The 4/34 Wurlitzer Theater Organ

On November 11, 1928, a Wurlitzer theater pipe organ, opus #1953, was premiered before a packed
house by famed organist Arthur Gutow at the Fisher Theater in Detroit. The featured piece he played that
night was “ Rainbow Rhapsody”.

Through the years, the organist most closely associated with the Fisher organ was Don Miller who
broadcast the instrument over radio station WJR as well as performing popular Friday night intermissions..

The organ is a four manual special 34 rank instrument and was the eighth largest organ that Wurlitzer ever
built. The Fisher brothers enjoyed light classical music and found pleasure occasionally playing the organ
in their church. Therefore this theater organ is a mix of theater and classical specifications so that the
brothers could find it easy to play should they desire. The stop rail layout is like no other, with the stop
tablets arranged by chamber rather than by voice. The opening night program stated, “The organ installed
in the Fisher Theater marks the first serious attempt to incorporate in one instrument, under control of one
console, the varied tonal elements necessary for both cinema and concert work.”

Opus #1953 is unique because it is largely untouched from the original design except for the chamber
layouts necessitated by two moves from its original home. The organ was originally installed in four
chambers at the Fisher Theater. In its present location, it is installed in six chambers. The Solo, Orchestral,
Main and Foundation chambers are located, from left to right respectively, on the original stage of the
Senate Theater.

The traps, percussions and a 32 note set of 16’ wood open diapasons are installed in the two original
chambers on either side of the theater. The 25hp Spencer turbine blower is installed in the basement
under the stage along with 13 tremulant motors. The original relay is still performing flawlessly and is
installed in a room off stage.

A new stage extension was constructed out into the auditorium to hold the huge four manual organ console
and the Wurlitzer grand piano, which is also playable from the console.
SPECIFICATIONS OF THE DTOS WURLITZER – OPUS #1953

Left Percussion Chamber
Marimba – Harp
Xylophone, Re-it                            
Glockenspiel – Orchestra Bells       
Chimes                                          
Tuned Sleigh Bells                           
Traps Including
Surf                            Castanets                   Snare drum                 Crash Cymbal
Sand block                 Tambourine                Tom-Tom                    Steamboat Whistle
Police siren                Tap Cymbal                Base Kettle Drum        Bird Whistle

Solo Chamber                     
Tuba Mirabilis                   
English Post Horn       
Open Diapason           
Solo Tibia                          
Solo Vox Humana            

Orchestral Chamber              
Kinura          
French Horn  
Brass trumpet            
Solo string I          
Solo String II        
Oboe Horn         
Cor Anglais        
Orchestral Oboe         
Quintadena             
Quintadena Celeste     
Horn Diapason  
Brass Saxophone      

Main Chamber    
Tuba Horn    
Clarinet        
Viol d Orchestra
Viol Celeste          
Krumet    
Salicional         
Voix Celeste          
Concert Flute           
Vox Humana             
Dulciana              
Unda Maris

Foundation Chamber  
Diaphonic Diapason      
Tibia                   
Gamba                  
Gamba Celeste          
Harmonic Flute

Right percussion Chamber  
Wood Open Diapason            
Chrysoglott-Vibraphone                           
Master Xylophone                                   
4 ft. Chinese Gong                  
Bird Whistle
Here is a drawing of the stop
tab layout of the Wurlitzer.  
You can click to enlarge it.  
You can also right click the
enlarged version to save it,
and then view it in another
program even closer up.
Notes
49
37
37
25
25
Inches of Wind
12
12
12
12
12
Compass
16' - 4'
8'
8'
16' - 2'
8'
Notes
85
61
61
97
61
Inches of Wind
12
12
12
12
12
Compass
8'
8'
8'
16' - 8'
8'
8'
8'
8'
8'
8'
16' - 8'
8'
Notes
61
61
61
73
61
61
61
61
61
61
73
61
Inches of Wind
10
10
10
10
10
10
12
12
12
12
12
12
Compass
16' - 4'
8'
8' - 2'
8' - 4'
8'
8'
8'
16' - 2'
8'
8' - 4'
4'
Notes
85
61
85
73
61
61
49
97
61
73
61
Inches of Wind
15
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
6
10
10
Compass
16' - 4'
8' - 4'
8' - 4'
8' - 4'
4' - 2'
Notes
85
73
73
73
73
Inches of Wind
15
15
10
10
10
Compass
16'
Notes
32
49
49
1
Inches of Wind
12
12
12
Static Pressure
"Dainty Miss" performed by
Lance Luce
Senate Theater
6424 Michigan Avenue
Detroit, MI   48210
Telephone (313) 894-0850
Concert Hotline (313) 894-4100
Featuring the Mighty 4/34 Wurlitzer Theater Pipe Organ
Or, if you prefer a PDF version
of this drawing, you can
CLICK HERE to access it.

Have fun, this organ is one of
a kind!!
Senate Theater - Home of the Detroit Theater Organ Society