If you are Ohio Theatre-goer at CAPA’s Summer Movie Series, you know of the marvelous partnership between the Morton theatre organ and organist Clark Wilson, but you may not know of the incredible history behind the pair. Here are five interesting facts about the “Mighty Morton” and organist Clark Wilson.
1) The organ is nicknamed the “Mighty Morton.” Powered by a 25-horsepower turbine-type blower beneath the stage, the organ is raised and lowered by a screw-driven, enabling it to be “hidden” during other performances. Comprised of more than 2,500 pipes, the organ is mighty indeed!
2) The “Mighty Morton” has lived in the Ohio Theatre since the building opened in 1928! Many forget that the Ohio Theatre was originally a movie palace, and the organ was installed to accompany the silent films of the day.
3) Last of its kind. The “Mighty Morton” is one of four identical organs created for theatres in the US. However, it is the only one still in its original home.
4) Disney is a fan! If you’ve ever ridden Disney’s Haunted Mansion ride, you’ve heard a Morton organ, as it plays throughout the attraction’s audio.
5) Clark Wilson and the “Mighty Morton” have history! Clark attended the 1969 Farewell Concert when the Ohio Theatre was in danger of being torn down, and was inspired to learn the organ. “The sound of the theater organ was just really something. It was such a dynamic sound,” he said. In 2015, Clark celebrates his 24th season as resident organist for the Ohio Theatre.
“Anything that’s old enough is new again.” -Clark Wilson
by Anna Schaeffer
CAPA’S Summer Movie Series will continue at the Ohio Theatre through August 9. To purchase tickets, click here, or call the CAPA Ticket Center at (614) 469-0939.