Monday, April 4, 2022

Old Town Music Hall

“Pipe it down!”


My sister—my best brother-sister-mate, my southern hemispherical Huckleberry Finn—and I regularly heard this command screamed at us by relatives, teachers, and other grown-ups whenever we got a little too rambunctious at various family, social, or educational events.


Then again, sometimes in the right setting, you just have to:


“Pipe it up!”




Indulge me in some context…


Two thousand, five hundred pipes, two hundred and sixty switches, four keyboards, ten-horsepower Spencer Turbine Orgoblo, pedals and controls, the Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Pipe Organ located within the Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo, California, is a delight to see and hear.


If it were a motorcycle, it would be a hog, for this wonderful instrument has a unique sound and look, and invites sing-along participation. 


The day my wife and I attended the theater, Mr. Randy Woltz was the organist in the rider’s seat, guiding the Mighty Wurlitzer through its paces. We as an audience got to heartily belt out “Happy birthday” to one grateful patron, as well as “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” 


Mr. Woltz also played organ music to a silent 1920s “Felix the Cat” cartoon, and enthralled us with some Henry Mancini classics, including “Moon River” and “The Pink Panther Theme.”


The “old” in Old Town Music Hall denotes an interesting history: the 188-seat theater was originally built in 1921. In the 1960s, musicians Bill Field and Bill Coffman bought the Mighty Wurlitzer from the Fox West Coast Theatre in Long Beach and relocated it to El Segundo. In 1968, the theater opened, and some fifty years later this cultural landmark awaits your patronage.


In addition to silent films and classic Hollywood sound movies (we got to enjoy Aussie swashbuckler Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland’s on-screen chemistry in the 1935 film Captain Blood), the Old Town Music Hall offers live concerts from distinguished musicians in ragtime, jazz, and popular music.


As a non-profit 501(c)(3), the Old-[fashioned family fun] Town Music Hall is well worth a visit and your support! 


It’s second to none.


Additional links:

Places to eat in El Segundo (after the movie):

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