Rialto Square Theatre Grande Barton organ
Rialto Square Theatre
The beautiful Rialto Square Theatre opened in 1926 as a vaudville movie palace. After the end of vaudville it continued to operate as a movie house until the early eighties when it received an extensive restoration before reopening as a performing arts center in 1981. The theatre retains its original Grande BARTON theatre pipe organ.
Grande Barton theatre pipe organ
When installed in the theatre in 1926 the organ was a 4/21 and duplicate of organs installed in the Hollywood Theatre in Detroit and the Highland Theatre in Chicago.
The organ was used regularly into the '40s and heard regularly on local radio station WJOL. It fell silent until local organist Kay McAbee and a group of enthusiasts brought it back to life in the '50s during the re-awakening of interest in theatre pipe organ. The future of the organ looked dismal when a leaky roof severely water damaged the chambers. The organ plays today through the on going efforts of the Joliet Chapter of the ATOS, JATOE, who took responsibility for restoration of the organ. When the theatre became a performing arts center, the future of the organ was assured, and the theatre and JATOE have worked together to continue the restoration and maintenance of the instrument. The organ is heard regularly and has been featured at an annual organ-fest which has been successful in raising money for future restoration. The organ has been expanded beyond the original 21 ranks and damaged pipework has been replaced.
The Original 21 ranks consisted of the following:
Diaphonic Diapason
Concert Flute
Tibia Clausa
Solo Tibia
Oboe Horn
Saxophone
Vox Humana
Solo Vox
Clarinet
Trumpet
Tuba Horn
Tuba Mirabilis
Orchestral Oboe
Kinura
English Post Horn
Solo String I
Solo String II
Viole d'Orchestra
Viole Celeste I
Viole Celeste II
Quintadena
Current Chamber Analysis
LEFT RIGHT
BRASS (stage left upper) FOUNDATION (Stage right upper)
Tuba Mirabilis
Post Horn
French Trumpet
Diaphonic Diapason
Oboe Horn
Concert Flute
SOLO (stage left lower) MAIN (stage right lower
Trumpet
Tibia Clausa (WurliTzer 15")
Horn Diapason
Orchestral Oboe
Kinura
Saxophone
Cor Anglais
Solo Strings II
Gambas II
Vox Humana
Tuba Horn
Tibia Clausa (Barton 15")
Clarinet
Violins III
Quintadena
Vox Humana
Lobby Organ
Tibia
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