Circle Cinema Shows Off 1928 Pipe Organ For 'Second Saturday Silents'
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tickets are on sale right now for Second Saturday Silents at the Tulsa’s Circle Cinema.
This time a Buster Keaton silent flick will be accompanied by the Circle's original 1928 theater pipe organ.
Bill Rowland plays the theater organ at the Circle Cinema; he plays to accompany the once-a-month silent movie at the Circle.
"This is the original organ that was installed in the Circle Cinema - or Circle Theater at the time - in 1928," Rowland said.
Rowland plays with his shoes off because he said he gets a better feel of the keys.
"You can't look at your feet, you gotta look up there," he said.
The console where Rowland sits is more or less a control panel; behind the movie screen is where the action is - a huge blower to provide the wind, and there are dozens of pipes of different lengths.
There’s also an area called the toy counter - fun sound effects like a base drum, train whistle, bird whistle and a car horn, all of it, he can operate from the console.
So, you put it all together and you have an accompaniment for a silent movie.
Theater organs had their heyday from 1915 to about 1930 when talking movies took over; but cities like Tulsa, which have theater organs, create opportunities, like Second Saturday Silents, so they can show them off.
Silent movies are every second Saturday at the Circle Cinema. You can find more information here.