Where would you expect to find a wurlitzer organ from the bygone days of silent cinema? Where would you expect to find the largest wurlizter organ, apparently, in the world? Any guesses? This photo was taken at a pizza restaurant in Mesa, Arizona called “The Organ Stop Pizza”.
The web site explains that the organ has almost 6000 pipes, which you can partially see here, spread across some 70 or 80 feet. It was originally built in 1927 and was installed in the Denver Theatre, in Colorado. The idea of putting organ music and a pizza restaurant together was the brainchild of William P. Brown, a real estate developer from Phoenix. By then, talking movies had made the organ music obsolete. In 1972, the first Organ Stop Pizza opened in Phoenix with a second opening in Mesa in 1975. This is now the only remaining Organ Stop Pizza restaurant left.
Nothing quite prepares you for the size of this thing, which is played almost continually while the restaurant is open. The music varies from film scores, of course, to classical, pop, groove, and some war-time sing-a-longs. Everybody smiles as they first poke their head around the corner to get their first view of this amazing musical instrument. Lights change, vents flap, and the music plays on as the organ rotates at the front of the room.
Becky was mesmerized and I was able to put in a request for her, Mamma Mia, which was played in the second set.
Imagine sitting on long wooden benches, Oktoberfest style, eating pizza and drinking beer. It’s so bizarre. This place attracts all ages, all walks of life; it’s just a fun place to go. The pizza is good and the entertainment is free; what else is there to say.
This is one man’s dream. Love it or hate, I guarantee, it will make you smile.