Little Falls, N.J.
This organ, a 3 manual 24 rank Griffith-Beach Theatre Pipe Organ, was built by Earle Beach of New Jersey. The pipework is Gottfried except for a Barton Tibia Clausa and a Kinura of unknown origin. Earle Beach was an employee of Hope Jones, the father of theatre organ, when Jones first came to America from England to build the Ocean Grove Auditorium Organ on the Jersey Shore. The instrument at Ocean Grove is one of the most famous organs ever built. After Hope Jones departed from this job, the organ was curated by Mr. Beach for many years.
When Wurlitzer bought out Hope-Jones, Beach went along as an employee at the North Tonowanda factory. After the death of Hope-Jones, He went into business for himself, backed by the Griffiths of the Griffith Piano Company, Newark, N.J. He built pipe organs for various schools, Masonic Temples and Theatres.
This organ had been installed in the Elizabeth Masonic Temple Auditorium in 1928 and was removed in 1986. In the Temple the organ chambers were located in the back of the building by the projection booth, rather than on each side of the stage. The console was located on a side balcony. The 16’ Tibia Plenas were laid flat in the ceiling.
In December 1986 Bob Martin was told that the Masonic Temple in Elizabeth was to be torn down to make room for condos and its entire contents were to be auctioned off. He bid on the organ against a scrap metal dealer, and upon getting the papers for the sale, was told he had 1 week to remove it. After working 3 days on the task of removing it piece by piece and laying it out on the lodge room floor he was told by the demolition contractor that the wrecking ball had arrived and the power was to be shut off and he would have to leave everything and evacuate the building.
Bruce Williams, who with his wife Jean was helping Martin & his wife remove the organ, brought this information to Bob who practically got on his knees and pleaded with the contractor to give them a little more time to at least save what was already removed and ready to go. The demolition contractor finally agreed to delay a few more days.
Most of the windows in the building had already been removed and the cold December air made them work all the faster. By the end of the week all 1700 pipes, chests, regulators, toy counter, Xylophone, harp, chimes, blower and console were loaded on a moving van and on their way to their new home at Bob and Cathy Martin’s residence in Little Falls, NJ.
The Martins built a 30 X 55 foot room on the rear of their home and began the task of rebuilding and rewiring the organ for installation. The old relay was replaced with a Devtronix computerized unit that has record-play back capabilities. They hooked up a piano making it playable from the organ console. The console was replaced by a more theatrical looking one made by M.P Möller, and after about 4 years of part-time working, they had it playing. For over 20 years the Martins enjoyed the music and friendships they made because of this instrument being in their home. They had quite a few famous organists come to play a concert or just have fun, and they hosted over 20 concerts and open consoles for the Garden State Theatre Organ Society.
In 2014 the organ was sold to the owners of the Tioga Theatre, 208 Main Street, Owego, N.Y. for installation at the theatre.
Concert Flute *
Flute Celeste *
Dulce Flute *
Spitz Flute *
Open Wood Flute *
Open Diapason *
Second Diapason (currently removed)
Double Open Diapason *
Post Horn *
Vox Humana *
Vox Humana II
Violin Celeste *
Viol D’Orchestre *
Salicional *Dulciana *
Lieblich Gedecht *
Toys & Surf
Relay: Devtronix Multi-Action with MIDI & record/playback capability