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Chicago, Illinois

The Mighty Wurlitzer: A History of the Theatre Organ

A rare demonstration of the Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ at the Chicago Theatre.

Little played for the public, the Mighty Wurlitzer at the Chicago Theatre is one of the most beloved theatre organs in the world.  Built in 1921 for the grand opening of the Chicago, the instrument has remained in the building ever since. With pipes ranging from half-a-foot to 32-feet long, it was originally a huge draw for the theatre, but as the popularity of movie palaces and pipe organs diminished over the decades this very special instrument has been used less and less. Today, it's almost never played for the public—but this January, Atlas Obscura is proud to offer a special chance to hear and understand the story behind its music.

The event will start with a mini tour of the Chicago Theatre by Atlas Obscura Field Agent and theatre historian Leyla I. Royale. The tour will be followed by an in-depth examination of the Mighty Wurlitzer by pipe organ master Glenn Tallar, the resident organist at the Chicago Theatre and owner of GT Organ Associates.

Join us as we treat our eyes and ears to an unusual and exclusive evening of history and sound.

Additional Details

  • Meet us underneath the marquee of the Chicago Theatre 15 minutes prior to start time. Leyla will welcome you into the theatre lobby at 6:30 pm.
  • All ages may join, though we suggest you be 15 years old and above.
  • Walking shoes are a good idea! There will be several staircases.
  • The event is ADA accessible for the most part, but there are certain areas of the theatre which are only accessible via stairs, namely backstage.
  • For those interested in taking pictures—yes, photography is allowed!
  • This ticket is not refundable, but you can transfer it by following this handy Eventbrite tutorial.


Email leyla.royale@atlasobscura.com.

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Advance ticket sales only. All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.