Old Dominion
Theatre Organ Society
Altria Theatre
Altria Theatre
(Formerly Landmark and Mosque)
Richmond, VA
Wurlitzer 3/17
Photo - Ray Brubacher
Altria Theatre Wurlitzer 3/17
Three years after the
massive Shriner
auditorium, the Mosque,
had opened in 1927,
America was in the grips of
the depression. There
simply was no need for the
5,000 seat hall with its
huge stage and 3/17
Wurlitzer pipe organ.

The City of Richmond
acquired the Mosque in
1940 as a civic center but
the organ remained silent.
The estimated $30,000
cost of renovation was
more than the city could
afford. And so, by 1950
the organ was designated
for the junk pile.

Richmond organ
enthusiasts got the word,
and volunteered to do the
work - free. Harold Warner
and Bill Jones worked for
two years, ending up with
what is regarded as one of
the finest Wurlitzers in the
world. Reginald Foort's
now classic recordings
helped spread this fame.

The magnificent acoustics
of the Mosque have much
to do with the organ's rich,
full sound; its hard plaster
walls and cavernous
dimensions combine to
create a far greater sound
than most heavily padded
theatres can offer.
After Harold Warner's
untimely passing in 1961,
Tommy Landrum and
Dick Barlow maintained
the instrument for a
number of years.

In 1995 the Mosque was
renamed the Landmark
Theatre after a $5 million
building renovation

After the renovation, the
organ fell into disuse and
by the late 1990's
became un-playable.

On February 22, 2014
the Landmark was
renamed the Altria
Theatre as part of a $60
million building renovation.

CenterStage, the
organization that
manages the theatre, has
committed to renovating
the instrument but funds
have not been allocated
for this purpose.  A fund
raising effort is planned.

It is hoped that this
magnificent instrument will
soon be returned to its
glory as "The Mightiest
Note:  Portions of text
are from the 17th annual
ATOS National
Convention held in
Virginia July 1972.
A Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society
Commonwealth of Virginia - The Old Dominion
Harold Warner, Jr. - Mosque / Landmark / Altria Theatre