About Us

When interest in theatre organs was revived in the 1950s, an organ enthusiast, Richard Simonton in California, and others started the American Theatre Organ Enthusiasts (ATOE) at a charter meeting February 8, 1955. From that, other groups across the United States formed, and in the early 1960s, a Dallas organization evolved called the Theatre Organ Association of Dallas (TOAD). On June 1, 1968 the club reorganized and became known as the North Texas Chapter of American Theatre Organ Enthusiasts (NTC-ATOE). In 1970 when the National organization became the American Theatre Organ Society (ATOS), the local group applied for a charter and became part of the national organization.

By January of 1976, the group was given 501(c)(3) non-profit status. Into the 1980s the Chapter met in private homes where there were theatre organs and held fund raising marathons. Other special events were held and a few organs were donated or purchased with the goal in mind to install them in any remaining large theatres and/or other buildings in the Metroplex area.

During the 1980s an opportunity arose and after much discussion a 3/8 Robert Morton organ was placed in the Lakewood Theater in 1984 when it was re-opened. The Chapter continued to present programs to encourage the public to come and enjoy real theatre organ in a real theatre setting for which it was designed.

In 2001, the Lakewood Theater infrastructure had fallen into disrepair. The console and the console lift were flooded. After a second flooding in 2003, the Chapter removed the organ from the Lakewood to prevent further damage. The Robert Morton has been in safe, dry storage since that time.

Most recently, the NTC has been responsible for the placement of the restored 1927 Mighty Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ in the Courtroom Theater of the McKinney Performing Arts Center, housed in the restored Historic Collin County Courthouse. The organ has been called "the crown jewel" of the new performing arts center. The organ made its official debut at the Premiere Concerts in June of 2006 and July marked the inauguration of the "Silents on the Square" silent film series. The organ has become a source of great civic pride for the City of McKinney.

The North Texas Chapter -American Theatre Organ Society is a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) corporation, EID #23-7307920
"Texas Charter number 38063001, Registered Address - 914 Green Ridge Dr. Duncanville, TX 75137
The contents of this site are copyright © 2009-2013: North Texas Chapter - American Theatre Organ Society.