The Smith-Geneva Organ

Still in use today at the Palace!

The Smith-Geneva organ was installed at the Palace Theatre in 1926. Maude Jochims took lessons from Tom Witty, who came from England to play in the Minnesota Symphony. According to “Herman’s Palace”, the Palace organ is the only one installed in a theatre that is still in working order and in its original setting in the entire United States. The original worth of this organ was recorded as $10,000. Who knows today’s worth! The organ has been repaired numerous times over the years. There are about 400 pipes that are stored in the space to the west that originally housed two box seats. In one of the photos, Earl Glaser vacuums the organ chests. One is of the organ’s percussion section that is driven by air pressure. The rosewood bars and mallets are inside the organ. photo credits- Myhre Studio, “Herman’s Palace”
A big event featuring local musicians took place in 2011, celebrating the latest refurbishing of the organ.  In more recent years, Silent Movies have returned to the Palace.  Pictured below, Leona Hoek practices accompanying the movie with a small screen on top of the organ.  Leona will be accompanying the silent movie, “For Heaven’s Sake” on Sunday, April 24, 2022.