall, Newark NJ - preventative maintenance
4/23 Robert-Morton Loew's Jersey City NJ - preventative maintenance
3/16 Möller, Trenton War Memorial - preventative maintenance
3/10 Rainbow Room Wurlitzer opus 2185, Rahway Senior Citizens Center - final stages of installation & repairs
3/20 Wurlitzer opus 2115, being rebuilt at Rahway Senior Citizens Center - installation venue to be determined 

Want to learn more about the "technology" of theatre organs?

Here are some interesting references for many fun months of study. More web links can be found on the GSTOS links page.

American Theatre Organ Society

Theatre Organ Shop Notes, 2nd Edition 1995
Selected Articles from the journals of the American Theatre Organ Society
Allen Miller

The Cinema and Theatre Organ
A comprehensive description of this instrument, its constituent parts, and its uses.
Reginald Whitworth
Musical Opinion
13, Chichester Rents
Chancery Lane, W.C.2 London 1932

The Art of Organ-Building Vols. 1 & 2
George Ashdown Audsley
Dover Publications, 1965
ISBN: 0-486-21314-5

Organ Building for Amateurs
A Practical Guide for Home-Workers
Mark Wicks
ISBN: 0-913746-01-0

The Art Of Organ Voicing
L. G. Monette
New Issues Press
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI 1992
ISBN: 0-932826-25-3

Player Piano Servicing and Rebuilding
(some concepts in this book also apply to theatre organs)
Arthur Reblitz
Vestal Press, Inc.
4720 Boston Way
Lanham, Maryland 20706
ISBN: 0-911572-41-40-6

Vincent Rioux's research focuses on "voicing techniques" of flue organ pipes. This art deals with fine adjustments of the timbre of organ pipes. It thus involves high expertise on sound quality. Our goal is to study several technical points which are still not completely elucitated whithin the organ-building community."

Work Schedule **


Crew Chief








Mayfair Theatre,
West NY
Bob Martin
send me mail

Brook Arts Center,
Bound Brook
George Andersen/ 
Joe Vanore
send me mail
2 pm -  
9 pm

Griffith Beach
Symphony Hall, *
Bob Martin  
send me mail

Loews Jersey Theatre,
Jersey City
Bob Martin
send me mail

Convention Hall,
Asbury Park
Volunteer Needed!


Trenton War Memorial
Volunteer Needed!


Park Theatre,
Union City
Volunteer Needed!

Rainbow Room Wurlitzer opus 2185,
Rahway Senior Citizens Center
Mike Fox
send me mail
2 pm -
9 pm
Wurlitzer opus 2115,
Components being rebuilt at
Rahway Senior Citizens Center
Barbara Bacon 908-876-4344/
Carole Rustako 732-741-4045
send me mail

2 pm -
9 pm

Union County Performing Arts Center,
Being rebult by professional organ builders              

** It is highly recommended you call or email the Crew Chief first to double check the work schedule.
* "Newark Symphony Hall" is a trademark of Newark Performing Arts Corporation, 1030 Broad Street Newark, NJ 07102