Detroit Theater Organ Society

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Detroit Theater Organ Society
Detroit Theater Organ Society Organ.jpg
Background Information



Business Type



Senate Theater


6424 Michigan Avenue
Detroit, MI 48210


(313) 894-0850

Concert Hotline

(313) 894-4100



Detroit Theater Organ Society, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public organization, whose purpose is preservation, maintenance and playing of theater organs in a proper setting.

In 1960 George Orbits, a local organ buff bought the Mighty 4/34 Wurlitzer Theater Organ that was in the Fisher Theater which was being converted from Grand Movie house to a Live Performance Theater. After many bids from across the country, the Fisher Brothers decided to award the sale to Orbits even though his bid was lower so that the organ would remain in Detroit. George began to remove the organ piece by piece to a storage facility. About 2/3 of the way through the project he received help from other organ enthusiasts.

Orbits original intent was to install the organ in his new home. Until his home was built, Orbits and a few theater organ buffs created The Detroit Theater Organ Club in 1961, and leased the old Iris Theater on East Grand Boulevard in Detroit where the organ was installed. Many great concerts were performed there by the top performing artists of the country.

The Club’s popularity grew and the Iris Theater was soon outgrown, causing Orbits and the DTOC to search for a permanent home for the Club and the organ. The derelict Senate Theater was found after a city wide search. Club members spent several thousand man hours over two years restoring the building while the organ was being installed in four new chambers built on the old stage and in the two original organ chambers on either side of the stage.

In 1989 the DTOC became The Detroit Theater Organ Society, an all volunteer non-profit organization. The DTOS and the preceding DTOC have been in existence for 51 years, far longer than the founding members had ever anticipated.

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