Top 10 Hits Tour presented by Bell: Kimball Theatre Organ

Explore the Top 10 Hits of NMC’s collection online with musically trained tour guides presented by Bell.

In the golden age of silent film, movies were anything but silent. Sound effects and soul-stirring musical scores were often produced live through the use of a theatre organ. These huge, multi-part instruments were a crucial part of the cinematic experience in the 1920s and early 1930s, enabling films to set a mood and tell a stronger story without words. This particular one was built by the Kimball Piano and Organ Company, one of the 20th century’s most respected manufacturers of pianos and organs—both theatre and pipe. The instrument contains many technological innovations, including an electro-pneumatic relay that allows parts of the instrument to be placed in different locations.

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