The 1928 Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Organ is an impressive icon of Grand Rapids and an artifact preserved in the GRPM’s Collections used to entertain and educate all ages through the annual concert series and year-long programming.

Upcoming Events

Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Organ Concert Series

Metropolis with Organist John Lauter

On Friday, October 20th, the Museum will kick off the 2023 Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Organ Concert Series welcoming organist John Lauter from Farmington Hills, MI. This year’s series will once again begin with a silent film, Metropolis, accompanied by the sounds of the Mighty Wurlizter.

Set in a forward-thinking urban landscape, Metropolis showcases the deep divide between the city’s elite planners and its working class. The story centers on the mastermind’s son, who is captivated by a working-class seer predicting the emergence of a unifying figure to bridge their profound disparities. Reflecting on the film’s lasting impact, renowned film critic Roger Ebert observed,  “Metropolis does what many great films do, creating a time, place, and characters so striking that they become part of our arsenal of images for imagining the world.”

Date: October 20 at 7 p.m. & October 21 at 2 p.m.

Cost: $20 for general admission, $16 for Museum members
Meet the Organist

Detroit's John Lauter has been a prominent theater organist for over two decades, debuting at the Redford Theater at age 16. He has performed at esteemed venues nationwide, such as the Oriental Theater in Chicago, the Castro Theater in San Francisco, and the Paramount Theater in Denver.

Holiday Classics with Organist David Wickerham

Join the GRPM on December 15th and 16th as we wrap up the 2023 Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Organ Concert Series. Revel in the festive spirit with Holiday Classics played by the renowned organist from Crystal Falls, MI, David Wickerham. Celebrate the season with timeless tunes like Jingle Bells, Silent Night, The First Noel, and more on the Museum’s historic 1928 Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Organ. Enhance your festive experience as you explore the Museum adorned with our annual holiday displays, including the Santas from Around the World display! Deck the halls with us at the GRPM this winter season!

Date: October 20 at 7 p.m. & October 21 at 2 p.m.

Cost: $20 for general admission, $16 for Museum members
Meet the Organist

Dave Wickerham, hailing from Encino, California, began his organ journey at age four. He soon made waves at Arizona's Organ Stop Pizza Restaurants and later at venues like Illinois's Pipes and Pizza and Las Vegas's "Roxy's Pipe Organ Pizzeria." Internationally, he's impressed audiences in Australia and New Zealand.

History of the Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Organ.

The Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organs were the most famous musical instrument built by Wurlitzer. On February 9, 1928, out of North Tonawanda, New York, the Wurlitzer Company manufactured and shipped the Opus #1836, a “3 manual special,” to the Stanley Theater of Jersey City, New Jersey. This Mighty Wurlitzer Organ spent two decades entertaining customers at the Roaring 20’s Pizza Parlor on 28th Street in Grand Rapids, before it was moved to its current location at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

Hear Melodies on the Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Organ! 

Volunteer organists demonstrate the Wurlitzer most Thursday afternoons. Times may vary. We recommend inquiring ahead of your visit to ensure our organist is scheduled the day you intend to visit. During these times the doors of the Meijer Theater are open for visitors to stop, sit, and enjoy! These demonstrations are included with general admission.