Minnesota Theater (later Radio City Theater)

36-40 Ninth Street So. (another entrance at 36 Eighth Street So.)
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Builder: Wurlitzer Organ Co., Op. 1848, 1928.
Manuals: 4
Ranks: 20
Action: Electro-pneumatic

Notes: Entry describes an original installation of a new pipe organ identified by Eric Schmiedeberg, citing information from numerous citations throughout the years from "THEATRE ORGAN," "CONSOLE," and "MARQUEE" magazines. Additional information (naming source of information as personal correspondence from Dennis Hedberg in 1979). This was a Wurlitzer stock "Style Publix #1 model" stoplist. This instrument was far too small for the Minnesota Theatre. The auditorium seated 4,000+ people. At that size, the Publix #1 Model Wurlitzer was fairly lost in such a huge space once the seats were filled. However, it is apparent that the musical qualities of the Minnesota Wurlitzer were pretty good overall. There are at least three selections by famed Midwest organist Eddie Dunstedter that have survived. "If I Had You" and "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers" being two of them. Even for 1928-1929 recordings, the cavernous acoustics of the Minnesota are in evidence. The console of the organ was mounted on a revolving lift located in the house-left end of the orchestra pit.

The Minnesota (by then called "Radio City Theater," in the last years of its existence) was torn down in 1959.

The Wurlitzer found its way into the hands of Reiny Delzer (1950s-1960s) of Bismarck, North Dakota who installed it in his home. According to THEATRE ORGAN magazine, it was the focal point of the 1963 American Theatre Organ Society's annual convention. Dunstedter was at the bench again, much to his own delight and to all of those heard him play!

The Wurlitzer has fared much better after leaving its original home and currently resides in the home of Bob GIlson, Middleton, WI and has been well installed. A few additional ranks have been added.

A message from a Wisconsin resident (and theatre organ enthusiast who wishes to remain anonymous) communicated that "additional ranks at the Gilson studio would be: English Horn, Horn Diapason, Salicional, Voix Celeste, Krumet, Spitzflute, Spitzflute Celeste and Trompette en Chamade. I believe the original Dulciana was not included. Gilson also had a set of 32' Diaphone beaters and built new resonators for the set."

Organ Historical Society as of 2019.