Welcome

CRTOS is dedicated to theatre organ preservation and promotion of this uniquely American instrument. We sponsor theatre organ concerts, silent films screenings, music workshops and theatre organ restoration projects in Oregon and Southern Washington.

Upcoming Shows

  • Saturday, November 27, 2021 7:30 PM

    The General (1926)

    One of the most revered comedies of the silent era….Buster Keaton’s favorite film and masterpiece, The General. Shot on location in Cottage Grove, Oregon in the summer of 1926, The General contains the most expensive stunt ever filmed in the silent era: The iconic shot of a real locomotive crashing off a collapsing bridge and into the ravine below.

    THE GENERAL finds hapless Southern railroad engineer Johnny Gray (Buster Keaton) facing off against Union soldiers during the American Civil War. When Johnny’s fiancée, Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack), is accidentally taken away while on a train stolen by Northern forces, Gray pursues the soldiers, using various modes of transportation in comic action scenes that highlight Keaton’s boundless wit and dexterity.

    The late-great Orson Welles gave this review: 

    “The greatest comedy ever made, the greatest Civil War film ever made, and perhaps the greatest film ever made”

    Organist Dean Lemire will be performing his original score on the Hollywood’s Mighty Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ.

    Tickets available at: https://hollywoodtheatre.org/tickets/16511/

    Runtime: 75 min

    Proof of vaccination or negative COVID test will be required to attend this screening. Learn more here. Most screenings are currently at 75% capacity. Masks are required while in all common areas, including in your seat when not actively eating or drinking.


Pipe Organ Pictures Series

Each of these films presented as they were meant to be experienced – with live organ accompaniment! Every film in this series is complemented by an original score, created and performed live by a professional musician.

The Hollywood organ is dedicated to the memory of Beverly Ruth Nelson and is the result of a partnership between the Hollywood Theatre and the nonprofit Columbia River Theatre Organ Society. It is the only such instrument in a public theatre in Portland.

Tickets are $12.00 at the door of the Hollywood Theatre.

About Our Instruments

The Hollywood Theatre

While previous events at the Hollywood have featured live organ accompaniment, the organ sound itself was digital, powered by large speakers backstage. Now, the sound will once again come from real pipes. The Columbia River Theatre Organ Society has spent thousands of volunteer hours meticulously refurbishing the theater organ, tracking down vintage organ parts and pipes, restoring the original Hollywood organ chamber, and installing electrical lines, wind lines, and a mammoth 15hp organ blower in the basement. Ours is the only pipe organ in a public theatre in Portland.

The Hollywood is located at: 4122 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97212, two blocks from the Hollywood MAX station.

Cleveland High School

The Kimball pipe organ in the 1100 seat auditorium is maintained by CRTOS. The core of the instrument was originally from the Columbia theater in Longview, Washington. In 1936, it was moved to Benson high school in Portland where it resided until it was moved to Cleveland in 1990. The organ was enlarged and improved there and is one of the best sounding organs of its type in the Pacific northwest.

Disaster struck in 2016 when a steam pipe burst and over one half of the pipe wind chests and other wood components in the north (main) chamber were damaged beyond repair. The damaged items have been temporarily substituted with digital equivalents. Restoring the instrument to its original sound will cost thousands of dollars. If you would like to assist with this project, please make a tax deductible donation to the Columbia River Theatre Organ Society.

Cleveland High School is located at: 3400 SE 26th Ave., Portland, OR 97202


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