Castro Theatre Organ Update Video

This video, made by CODA Finance Committee member James A. McCombe, was shown at a June 10, 2018, concert by David Hegarty, celebrating his 40 years as the Castro Organist.

Certificate of Honor issued by San Francisco Mayor

This Certificate of Honor was presented to Castro Organist David Hegarty by Mayor Mark E. Farrell at the June 10 event.

Specifications of the Castro Symphonic Theatre Organ

Download a PDF of the organ’s specs here.

The construction of our new console is completed

On June 9, 2017, most of the major players in this project converged at the Colby factory in Johnson City, Tennessee. Allen Harrah (organ designer), Roger Colby (console builder), John Carpenter (Walker Technical), David Hegarty, Len Moors, and Brad Barber (documentarian) all met together for the first time to experience in person the staggering beauty and magnificence of this newly finished seven-manual console.

It will soon be moved to the Walker facility in Zionsville, Pennsylvania, for installation of digital components.

The 837 stop tabs are uniquely color-coded to instantly identify the various divisions of the organ.

The console was temporarily moved to Jacksonville, Florida, for display in the lobby of the hotel that hosted the 2017 Southeastern Regional Convention of the American Guild of Organists.

A temporary theatre organ is in place

The Wurlitzer console was removed from the theatre at the end of September 2015, and we are temporarily using a smaller digital organ—an Allen Theatre III—until the Castro Symphonic Theatre Organ is finished and installed.

A NEW LOOK for the console

With enthusiastic public support, we have returned to our original concept of the new organ—an elegant, dark walnut wood-grained console. It will look stunning against the gold curtain. 

CODA Update: News from organist David Hegarty

I recently had the privilege of visiting the factory in Tennessee where our new organ console is being built. R.A. Colby Organbuilders are doing a beautiful job of constructing the magnificent custom console to our exact specifications.

A few pedals and one swell shoe were temporarily put in place that day to test the relative positioning of all components.

It was a thrill to actually sit at the console and experience the shape and ergonomic feel of the organ that Allen Harrah and I have spent so much time envisioning and designing. All the stop tabs (837 of them!) will be easily accessible.

Allen Harrah, master organ designer, with his “magnum opus” in progress:

David with Roger Colby, president of R.A. Colby Organbuilders, Johnson City, Tennessee—builders of this unique custom organ console:

The three of us discuss the layout of features as construction progresses . . .

The exciting new instrument is well on its way to completion . . .

CODA Receives Significant Donation—Organ Pipes!

Our original plan included saving and refurbishing 16 ranks of the existing Castro organ—the Wurlitzer that was installed by its private owner in the early ’80s. We have been very fortunate to have the use of that organ for over 30 years. However, the costs and complexities of purchasing and restoring the portions of that organ that were available to us have become impractical. Fortunately, we have been offered a theatre pipe organ of equivalent size (Wurlitzer/Kimball) as a donation from a nonprofit theatre foundation. Any required refurbishing will be done prior to installation at significantly less expense than removing the existing components and sending them out for releathering. This donated theatre organ, together with additional Skinner ranks and a high-pressure solo division gifted by organbuilder Allen Harrah, will result in the pipe portion of our instrument becoming even larger and more versatile than originally planned—more than 30 ranks.