Dale Mendenhall Memorial Theatre Pipe Organ
California Automobile Museum
2200 Front Street
Sacramento, California

1992 — 2011


Listen to Stan Kann

Console During the late 1980s, the California Vehicle Foundation and the American Theatre Organ Society began discussing the possibility of installing a theatre pipe organ in the Towe Ford Museum. A joint agreement was reached between the two organizations and in 1990 and 1991 ATOS budgeted funds for the organ project.

Jon Ledwon, ATOS President, was able to secure the donation of a Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ (Opus 716) which had been originally installed in Cecil B. DeMille's home.

Dave Moreno, Sacramento's resident theatre pipe organ builder and technician, was employed to design and manage the organ installation with the help of several Sierra Chapter volunteers.

Dale Mendenhall donated the three-manual Wurlitzer console from Opus 846, a Style 235 Special, originally installed in Lowe's State Theatre, St. Louis, to replace the smaller DeMille organ console. To complete the installation, other parts were purchased, donated or traded to enlarge the organ to a total of 16 ranks.

On Friday, November 20, 1992, the new 3/16 Wurlitzer was presented to museum members by veteran theatre organist, Jack Moelmann. Guest speakers at the official unveiling ceremony included Ernest Hartley, Museum Director; Jay Hyde, CVF President; Douglas Fisk, ATOS Executive Director and Dale Mendenhall, ATOS Board Member and Chairman of the Organ Project.

The following night, Saturday, November 21, 1992, the organ was presented to the public by Jack Moelmann with another concert and silent film. A videotape of the 2½ hour program is on the Sierra Chapter YouTube Channel.

The mission of ATOS is to preserve and promote the theatre pipe organ and its music. Installing an organ in a museum for the benefit of museum patrons and the public is consistent with that idea. Sierra Chapter has sponsored numerous concerts and silent movie programs at the museum. The organ has also been featured at all of Nick Langdon's classic film productions.

The Sunday Theatre Organ Pops Concerts were established by Jeanne Blau, Events Coordinator, in 1994 to increase the number of museum visitors. The concerts were free with museum admission. The first concert was presented by staff organist Dave Sauer on May 1, 1994. Between 1994 and 2010 there were more than 100 concerts featuring a dozen different organists. Over 6,000 visitors attended these Sunday afternoon concerts and increased museum admissions by more than $30,000.

On July 2, 2002, ownership of the organ was transferred from the American Theatre Organ Society to Sierra Chapter. On February 2, 2011 the California Vehicle Foundation Board of Directors voted unanimously to terminate the agreement between CVF and Sierra Chapter. On June 18, 2011 the Sierra Chapter Board of Directors voted unanimously to donate the organ to State Theater Arts Guild in Oroville, California for installation in the Oroville State Theatre.

Specification

PEDAL
32 Resultant
16 Tuba Profunda
16 Tibia Clausa
16 Diaphone (metal)
16 Bourdon
8 English Horn
8 Tuba Horn
8 Open Diapason
8 Tibia Clausa (S)
8 Tibia Clausa
8 Clarinet
8 Cello
8 Oboe Horn
8 Flute
16 Piano
8 Piano
8 Acc. to Pedal
8 Great to Pedal
4 Great to Pedal
8 Solo to Pedal

Bass Drum
Kettle Drum
Crash Cymbal
Cymbal
Jazz Cymball
Triangle
Acoustic Bass
ACCOMPANIMENT
8 English Horn
8 Trumpet
8 Tuba Horn
8 Open Diapason
8 Tibia Clausa (S)
8 Tibia Clausa
8 Clarinet
8 Viol d' Orchestre
8 Viol Celeste
8 Salicional
8 Oboe Horn
8 Concert Flute
8 Vox Humana
4 Octave (Diapason)
4 Piccolo (S)
4 Piccolo
4 Viol
4 Viol Celeste
4 Salicet
4 Flute
4 Vox Humana
2 2/3 Twelfth (Flute)
2 Piccolo (Flute)
8 Piano
4 Piano
Sub Harp
Harp
Vibraphone
Chrysoglott
4 Acc. to Acc.
8 Solo to Acc.

Snare Drum
Tambourine
Castanets
Chinese Block
Cymbal
Jazz Cymbal
Tom Tom
Sleigh Bells

Acc. Second Touch
8 English Horn
8 Trumpet
8 Tuba Horn
8 Open Diapason
8 Tibia Clausa (S)
8 Clarinet
8 Piano
Sub Harp
Glockenspiel
Cathedral Chimes
Triangle
8 Solo to Acc.
GREAT
16 English Horn TC
16 Trumpet TC
16 Tuba Profunda
16 Diaphone
16 Tibia Clausa (S)
16 Tibia Clausa
16 Orchestral Oboe TC
16 Clarinet TC
16 Contra Strings TC
16 Vox Humana TC
8 English Horn
8 Trumpet
8 Tuba Horn
8 Open Diapason
8 Tibia Clausa (S)
8 Tibia Clausa
8 Orchestral Oboe
8 Kinura
8 Clarinet
8 Viol d' Orchestre
8 Viol Celeste
8 Salicional
8 Oboe Horn
8 Concert Flute
8 Vox Humana
5 1/3 Tibia Quint (S)
4 Octave (Diapason)
4 Piccolo (S)
4 Piccolo
4 Viol
4 Viol Celeste
4 Salicet
4 Flute
2 2/3 Tibia Twelfth (S)
2 2/3 Twelfth (Flute)
2 Piccolo (S)
2 Fifteenth
2 Piccolo (Flute)
1 3/5 Tibia Tierce (S)
1 1/3 Larigot (Flute)
1 Fife (Flute)
8 Piano
4 Piano
Harp
Chrysoglott
Xylophone
Glockenspiel
16 Great to Great
Great Unison Off
4 Great to Great
16 Solo to Great
SOLO
8 English Horn
8 Trumpet
8 Tuba Horn
8 Open Diapason
8 Tibia Clausa (S)
8 Tibia Clausa
8 Orchestral Oboe
8 Kinura
8 Clarinet
8 Strings (4 rks)
8 Oboe Horn
8 Vox Humana
4 Piccolo (S)
4 Piccolo
2 2/3 Tibia Twelfth (S)
2 Piccolo (S)
1 3/5 Tibia Tierce (S)
8 Piano
Sub Harp
Vibraphone
Chrysoglott
Xylophone
Glockenspiel
Cathedral Chimes
16 Solo to Solo
Solo Unison Off
4 Solo to Solo