The Alabama Theatre Pipe Organ is Wurlitzer Opus 1783. The legendary theatre organist, Jesse Crawford, laid out its design for use in delux venues for Publix Theatres, thus the designation by Wurlitzer as Style Publix 1. Its basic design included 4 manuals (keyboards), 20 ranks (sets of pipes), 8 sets of tuned percussion units, and all the sound effects needed to accompany silent movies. Twelve additional ranks of pipes have been added to expand the tonal capabilities of the organ, making a total of 32 ranks (2336 pipes). The pipes and percussion units are divided into three chambers as follows:

Listen to the Mighty Wurlitzer
Stars Fell on Alabama played by Cecil Whitmire

Main Chamber

(Upper left)

  • 16′ Tuba Horn
  • 16′ Diaphonic Diapason
  • 8′ Tibia Clausa
  • 16′ Bourdon/Concert Flute
  • 8′ Clarinet
  • 16′ Trombone
  • 4′ Flute Celeste
  • 8′ Musette
  • 8′ Violin
  • 8′ Violin Celeste
  • Wind Chime (exposed)

String Chamber

(Lower left)

  • 8′ Vox Humana
  • 8′ Viol d’Orchestra
  • 8′ Viol Celeste
  • 16′ Violone/Gamba
  • 8′ Dulciana
  • 8′ Gamba Celeste
  • 8′ Unda Maris
  • Chrysoglott
  • Vibraphone
  • Orchestral Chimes
  • Bird Whistle
  • Chinese Gong

Solo Chamber


  • 16′ Ophicleide/Tuba Mirabilis
  • 16′ Tibia Clausa
  • 8′ Solo String
  • 8′ Brass Trumpet
  • 8′ English (Post) Horn
  • 8′ Vox Humana
  • 8′ Brass Saxophone
  • 8′ Solo String Celeste
  • 8′ Quintadena
  • 8′ Orchestral Oboe
  • 8′ Kinura
  • 16′ Horn Diapason
  • 8′ Lieblich Flute
  • 8′ Oboe Horn
  • 4′ Harmonic Flute
  • Xylophone
  • Glockenspiel/Orchestra Bells
  • Cathedral Chimes
  • Harp/Marimba
  • Sleigh Bells
  • Piano
  • Toy Counter (21 traps)
  • Master Xylophone (exposed)

American Theatre Organ Society

The Alabama Chapter is responsible for the repair and maintenance of the Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ installed in the Alabama Theatre. The theatre provides a workspace to perform these activities, and members are invited to attend workshop sessions on Saturday mornings where traditional materials are used to restore the pipe organ.

The Alabama Chapter of ATOS, in conjunction with the Alabama Theatre, invites guest artists to perform, prior to Chapter Meetings, on “Big Bertha”, the Alabama Theatre’s Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ. These performances are scheduled based on theatre availability, and are open to the public. Occasionally, paid-ticketed performances are also scheduled.

To help with the preservation and maintenance of the Alabama Theatre Organ, or to inquire about joining ATOS, contact the President of the Alabama Chapter of ATOS, Sabrina Summers, or drop a note to the Alabama Theatre.

Learn more about the Alabama Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society.