Alhambra Theatre

1001 Mt. Vernon Avenue,
Columbus, OH 43203

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As described by Richard E. Barrett in “Columbus Ohio 1898-1950 in Vintage Postcards”; “The Alhambra Theatre was an open air theater located at 1001 Mt. Vernon Avenue. It operated from 1916 to 1921. It appears to have been a walk-in theatre, a predecessor of the drive-in theatres of the 1950’s.”

Today the site is a vacant lot.

Contributed by Dow Ellis

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

AndrewBarrett on January 17, 2014 at 4:47 pm

According to the Searchable Opus List Database,

the Alhambra Theatre had a Wurlitzer model 135A theatre pipe organ installed on June 15, 1920, which was Wurlitzer opus 323.

I am not sure what the “A” suffix means, but the 135 was a piano-console instrument which had two manuals and four ranks, as well as four tuned percussions (bells, xylophone, and chimes in addition to the piano) and 17 traps and sound effects.

I wonder how the organ was installed in this open-air house, and also what music they had in the three or four years before it was installed.

Perhaps they did a similar thing as to an Airdome theatre elsewhere, and had some kind of orchestrion like a Wurlitzer PianOrchestra providing music from a barn- or shed-like enclosure with doors on the front to protect from the weather.

The database says that it is unknown what became of the Wurlitzer opus 323. Does anyone know where it, or its parts, are today?

Mark_L on January 17, 2014 at 7:24 pm

There was another theater in Columbus called the Alhambra, later the World. In 2007, Lost Memory noted that it had the 135A organ.

The World can be found here on CinemaTreasures

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