The Great Theatre Pipe Organ of the Arlington.


Free silent movie at the Arlington.  Will now be held Wednesday, 6 Feb, 5:30 PM

On Wednesday, 6 February, at 5:30 PM
, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) in collaboration with SBTOS will present the silent movie "Metropolis" a 1927 German science fiction drama film.  Staff organist, Adam Aceto, will accompany on the Great Theatre Pipe Organ of the Arlington.

The film was originally scheduled to be shown on Sunday, 3 February, at 2 PM.  The intense rain caused highway 101 closure, so the SBIFF had to do some frantic last-minute rescheduling. 

Flooding occurred in the passageway beneath the stage, the pump room, and the pit containing the organ lift.  This area is below grade, and ground water comes through cracks in the cement walls.  We have to wait until Tuesday to pump out the water and evaluate the damage.  Valuable items in the pump room are stored above the floor.  But, the organ lift is mounted to the bottom of the organ pit, where there are electrical limit switches to control the lift.  The organ console is more than two feet above the bottom of the pit.  The lift is a big hydrahlic scissors jack, shown here (extended) in its pit underneath the stage:

For more information about the film, see:

The event is free and open to the public.  We hope to see you there.  Tours of the organ  will be provided after the movie, time permitting.

Our staff organist, Adam Aceto, has accompanied past Silent Sunday movies, and is spot-on with the right sound at the right time.  His playing just becomes an integral part of the movie.

The theatre pipe organ is also known as the Hope-Jones Unit Orchestra.  It runs at 15-times the air pressure of a typical church pipe organ, and contains pipe ranks emulating orchestral instruments as well as real instruments: piano, marimba, glockenspeil, xylophone, celesta (cryssoglott), cathedral chimes, and vibraharp. 

The organ has 14-tremulants (devices to modulate air pressure and create tremolo and vibrato).  A church pipe organ generally has one (or none).

The percussions round out the organist's sound palate: bass drum, kettle drum, snare drum, field drum, tom-tom's, 4 different cymbals (22" to 10"), and the toy counter: fire bell, phone bell, door bell, police whistle, bird whistle. train whistle, airplane, oogah horn, horse's hooves, triangle, castinets, wood block, tamborines, surf sound, Chinese gong, and more.

We hope to see you there on the 3rd!


Open Console:

Typically, open consoles are the second Saturday of the month.  We only can secure this date a week in advance.  We will have an open console in Febuary, but which Saturday is TBD.

Open consoles are held from 9AM to 11AM.  
Enter by the Sola Street side door (has stairs leading down to a green double door).  The door will be blocked open.  Please do not enter the small back door of the theatre, which has a single step leading up.

Open Consoles are free and open to the public.  Bring you kids, friends, and neighbors.  Come play the organ. listen, take pictures, ask questions, see the chambers, and meet new friends.  Enjoy yourselves.

The best parking is at the Chapala Street city lot located about 1/2 block south of the theatre.

Our 4th CD is available.

    Scott Foppiano laid down tracks in the organ computer for a 4th CD when he was last here.  The audio recording was done late at night on 9 January 2014.

    As with our other CD's, the direct-to-digital audio recording was donated by True-Stereo Location Recording.  The photography, artwork,and CD production was donated by the SBTOS President , who is also the webmaster.

    Under the CD tab, you can hear snippets of some of the musical selections.

Front cover and insert front side                                                                        Insert back side

                                             CD face                                                                                                    Tray liner

3rd CD is still available.  Samples of the musical selection as well as the liner notes are available under the CD tab above.

    After the January 2011 concert, we planned on doing the audio recording for a 3rd Scott Foppiano CD.  The CD is delayed as Scott is suffering from a herniated disk.  This CD has tunes different than the standard Gershwin and Porter faire, and that work well with the theatre pipe organ, such as: Barry Manilow - I write the Songs, Overture from Pirates of Penzance, etc..  Scott really likes the Great Theatre Pipe Organ of the Arlington.  The recording took place on Saturday, 9 July starting at 11 PM and extending into the wee hours.  Scott's performance was excellent.  

    Both the CD's below are available at open consoles for $15.00, and by mail (includes postage and handling) for $20.00.  Send a check to: SBTOS, POB 1913, Goleta, CA  93116.

    The previous two Scott Foppiano CD's were Renaissance (now sold out), and Christmas at the Arlington (picture below and still available). 

    Christmas at the Arlington received a wonderful review in the November/December 2009 Theatre Organ Magazine.  The first paragraph sets the tone of this review: Scott Foppiano’s new holiday CD, Christmas at the Arlington, is a Christmas stocking full of holiday musical enjoyment.  Scott made this album on the great four manual, 27-rank Robert-Morton organ, most of which originally came from the Loew’s Jersey Theatre and is now installed in the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara, California. The instrument itself is a real barn-burner, as is this highly entertaining CD.


Overview of Arlington Theatre from the Balcony.  Main Chambers I and II are in the Spanish village on the left.  Solo Chamber is in the Spanish village on the right.  The percussion shelf is in back of tower at the left of the stage.  The organ rises on a lift from beneath the forestage.  The ceiling is semi-elliptical which is acoustically very kind to the organ.  The theatre seats 2017 people.  Photo courtesy of SBTOS member Tom Ginn.