A hidden gem in the Empire State Theater
Music is a major part of the State Fair experience. There's something for everyone to enjoy from the Grandstand to Chevy Court and everywhere in between. One of those in between places is in the Empire State Theater. Our Iris St. Meran takes us to where we can hear some musical history.
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NEW YORK STATE FAIR -- The Empire State Theater. You can call it a hidden gem on the fairgrounds. Inside is a Wurlitzer Organ, but not just any Wurlitzer Organ.
"It originally was in the RKO piece in Syracuse in 1925. It was there until about 1966, just before the theater was demolished," said Wendell Rotter.
Luckily, this organ didn't go down with the building. Some organ music lovers took it and brought it to its current home on the fairgrounds. During the fair, Wendell Rotter and other organist play for packed crowds.
"I really do like listening to organ music and stuff. We needed to take a break from wandering around, so we thought we'd just come in and take a seat for a while," said Englewood, Florida resident Dana Palmer.
When the organist is finished playing, visitors can go upstairs to the Empire State Theater and Musical Instrument Museum. That's where visitors can see and hear other instruments that were played and built in the 1920s.
"We are a hands on museum. Visitors are encouraged to sit down and play a roll on the piano. It's basically old fashioned technology that's popular year after year. This piano has been playing here for years and years. It probably has the most hours and miles on it than any other player piano in the world," Philip Edwards, Empire State Theater Superintendent said.
Pieces of musical history right here for fans to come and hear and enjoy.