SBTOS Honored for 25 Years
updated: Sep 17, 2013, 9:00 AM
By Bonnie Carroll
In honor of the celebration of the Silver Jubilee of the installation of the Santa Barbara Theatre Organ
Society Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider presented the SBTOS board members with a Proclamation
of Recognition for their twenty-five years of work and dedication to the maintenance of the Arlington
Organ, and for the many silent film concerts they have produced, featuring renowned organists from
around the country.
The nonprofit was formed by a group of community members who were and are devoted to the history
of the theatre organ, and are dedicated to preserving the glory associated with the silent film era, as
well as organ history through the ongoing presentation of concerts and performances on the "Wonder
Morton" in the historic Arlington Theatre.
"The Wonder Morton" Organ:
The original Arlington Theatre was designated to hold a larger pipe organ, however, with the advent of
talking films an organ was not installed, only the pipe chambers were in installed, and a small organ
accompanied films. The "Wonder Morton" currently in the Arlington Theatre was one of five large theatre
pipe organs manufactured by the Robert Morton Company in Van Nuys, CA in the 1920s. It was
purchased by a patron in Texas, and was later donated to SBTOS for use in the Arlington. The console
was displayed in the lobby of the Arlington Theatre for the Santa Barbara Symphony opening concert.
For two and a half years hundreds of volunteers devoted 36,000 hours refurbishing and installing the
organ in the Arlington. The premiere concert was performed by organist Tom Hazelton to a full house in
More information: SBTOS.org
George Ferrand Vice President, Phil McKinley Secretary, Bruce Murdock President, Mayor Helene
Schneider, Fred Zisenhenne and Treasurer Steve Cummings.
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