The Rochester Theater Organ Society currently hosts most of their events at the West Herr Performing Arts Center (formerly the Rochester Broadway Theatre League’s (RBTL) Auditorium Theatre), 885 East Main Street, Rochester, NY. The organization also maintains an instrument at the Rochester Museum and Science Center (RMSC) Eisenhart Auditorium, 657 East Main Street, Rochester, NY. Below is a brief review of our locations and history including references to other materials if you wish to learn more.
The West Herr Performing Arts Center
Initially, the Auditorium Theatre, now the West Herr Performing Arts Center, was part of the Masonic building complex constructed in the early 1920’s. The RKO Palace Theatre closed in 1964 and the Rochester Theater Organ Society purchased the theatre’s Wurlitzer pipe organ and installed it in the Center when the existing organ was moved to a local church. When the Mason’s sold the complex, eventually the Rochester Broadway Theatre League purchased the auditorium half of the complex.
The details of the facility’s history can be found on the Rochester Broadway Theatre League’s website here. The history of the Rochester Theater Organ Society, from founding to today, is found on this website here. The details of the instrument are located on this website here.
Rochester Museum and Science Center’s Eisenhart Auditorium
The Rochester Museum and Science Center (RMSC) campus is located at East Avenue, Rochester, NY. The Center includes a number of facilities including a main exhibition building, the Strasenburgh Planetarium and the Eisenhart Auditorium. A long-time RTOS member, Mr. Don Hall (the founding director of the Strasenburgh Planetarium and theatre organ enthusiast) and the Society facilitated the installation of a Wurlitzer theatre organ in that Auditorium.
The Society hosts open console events (opportunities for members to play the organ) and occasional programs at the facility.