Old Dominion
Theatre Organ Society
Byrd Theatre
Byrd Theatre Wurlitzaer 4/17
Byrd Theatre
Richmond, VA
Wurlitzer 4/17
Photo - Ray Brubacher
The Byrd Theatre opened
its doors on Christmas Eve
1928.  Owned by the
Coulter family, Robert H.
Coulter was the manager
from opening until 1971.  
Even after he retired, he
visited the Byrd daily until
his death in 1978.

Carl Rond, who had
previously played at the
Brookland Theater, opened
the Byrd with an overture
on the 4/17 Wurlitzer.  The
organ was played every
night until the second World
War. (Meanwhile, Eddie
Weaver continued at the
Loew's not far away.)

Harold Warner revived the
Byrd Wurlitzer in the late
1950's, and played it as
well as maintained it, until
his death in 1961. A year
later, Eddie Weaver's
contract with Loew's (that
dated back to 1936) had
ended, and he moved over
to the Byrd.
This Wurlitzer is an
organist's dream since it
speaks, sharply and
clearly, from spacious
chambers above the
proscenium arch.

The Byrd console rises
stage center from a deep
pit; in the balcony alcove
on the left is a Wurlitzer
grand piano, keyed by
the organ, and in the
right alcove is a "prop"
harp and the unenclosed
marimba.

The magnificent sound of
the instrument was
immortalized in the late
1950's when Dick Leibert
recorded one of the best
theatre organ albums of
all time, "
Leibert Takes
Richmond
."

Bob Gulledge continues
the tradition by playing
the mighty Wurlitzer
before the Saturday
evening movies.

Visit the
Byrd web site
for more information.
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