This old print tells of the Opening concert on Monday, May 21, 1928 in what was then known as the Saenger’s Temple Theatre. It was the golden age of the Movie Palace and silent movies with live theatre organ accompaniment was the best entertainment in town! Little has changed since then, except for digital technology and projection techniques take the place of film. Silent movies with live organists are still shown occasionally, just to provide the younger generation with the chance to experience a bit of the “good ol’ days.”
A Special Note for the Magnolia Theater Organ Society:
From all of us who dedicate and volunteer our time at the Temple, we would like to add a special note for the members of the Magnolia Chapter of the Theater Organ Society. The majority of people in Meridian DO NOT KNOW their weekly hard work and dedication have kept the Temple’s rare Robert Morton Pipe Organ (with 778 pipes) playing for decades free of charge to the theater for the public to enjoy. Please support their cause so the organ can continue to operate for future generations to come. It is a very rare gem that has graced Meridian for almost a century. With much gratitude and appreciation we say to MCATOS, Thank you!
As The Temple Theater’s construction was being completed, a deal was struck with the Saenger Bros. who operated a chain of movie theaters in the South. Under that deal, the Saenger’s would be responsible for booking and operating the theater (which would consist primarily of motion pictures) which at the time were silent films. To accompany these films, and provide entertainment in its own right, a Robert Morton 3 manual 8 rank (pipe voice) organ was installed. The organ today is one of only two such instruments still in their original installation in Mississippi, the other being the Saenger Theater in Hattiesburg.
The Robert Morton in the Temple has been under the care of Frank Evans since 1972; with the Magnolia Chapter of the American Theater Organ Society being chartered and becoming the “official care-takers” in 1976. For more information on their group, visit their website at http://mcatos.org/gallery/
ALL ORGAN PHOTOS ARE THE PROPERTY OF THE MAGNOLIA CHAPTER OF THE AMERICAN THEATER ORGAN SOCIETY. Please visit the link above for more information on the Temple’s Amazing Great Robert Morton Pipe organ.
January 2017 — Temple Theatre Launches GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to replace stolen pipes.
Details here: https://www.gofundme.com/templetheatre