Alabama Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society

Chapter Sponsored Events

This page lists events and/or meetings sponsored by the Alabama Chapter ATOS.

Future Events/Meetings . . . . . . . . Past Events/Meetings

An organist practicing, as viewed from the theatre balcony

An organist practices before a theatre organ event at the Alabama Theatre.
[PhotoCredit: Larry Donaldson]

(The organ is also played by Alabama Theatre staff organists before and after movies sponsored by the theatre throughout the year. See their calendar on their web-site at

Future Events/Meetings

2:00 pm, Sunday, January 6, 2019

Long time friend of the Alabama Chapter, Danny Brooke, will be presenting our January program. Danny was Atlanta Chapter president in the mid 1990s. In 2008, Danny and his family moved to Austin, TX. He is currently a member of both Houston and Dallas ATOS chapters, Austin AGO chapter, and assistant organist at his parish church. He also works as a consultant for Organ Technology in Plano, TX. His full time job is an Interface engineer for GE Healthcare. This Sunday will be his 4th program to perform for the Alabama Chapter, the last program was 14 years ago! When not practicing music or being a dad to two teenage boys, Danny is an avid cyclist having been member of a team for an annual Century ride event.

Following the program, the Chapter will have our "December" officer election. This year, the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and one of the three board members are up for election. If you have a desire to serve, here is your opportunity.



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Past Events/Meetings

Sunday, October 28, 2018 - PHANTOM AT THE ALABAMA

Tom Helms performed at our 40th showing of 'Phantom of the Opera.' Attendance was slightly down, around 600 attending, but they were energetic. Pre-sales were unusually high, over 200 the week before the show. Tom did his usual fantastic job accompanying the film. There were a lot of new faces along with the regulars. We hope to see them back next year at the 41st showing.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Dolton McAlpin massaged Big Bertha and entertained an appreciative audience.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Our very own Gary Jones presented a program of the best of the summer film series. From “Superman” to “Funny Girl”, from “Dazed and Confused” to “Father of the Bride”, from “The Wiz” and “The Wizard of Oz” to “The Sandlot”, “Dial M...”, “...Scissorhands”, “Grease”, “The Kind and I”, “The Sound of Music”, “The G/B/Ugly”, and “Gone with the Wind”, we heard a variety of the best of the series. A chapter meeting followed.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Nathan Avakian made a return engagement on the Wurlitzer to present a program as part of the Sidewalk Film Festival.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Vince Mirandi made a memorable return engagement on our Mighty Wurlitzer.

Organist Vince Mirandi at the Alabama Wurlitzer.

Organist Vince Mirandi at the Alabama Wurlitzer.
[PhotoCredit: Andy Fox]

Sunday, June 3, 2018

After a ten year absence, Jay Mitchell presented a program of traditional theatre organ styling on our Mighty Wurlitzer. A short business meeting followed the program, along with open console.

Organist Jay Mitchell at the Alabama Theatre.

Organist Jay Mitchell at the Alabama Theatre.
[PhotoCredit: Andy Fox]

Larry Donaldson says: "I first heard Jay play the Alabama Wurlitzer in 1969 when he was playing between movies on Friday and Saturday evenings. Jay was also choir director at my church (First Lutheran) where I was assistant organist. Jay invited me to join him at the Alabama while he practiced. He also gave me a tour of the pipe chambers, the first time I had seen a theatre organ in person. I was hooked! I soon joined his Friday and Saturday night organ repair crew (after the late movie). We continued these sessions through my college years, culminating with the formation of the Alabama Chapter in February, 1973. Most of the members of the Alabama Chapter were students of Jay where he taught at Forbes. When Jay moved to Huntsville, I took over as crew chief."

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Ken Double presented a well-received program on our Mighty Wurlitzer. A business meeting followed with the election of officers for 2018.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

At the Alabama Chapter Christmas Party, Gary Jones entertained us in the the Jones Music Room, plus we had a wonderful dinner provided by Gary and Sue (Monna) Jones.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Tom Helms accompanied the classic 1925 silent movie “The Phantom of the Opera” for a best-in-recent-memory audience.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Guest artist Ron Carter entertained, including accompanying a vintage silent short as part of his one hour program. A chapter meeting followed.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Nathan Avakian participated in the Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham, performing on the Alabama Theatre Wurlitzer.

As reported by Larry Davis:

Even though the Alabama Theatre has been a regular venue for the festival for a number of years, the organ and its role in film has never been a part of the festival.

All of that changed with Nathan’s console riser, appropriately “Joy to the World” – the Three Dog Night version – that he performed here in January when he came to plant the seed of an idea that flowered at the August festival. Following the console riser and in keeping with the “film” side of the festival, Nathan played his “Slumdog Millionaire” medley, using his signature accompaniment tracks playing from his I- phone (to the delight of the audience). After a tour of the organ’s resources from the console, he demonstrated their use as he accompanied the 1920 Buster Keaton silent One Week. Following that, he described the history and the nature of the International Youth Silent Film Festival and accompanied ten of the 3 minute films that have been presented at festivals around the world.

The audience was a good one for a first-time event and they were certainly enthusiastic and positive both during the performance and in the conversations and interviews that followed. We hope that the theatre organ will become a regular part of the festival in the years to come. From the internal perspective of the chapter, Tom and Loretta Cronier deserve mention. They made sure that Nathan was where he needed to be and well-nourished. Meanwhile, Stuart Thompson and Glenn Felten were making sure that Bertha was at her best for the performance, and Gary Jones was making sure that the theatres were turning the events to their own advantage. And Glenny Brock deserves special mention for her superb and eloquent introduction to Nathan’s performance as she described the role of the Wurlitzer in the artistic and financial resurrection of our part of downtown Birmingham.

Sunday, June, 2017

Stuart Thompson provided a musical experience on the Dove Walker Organ and the piano.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

John McCall entertained on the Dove Walker Organ.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Nathan Avakian performed at the mighty Wurlitzer.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Larry Davis tickled Bertha and the audience, followed by a chapter meeting.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

PHANTOM AT THE ALABAMA featuring Tom Helms was a success again this year, with a bigger audience than last year.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

We welcomed back to the Alabama Theatre nationally known artist Ken Double, who played Bertha for our enjoyment, followed by a Chapter Meeting.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Ron Carter, long-time friend of the Alabama Chapter, and House Organist for the Strand Theatre in Marietta, GA, entertained on the Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ at the Alabama Theatre, followed by a chapter meeting.


Ron Carter and Andy Fox at the Alabama Theatre[PhotoCredit: Sabrina Summers]

Sunday, November 8, 2015

An appreciative audience heard nationally known guest artist Juan Cardona play Bertha for our (and his) enjoyment, followed by a Chapter Meeting at the Alabama Theatre.


Juan Cardona[PhotoCredit: Andy Fox]

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Tom Helms accompanied the classic 1925 silent movie “The Phantom of the Opera” starring Lon Chaney and Mary Philbin for an appreciative audience.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Dove residence, where we helped Fred celebrate his Birthday. Nationally renowned theatre organist Donnie Rankin from Ohio played an entertaining show on Chloe-E.

September 13, 2015

Chapter Meeting, followed by Open Console at the Alabama Theatre.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Tom Helms accompanied the classic Buster Keaton silent movie “The General” with his own dazzling original score.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Alabama Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society (ATOS) and the Birmingham Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) presented organist Martin Ellis, who played a program designed to “bridge” the classical and theatre organ worlds.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Guest artist Rick McMcGee from Atlanta, GA did a fine job, as usual, of entertaining chapter members and guests on Big Bertha.

The Chapter held the December meeting after the entertainment, and elected officers for the new year.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Guest artist Tom Hoehn played a varied program on Big Bertha for members and guests at the Alabama Theatre, followed by a chapter meeting.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The chapter sponsored a classic silent film presentation of PHANTOM of the OPERA with Live Original Score by Tom Helms.

Sunday, Oct 5, 2014

John McCall played a wide variety of music on the Alabama Theatre's Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ, followed by a chapter meeting.


John McCall at the Alabama Theatre [PhotoCredit: Sabrina Summers]

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Alabama Chapter of The American Theatre Organ Society had a potluck and listened to Paul Swiderski play “Chloe-e” at Fred Dove’s home in Warrior.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Alabama Chapter of The American Theatre Organ Society had a Chapter Meeting at 2:00 pm at the Alabama Theatre, followed by Open Console on Bertha, the Mighty Wurlitzer.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Donna Parker concertized on the Alabama Theatre's Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ


Donna Parker

January 4, 2014

Guest artist Dolton McAlpin from Mississippi entertained us for about an hour, and after being thanked for his fine performance, departed for home before the bad weather set in. Members stayed for a Chapter meeting.

November 24, 2013

Guest artist Ken Double created wonderful music on the Alabama Theatre's magnificent 4/32 Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ.

Ken Double.

Ken Double at the console of the Alabama Wurlitzer.[PhotoCredit: Andy Fox]

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The show began with the "Bal Masque" Costume Contest, followed immediately by a classic silent film presentation of PHANTOM of the OPERA with live original score by Tom Helms.

Tom Helms

Tom Helms, composer and organist. [PhotoCredit: Andy Fox]

Outside the theatre, in case anyone died of fright, was the customized Cadillac hearse by HESCO.

HESCO Hearse

The custom Cadillac hearse by HESCO. [PhotoCredit: John Troulias]

Inside the theatre, the ghosts of the Alabama Theatre prepare to carry the coffin with the Phantom up to the stage, so the show can begin.


The ghosts of the Alabama Theatre. [PhotoCredit: Andy Fox]

Sunday, Sep 22, 2013

Guest artist John McCall from Valdosta, GA. played a program of popular favorites on the theatre's magnificent 4/32 Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ.

John McCall

John McCall after his performance at the Alabama Theatre in 2010.[PhotoCredit: Thurman Robertson]

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Guest artist Judy Matarelli from Joliet, IL put on a wonderful show at the Alabama Theatre. Judy wowed the crowd with her technical mastery of the keyboard, and her entertaining arrangements.

Judy Matarelli

Judy Matarelli, guest artist at the Alabama Theatre on May 19

POTLUCK, Sunday, April 21, 2013

The chapter had a potluck at Chloe's House, hosted by Fred and Louise Dove. Gary Jones, Chapter President, played a few selections, followed by our host, Fred Dove. A Chapter Meeting followed. Good music and good food with good friends.

Tom Cronier, Larry Donaldson, Virginia Robertson, Fred Dove.

Tom Cronier, Larry Donaldson, Virginia Robertson, Fred Dove.[PhotoCredit: Sabrina Summers]

John and Shirley Troulias.

John and shirley Troulias.[PhotoCredit: Sabrina Summers]

Larry Donaldson and Thurman Robertson.

Larry Donaldson and Thurman Robertson.[PhotoCredit: Sabrina Summers]

Phillip Maxwell and Wayne Key.

Guest Phillip Maxwell and member Wayne Key.[PhotoCredit: Sabrina Summers]

VP Butch Pair.

VP Butch Pair.[PhotoCredit: Sabrina Summers]

January 20, 2013

Guest artist Larry Davis played a wonderful selection of music on the mighty Wurlitzer for our enjoyment, followed after an hour or so by a Chapter Meeting.

Larry Davis and Gary Jones

Larry Davis and Chapter President Gary Jones in the lobby of the Alabama Theatre. [PhotoCredit: Andy Fox]


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