Temple Theatre trying to restore stolen organ pipes

Published: Jan. 13, 2017 at 1:43 PM CST
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Late last year thousands of dollars’ worth of pipes were taken from a warehouse belonging to the Temple Theatre.

“I found a couple of pipe trays empty and then two or three pipes laying out in the field where they were smashed and torn up,” said Roger Smith, Manager at the Temple Theatre.

The pipes belonged to the theater’s organ that has been a mainstay at the Temple since the 1920s when the theater officially opened its doors.

“A movie palace has to have a theater organ because to be complete you have to be able to show silent movies and that is what accompanies a silent movie,” explained Smith.

Smith believes the pipes were stolen and most likely sold for scrap but the what brings sweet music to ones ears will not bring the same thing to the pocket book.

“Since they have no intrinsic value other than in the organ because they are made out of lead they would have not much value at a scrap yard,” said Smith.

To make sure the music does not stop and the show to go on, leaders with the Temple are asking for the public’s help to raise the funds to replace the stolen organ pipes.

“We started the gofundme page thinking that we could raise some money there, we need about $15,000 to replace the pipes and get them installed and so forth,” said Smith.

Smith explains that the Temple Theater is a 501c3 non-profit with no private or state funding.

“Our needs here are very modest and we are very conservative and a smaller amount of money goes a long way and we make it go a long way because we do it with volunteers,” said Smith.

Through the support of a community, the majestic sound of the 1927 Robert Morton Theater Organ can continue for 90 more years to come.

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