Search Manic Mark's Blog

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Moon River Revisited - Lee Erwin - Emery Theater

Moon River Revisted
Lee Erwin At The Mighty Wurlitzer
Audiocraft Recording Co., Cincinnati, Ohio OVC-ATOS LP-100

Moon River was a "dreamy music" radio show first aired on WLW in 1930 when Powell Crosley Jr. decided that quite music was needed to end the broadcast day. The segment enjoyed the longest run of any musical program in the history of radio, always a sustaining (unsponsored) broadcast. Lee Erwin played organ on the program for over ten years.

The organ featured at The Emery was played by Erwin for three years at The RKO Albee Theatre that was located in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. This amazing theater that was torn down in 1977 (such a shame). I'm lucky enough to own box seats from The Albee.

The organ from The Albee was moved to The Emery sometime in the late 60s. After an eight year program of restoration the organ was dedicated in 1977.

For a time in the late 80s the caretakers of The Emery Theater (The Ohio Valley Chapter American Theatre Organ Society?) made a great effort to keep the theater open to the public on a limited basis. I saw a number of movies there, including The Marx Brothers At The Circus, It's A Mad Mad Mad World and a spectacular treat, Spartacus, a technicolor movie which required, as I remember it, some special screen extensions to accommodate the particular print shown. The image was almost 3D-like. I wish that I could something online about this version of Spartacus, but I can't.

And the CATOS made an effort to recreate the movie going experience of times gone by. Of course, they featured the Wurlitzer during intermissions. That was a special time for entertainment in Cincinnati.

1 comment:

Howdy! Thanks for leaving your thoughts!