ARLINGTON THEATRE - Interior - Credit SBTOS Tom Ginn

Arlington Theatre

1317 State Street
Santa Barbara 93101

The Great Theatre Pipe Organ of the 2,017 seat Arlington Theatre is a 1928 Robert-Morton “Wonder Morton”. Although Robert-Morton of Van Nuys, CA, made over 6,000 organs before they went out of business in 1931, only 5 Wonder Mortons were made. The Great Theatre Pipe Organ of the Arlington was originally installed in Loews Jersey City and had 24 ranks.  It was damaged while being removed by wreckers in 1977 and stored for 10 years in a Dallas, Texas warehouse, brought to Santa Barbara in 1986, and lovingly restored to as-new condition by the Santa Barbara Theatre Organ Society (SBTOS). To accomplish this transformation, SBTOS volunteers labored over 37,000 hours guided by master organ builders Stephen Leslie and Roger Inkpen of Newton Pipe Organ Services.  Their first concert was October 1, 1988 featuring Tom Hazleton who did a magnificent job with the 18 ranks then up and running.  The organ now has 27 ranks (about 2000 pipes) with each rank producing a different type of orchestral sound (clarinet, trumpet, violin, saxophone, tuba, flute, etc.). There are also seven tuned percussions (marimba, glockenspiel, xylophone, chrysoglott, vibraphone, piano, and chimes) as well as drums, bells, horns, horse hoofs, surf, wind, wood block and other special effect sounds.  The chest and wiring for the 28th rank (a quintadena) are in place but we haven’t located suitable pipes yet.

Photos are by Tom Ginn of SBTOS. The featured photo is an overview of Arlington Theatre from the Balcony. Main Chambers I and II are in the Spanish village on the left.  The Solo Chamber is in the Spanish village on the right.  The percussion shelf is in back of tower at the left of the stage.  The organ rises on a lift from beneath the forestage.  The ceiling is semi-elliptical which is acoustically very kind to the organ.

Visit the Arlington Theatre website.

This organ is not owned or maintained by LATOS.