The 1,184 capacity theatre was designed by Architects Sumner Spaulding and Walter Weber, and the murals were painted by John Gabriel Beckman. This underwater deco confection is on the ground floor of William Wrigley’s monumental Casino Building (with the ballroom above it). It’s still owned by the Wrigley family. The building, which originally cost $2 million, received a restoration in 1994. Although it is in a very sad state of repair, the original 4-manual/16-rank Page theatre pipe organ is still in use.
Bob Salisbury, a friend and member of the Los Angeles Theatre Organ Society was the house organist at the Avalon Theatre for many years. Bob has played for the Avalon Theatre for almost fifty years between his tenure as house organist and the many concerts and events he has performed since.
The Avalon Theatre, on the first level, shows first-run films nightly. The theatre has one film screen and a seating capacity of 1,154. The theatre is so well insulated that patrons cannot hear the band playing or the 6,000+ dancers on the floor above, yet the acoustics are so good that a speaker on the theatre stage can speak in a normal voice without a microphone and be heard clearly by all in attendance.
The Avalon Theatre still has its original 4-manual, 16 rank theatre pipe organ built by the Page Pipe Organ Company of Lima, Ohio. It is played every Friday and Saturday evening. The circular domed ceiling has notable acoustics and has been studied by experts due to its reputation.
Photographs by Carol Highsmith (May 2013): The Jon B. Lovelace Collection of California Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith's America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
This organ is not owned or maintained by LATOS.
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