I predict lots of comments in the negative vein on this article about the replacement for the Wurlitzer in the Casto Theatre in San Francisco. I am myself conflicted about the situation. There are egos involved, to be sure, but more important is that the replacement is a response to a series of sad and inevitable circumstances — to quote Lemony Snicket, “A Series of Unfortunate Events.”
David Hegarty is not a young man and the Wurlitzer’s owner is not a young man. The article contains photos and images of what this ridiculously large and over-designed organ will be. Its console will be daunting to an organist who has not played the Wanamaker or the Midmer-Losh in Atlantic City. The Castro simply isn’t that big and the effort here is out of balance: “It will be the largest combination pipe-and-digital organ in the world… Allan Harrah, who had the vision of building one of the largest organs in the world was just looking for a place to do it.”
You should know that the previous Wurlitzer was not original to the theatre.