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PACKERLAND THEATRE ORGAN SOCIETY, A CHAPTER OF A.T.O.S.

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This page will cover theatre organ related events with the most current on top.

BEN HUR  A Silent Film Masterpiece  Note: This show was cancelled, will be shown at a later date in 2010.
 

Coming to the Meyer Theatre on Thursday July 16th at 6:00pm is BEN HUR - The most expensive and beautifully photographed silent film of its time, three years in the making, complete with tints, the original color sequences, the best image quality of surviving MGM silents and a full organ score written and performed by noted local organist Frank Rippl and presented by The Packerland Theatre Organ Society. Tickets are available by calling Ticketstar 800-895-0071 or the Meyer Theater Box Office 920-494-3401.

The movie will feature the historic Meyer Theater Wurlitzer Pipe Organ providing all of the music and sound effects necessary to making this silent film classic a true experience, taking the viewer back in time to 1927 when the film was first shown.  

Frank Rippl has been Organist/Choirmaster at all Saints’ Episcopal Church in Appleton since 1971. He is a co-founder of the Appleton Boychoir, and now serves as the Boychoir’s Director Emeritus and organist for it’s annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, and is founder and coordinator of the summer Lunchtime Organ Recital Series. Mr Rippl has been performing silent films for The Packerland Theatre Organ Society for the past five years.  

The Packerland Theatre Organ Society is a non profit 501(c) 3 educational organization dedicated to the preservation and presentation of the Voice of the Silent Movie ( The Theatre Organ) and is a chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society. The Packerland Theatre Organ Society is presenting this film as part of its 2009 silent film series.

The Thief of Bagdad
 
On June 8th at 6:30pm the History Museum in downtown Appleton will host our silent film calssic  The Thief of Bagdad  starring Douglas Fairbanks. Frank Rippl will play on the 1926 Austin pipe organ using his own composed music score. Tickets are $7.00 and there will be popcorn and drinks available.  The film series is getting very popular there at the museum and we are up to 4 films per year at this venue. Main sponsor is Wisconsin Public Radio visit their website at www.wpr.org 
Coming in July  on Thursday the 16th will be our first show at The Meyer Theatre using the Might Wurlitzer pipe organ. Ben Hur will be our movie unless we have distribution problems.

 
NOSFERATU/THE GOLEM
 
On Saturday Oct 25th at 1pm the silent film Nosferatu will be screened at the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay WI.. The Virtual Wurlitzer will be used with our own Frank Rippl at the  console playing his own score. We use the remastered and color tinted version by Kevin Mac Cleod. Our sponsor will be Wisconsin Public Radio .
 
Then on Monday Sept 27 at 6:30pm the film The Golem will be shown at The History Museum in Appleton with Frank Ripple performing an original score on the Austin Pipe Organ in Ogilvie Hall. Sponsored by Wisconsin Public Radio.

THE KID
 
Join Tom McNeely as your host and Master of Ceremonies for this fun packed evening.

The Packerland Theatre Organ Society
and The History Museum present:
 
An evening at the Museum, featuring The Kid, a silent movie starring Charlie Chaplin and accompanied by Frank Rippl on the 1926 Austin Pipe Organ. A  special introduction to the film will be presented by the Master of  Ceremonies Tom McNeely of the Packerland Theatre Organ Society. Join us at the History Museum at the Castle, 330 East College Avenue, Appleton Wisconsin. Monday, September 22 at 6:30pm . Reserved seats are $7.00 per person and are available at the History Museum or by calling Lee at 920-735-9370 ext.104.Proceeds of the film will benefit the History Museum and The Packerland Theatre Organ Society organ funds.
Our sponsor for this event is Wisconsin Public Radio, they will have a table with information on their two networks and their fine offering of programs.
 

BROKEN BLOSSOMS
 

An evening at the Museum, featuring Broken Blossoms, a silent movie starring Lillian Gish and directed by D.W.Griffith, accompanied by Frank Rippl on the 1926 Austin Pipe Organ. A special introduction to the film will be presented by the Master of Ceremonies Tom McNeely of the Packerland Theatre Organ Society.

Join us at the History Museum at the Castle, 330 East College Avenue, Appleton Wisconsin. Monday, June 9th at 6:30pm . Reserved seats are  available at the History Museum or by calling Lee at 920-735-9370 ext.104.

Proceeds of the film will benefit the History Museum and The Packerland Theatre Organ Society organ funds.

Our sponsor for this event is Wisconsin Public Radio, they will have a table with information on their two networks and their fine offering of programs.

SPEEDY
 

SILENT FILM EVENT:

On Saturday, March 15th the National Railroad Museum and Packerland Theatre Organ Society will host the classic silent film “Speedy” starring Harold Lloyd at 1pm in the museum theater. Live organ accompaniment will be provided by Frank Rippl using the Virtual Wurlitzer Pipe Organ.

Sponsors for this special event are The National Railroad Museum, Wisconsin Public Radio and The Packerland Theatre Organ Society. Introductions to the film will be performed by Tom McNeely and Frank Rippl.

Advanced tickets are available at the Railroad Museum Gift Shop. For information call 920-437-7623.

 

NOSFERATU
 
On Monday, October 29th at 7pm the silent film Nosferatu was shown at The History Museum in downtown Appleton. The Austin Organ in Olgilvie Hall was used and our own Frank Rippl console playing his own score. We used the remastered and color tinted version by Kevin Mac Cleod and this was the only showing of this special version in the USA.  We had Chris Kuborn from 52nd St Jazz show on Wisconsin Public Radio and he gave out WPR items. The show was so popular we actually had to set up more seats. We also were delayed a bit because the ticket line was so long we could not get them in fast enough.  Many thanks to Frank, Chris, Jane and Terry at the museum, Robert Hoppe for the organ tuning and to all who came and made this show a success.
 

BUSTER KEATON IN "THE GENERAL"
 
On Saturday, August 25th at 1pm the National Railroad Museum hosted a special presentation of The General. Frank Rippl performed his original score that he composed special for this film. A special showing of a short film documentary about the General locomotive was shown and introduced by the producer Tom McNeely.  After the show a large group gathered at the console and Frank gave a short talk about how he scores and plays to silent films. We have been invited back for two more shows in the winter, January and March.  
 
(Did you know that the General locomotive visited the National Railroad Museum in 1962 during its national tour)

SILENT SATURDAYS AT COMEDY CITY
 
On April 7th through April 28th, Tom McNeely was performing Charlie Chaplin comedy short subjects at 1:30pm on Saturday Afternoons at Comedy City DePere using the Virtual Wurlitzer.
 
On Saturday, May 5th, at 1:30pm at Comedy City DePere, Frank Rippl  performed original  live theatre organ music to the Buster Keaton classic movie Steamboat Bill Jr. This event was sponsored by Wisconsin Public Radio and a table was hosted by Patty Murray with information and free items including bumper stickers and magnets.
 
We thank Patty and her husband for coming out and participating. Patty brought her field recorder and conducted interviews with the performers and audience.
 
 

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FRANK RIPPL AT THE AUSTIN ORGAN IN OGILVIE HALL

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TODD HINZMAN WITH DAUGHTER AND GINGER ANDERSON

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MUSEUM DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION, JANE WOOSLEY

The Packerland Theatre Organ Society

and the Outagamie Museum presented:

An evening at the Museum, featuring “Speedy“, a silent movie starring Harold Lloyd,

accompanied by Frank Rippl on the 1926 Austin Pipe Organ. A special introduction to the film was presented by the Master of Ceremonies Tom McNeely of the Packerland Theatre Organ Society.

It was held at the Outagamie Museum, 330 East College Avenue, Appleton Wisconsin.Wednesday, March 14th at 7:00pm.

Proceeds of the film  benefited the Outagamie Museum and The Packerland Theatre Organ Society organ funds.

Our sponsor for this event was Wisconsin Public Radio, they had a table with information on their two networks and their fine offering of programs. We thank our volunteers Todd Hinzman and family and Ginger Anderson for there help in manning the tables. Also a special thanks to the staff of the Outagamie Museum, Jane, Terry, Carl and Lee for their hard work offering refreshments, ticket handling and posters.

Laurel and Hardy at Comedy City, DePere WI
 
Starting on January 20th this Saturday at 1:30pm, Tom McNeely will be performing live accompaniment to several Laurel and Hardy silent films.  The films include, Big Business, Hustling for Health and The Finishing Touch. This program will run each Saturday afternoon at Comedy City in DePere. The program dates are Jan 20th, Jan 27th, Feb 3rd and Feb 10th. Admission is $5.00 at the door. The films are family friendly and lots of fun. If you are a film student, here is a chance to see some pioneering film efforts by some great film makers. 

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FRANK RIPPLE PRACTICES ON THE VIRTUAL WURLITZER IN DECEMBER 2006

Harold Lloyd in For Heaven's Sake

 

On Saturday, December 16th, the Packerland Theatre Organ Society  presented the Harold Lloyd film, "For Heaven's Sake!".
Live Theatre Organ Accompaniment was provided by organist Frank Rippl who  performed his own compositions on the amazing virtual Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ. Mark Harris of the Green Bay Film Society was with us on Saturday to give a presentation on Harold Lloyd and his film. He came dressed in his best Harold Lloyd clothing.  We thank everyone who came and enjoyed this film, plus we showed a local film from the IFG titled Dancing for Peanuts and producers Scott Mcpherson and Scott Harpt attended the screening.

 



 

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FRANK RIPPLE AT THE AUSTIN PIPE ORGAN

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ORGANIST FRANK RIPPLE AND PRESENTER MARK HARRIS

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
 

The Packerland Theatre Organ Society and the Outagamie Museum presented this fine historic silent film to a full crowd.

The museum was a great partner and many of the staff were there to make popcorn and refreshments to augment the movie experience. The evening started with a welcome by Jane Woosley  of the Outagamie Museum. Then Tom McNeely, chapter president, discussed the importance of pipe organs and theatre organs. Mark Harris gave a talk about 1920's horror films and Lon Chaney. Then Frank Rippl explained a bit about his compositions and music for the film.  All who came enjoyed themselves and the Austin pipe organ sounded wonderful under the expert hands of Frank.  We thank Robert Hoppe for his hard work getting the pipe organ ready for our performance.

 

 

 

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FRANK RIPPLE AT THE VIRTUAL WURLITZER IN DEPERE

THREE SILENT COMEDY SHORTS
 

On Saturday, September 9th, at Noon, the Packerland Theatre Organ Society presented Three Silent Comedy Shorts, starring Charlie Chaplin and Fatty Arbuckle. The three movies were, "The Knockout", "A Woman" and "The Tramp".

Live Theatre Organ Accompaniment was provided by organist Frank Rippl who performed his own compositions on the amazing virtual Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ. The organ is an exact copy of a 2 manual 8 rank Wurlitzer and plays through a computer using the Hauptwerk MIDI software program and almost 1000 watts of music power. Our customized console duplicates all of the pistons and toe studs of the original instrument.

We had our largest crowd to date at DePere Cinema and thanks does to their staff, Frank Rippl for his artistry and to the behind the scenes help from Robert Hoppe, Brett Milan and Martin Dyde.

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Frank Rippl puts the Virtual Wurlitzer to work on July 22nd at DePere Cinema.

CHARLIE CHAPLIN IN THE KID  JULY 22
 

On Saturday, July 22, the Packerland Theatre Organ Society presented The Kid, staring Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Coogan. Live Theatre Organ accompaniment was composed and performed by our talented organist Frank Rippl. It was held at  the DePere Cinema and the movie started at noon. DePere Cinema is located on George Street in downtown East DePere. The full lunch menu was available for those ordering food.  We used the virtual Wurlitzer  theatre organ program called Hauptwerk with the virtual version of the Virginia Theatre Wurlitzer using a Yamaha keyboard and self powered speakers. Soon we hope to have a dual keyboard and pedalboard that have been augmented to have MIDI connections.

A Laurel and Hardy comedy short and a presentation from Packerland Theatre Organ Society Productions called "The Voice of the Silent Movie"  preceded our feature. We had a big turnout and the Wurlitzer sounds were amazing.

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FRANK RIPPL POSES WITH THE MOELLER ORGAN AFTER THE FILM.

KING OF KINGS WAS SHOWN APRIL 20TH AT 7PM 

As part of All Saints' Episcopal Church's 150th Anniversary Celebrations this year, we will show the classic 1927 Cecil B Demille silent film “ King of Kings” at the church at 7:00 pm on Thursday, April 20th (the Thursday after Easter). Frank Ripple will perform his own organ accompaniment to the film on the church's 2manual, 25rank Moeller/Buzard organ. The introduction to the movie will be done by Mark Harris of the Green Bay Film Society. Admission will be free.

This classic masterpiece has been fully restored including the missing color scenes. We will be showing the 117 minute roadshow version and there will be an intermission. The Packerland Theatre Organ Society will have an information table at the show.

As a postscript, we had our largest crowd to see this film and Frank got a standing ovation for his performance on the pipe organ. If we do this film again, do not miss it.

All Saints' is on the corner of College Avenue and Drew Streets (400 E. College Ave., Appleton) right on the campus of Lawrence University.

 

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TOM HOEHN WARMS UP THE RODGERS FOR THE MAIN FEATURE

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME  SATURDAY OCTOBER 8TH AT THE LAKESHORE CINEMA
 
The doors opened at 11:30am for the 1925 classic move which has the most famous role for Lon Chaney as The Hunchback. Flying in from Florida was organist Tom Hoehn who  performed his accompaniment using our chapter Rodgers Theatre Organ.  The movie started at noon sharp.  The Lakeshore Cinema, located in downtown Manitowoc, Wisconsin on Washington St was a terrific host  see photos on the Lakeshore page.  This was our grand finale for movies in 2005 and we had a great season and much success. Tom Hoehn got a standing ovation from a much appreciative audience. Our Rodgers has been moved to the Capitol Civic Center where it may be used for a silent movie series being planned for the 2006-2007 season at the Capitol.
 
 

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FRANK RIPPL ACCOMPANIES "THE GENERAL" AT DEPERE CINEMA.

ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 20TH 2005 THE PACKERLAND THEATRE ORGAN SOCIETY WILL PRESENT THE BUSTER KEATON MOVIE “THE GENERAL”, A CLASSIC SILENT FILM MADE IN 1927. THE DOORS WILL OPEN AT THE DEPERE CINEMA ON GEORGE ST. IN EAST DEPERE AT 11:30 AM FOR THIS LUNCHTIME PRESENTATION. THE FEATURED ORGANIST IS FRANK RIPPL OF APPLETON WHO WILL BE PERFORMING LIVE ON THE RODGERS THEATRE ORGAN BROUGHT IN SPECIALLY FOR THIS SHOW.

SILENT MOVIE AT THE NEVILLE MUSEUM THEATRE IN GREEN BAY

April 2005

The Packerland Theatre Organ Society will be presenting the full length silent movie Steamboat Bill Jr starring Buster Keaton. This special presentation will be held at the Neville Museum Theatre in downtown Green Bay, Sunday April 17th  at 2pm. The movie will be accompanied by Frank Rippl of Appleton on the mighty theatre organ recreating just as it was in the 1920’s when the organ was the voice of the movies. The movie is the story of a son coming home from college to help his father run his riverboat business despite competition from a formidable competitor. There is romance, action, comedy and a huge raging storm.

2004 CHRISTMAS SHOW AT THE WEST THEATER
 
On December 18th, Saturday, The Packerland Theatre Organ Society will team up with the Green Bay Film Society and present a Christmas Silent Movie "Big Business" starring Laurel and Hardy.

The event will be held at the Historic West Theatre located at Broadway and Walnut in downtown Green Bay, Wisconsin. The show starts at 1pm. Our organist will be Tom Hoehn from Largo, Florida playing the Rodgers Theatre Organ. There will also be a Christmas sing along and refreshments. Suggested donation to the event is $5.00. This is Packerland's first show at a movie theatre, we will be celebrating our first year as a chapter.