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Special Halloween Themed Organ Concerts at the Grand Rapids Public Museum

The Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) is hosting Halloween themed Mighty Wurlitzer Organ Concerts with the silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligarion Friday, October 19 and Saturday, October 20.

Internationally known silent film organist, Dennis Scott, will be playing the GRPM’s 1928 Mighty Wurlitzer Organ accompanied to the silent film, for a thrilling, family-friendly event.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a 1920 German thriller silent film. The plot twists when a group of friends visit the carnival and watch showman Dr. Caligari who uses hypnotism to control to his victims. When Dr. Caligari brings hypnotized Cesare out of a sarcophagus, Cesare predicts Alan will be dead by morning. When this predication comes true, Francis and Jane are left to find out answers. Considered one of the first chilling silent films, it has been praised by modern film critics and historians alike.

Dennis Scott first began accompanying silent films in the 1970s, when he started playing theatre pipe organs installed in pizza parlors in the Midwest and on the West Coast where he would accompany a couple of “two-reel” comedies every evening. His style has been compared to that of his legendary mentor, the late John Muri, who recorded numerous silent film scores for Blackhawk Films. Suzanne Lloyd, granddaughter of the comic genius Harold Lloyd, dubbed Dennis the “Master of Magic Notes.” Scott is the house organist at Chicago’s historic Music Box Theatre, playing weekend intermissions, the annual Sing-Along Sound of Music, the annual Music Box Christmas Sing-Along, as well as several themed film festivals and special events.

Shows are being held at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 19 and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 20 in the Meijer Theater at the GRPM.

Tickets for individual concerts are $8 for Museum member adults, $4 for Museum member children, $10 for non-member adults and $5 for non-member children. Tickets are available by visiting www.grpm.org/Organ or by calling 616.929.1700.

The second concert of the series will feature Brett Valliant playing classic “pizza parlor” organ music including Maple Leaf Rag, In the Mood, Phantom of the Opera andRock Around the Clock on Friday, November 16 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, November 17 at 2 p.m.

The third and final concert of the series will feature Lance Luce performing holiday songs, which includes favorites such as White Christmas, Silver Bells, and Let it Snow, on Friday, December 21 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, December 22 at 2 p.m.

The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ

The Wurlitzer Company of North Tonawanda, New York, manufactured and shipped Opus #1836, a “3 manual special”, to the Stanley Theater of Jersey City, New Jersey, on February 9, 1928. The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ spent two decades entertaining customers at the Roaring 20’s Pizza Parlor on 28th Street in Grand Rapids, before it was moved to its current location at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

Grand Rapids Public Museum

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is an invaluable, publicly-owned institution that is home to more than 250,000 unique artifacts that tell the history of Kent County and beyond, houses the only planetarium in the region, and is responsible for protecting The Mounds, a national historic landmark. The Grand Rapids Public Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, with its main location in downtown Grand Rapids, MI at 272 Pearl Street, NW. For additional information including hours of operation, admission fees and exhibit/event listings, please visit www.grpm.org.