The Sheboygan Theatre 3/12 Kimball
The Sheboygan Theatre opened on February 28, 1928 and was built for the Milwaukee Theatre Circuit of Universal Pictures Corporation. Built in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, it had an original seating capacity of 1,600 and boasts a so-called “atmospheric” style ceiling, transporting patrons to an open-air Spanish courtyard.
Incidentally, the Kenosha Theatre in Kenosha; Venetian Theatre in Racine; and the Meyer Theatre in Green Bay all shared the same plaster moulding detail for their columns, etc... The Kenosha, the largest of the four, has been closed since the early 1960's, though the building still stands; the Venetian demolished; and the Meyer also restored to pristine condition along with the Sheboygan. The original two-manual, eight-rank Wurlitzer organ was returned to the Meyer, and is under the supervision of DTOS's northern neighbors in the Packerland Theatre Organ Society. The Venetian and Kenosha Wurlitzers were unique in that they featured three-manual consoles, and Krumets in place of the usual Clarinet. The Kenosha Theatre Wurlitzer survives and is currently in the possession of a Minnesota organ builder, while parts of the Venetian Wurlitzer live on in the Fred Hermes collection.
The Sheboygan Theatre originally contained a 2-manual 7-rank Wurlitzer “Style E”, Opus 1828, installed in only one of the two organ chambers. In 1978, the Wurlitzer was sold to a Milwaukee pizza establishment, and the theatre purchased in 1980 by the Marcus Corporation. The new owners decided to “twin” the theatre and close the balcony. In 1989, however, the Sheboygan Community Theatre Foundation commenced efforts to acquire the theatre. Finally, in 1996, those efforts were successful, and a massive $9.75 million restoration of the theatre began. The Sheboygan Theatre, now named the Stephanie H. Weill Center for the Performing Arts, is presently home to the local Symphony Orchestra, Youth Theatre, and other musical groups.
The 3-manual, 12-rank Kimball was originally built in 1927 for the Orpheum Theatre in Madison, Wisconsin. A Madison area musician purchased the instrument from the Orpheum and installed it in his home, where it was enjoyed by many over the years. It was then acquired by the Sheboygan Theatre, and reinstalled there by a Manitowoc, Wisconsin organ builder in 2002. The Kimball made its debut to a standing-room-only audience in the spring of 2003. The Weill Center/Sheboygan Theatre possesses excellent acoustics, and the Kimball sounds magnificent in the room!
While not owned by DTOS, it has been under the care of its membership - principally Gary Bieck, and has been used for several DTOS social events and concerts over the years.
Tibia Clausa (Wurlitzer)
Vox Humana (Wurlitzer)
"Style D" Trumpet (Wurlitzer)
16' Tibia Clausa