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Organ Grinder Restaurant - 3/13 Hinners-hybrid
Vancouver B.C. Canada
1260 Hornby St.
Organ installation timeframe: 1979 - 1996

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Click for a larger version of this image Organ Grinder console at the time of opening, c.1979. Image courtesy Bob MacNeur & PeoriasPicturePalaces
 
The Vancouver Organ Grinder restaurant opened in 1979. The organ was assembled from parts of various manufacture and was controlled by a three-manual Hinners console originally installed in the Madison Theatre, Peoria Illinois, 1927
 
Interestingly, the Madison Theatre 3/13 Hinners was purchased by organman Dave Junchen in the late 1970's along with its "twin" 10 miles away at the Pekin Theatre, Pekin Illinois. Other than the Madison Theatre console, it is unknown how many parts from the two Hinners instruments were used in the Vancouver Pizza & Pipes installation.
 
Dave Junchen started the Organ Grinder installation in early 1976 but was drawn away by other comittments. He recruited organ techs Bob MacNeur, Merle Bobzien, and Bob Otey to help finish the installation.
 
Click for a larger version of this image Organ Grinder entrance on Hornby St., c.1979. Image courtesy VancouverTrueBorns.com
 
Organists who played at the Vancouver Organ Grinder:

  • Stephen Dunsmore
  • David Lobban
  • Ron Poll
  • John Steele
  • Don Thompson
  • Brian Tingle
 
Click for a larger version of this image Staff organist David Lobban at the Organ Grinder console, c.1979. Image courtesy PeoriasPicturePalaces
 
The Organ Grinder ceased operations in 1996. The instrument was removed and dispersed for parts.
 

 
Click for a larger version of this image Console as new in 1927 with well known Twin Cities radio organist Leonard Leigh. Image courtesy PeoriasPicturePalaces
 
Click for a larger version of this image Hinners console just prior to removal from the Madison Theatre, Peoria, late 1970s. Image courtesy PeoriasPicturePalaces
 

The Hinners console was stored for several years by Jim Tarling of Burnaby, B.C. It appeared for sale in 2008 on the theatreorgans.com classifieds. Unfortunately there were no takers and once storage was no longer available, the console was junked.
 
Click for a larger version of this image
Organ Grinder console in storage, as advertised c.2008
 
Click for a larger version of this image
 
Click for a larger version of this image  


Organ Grinder Plans Three More Pizza Parlor Locations
Excerpt from The Console magazine, May 1976 (v14, No 5, pp1,11):
 
Junchen Hiring Help
Delays in various stages of constructing the Vancouver Organ Grinder restaurant resulted in loss of organ installers who had to return to other scheduled jobs in the east. To maintain his erecting work, Dave Junchen flew to Southern California over the weekend of May 22-24 to look for replacement technicians so the organ will be ready for its announced June 12th opening.
 
He hired Robert McNeur, who recently relocated in the area after leaving Phoenix, Arizona. He flew to Vancouver Monday evening, May 24th to help finish the work. Junchen estimated that it would require at least one week to ten days to get the instrument ready. Organist John Steele will maintain and regulate it following its debut.
 
John Steele Opens Vancouver Parlor June 15
John Steele, who has been one of the popular organists at the Cap'n Galley Pizza Restaurants along the San Francisco Penninsula in Campbell, Santa Clara and Redwood City, leaves California June 5th for Vancouver British Columbia, Canada and will open the new Organ Grinder Pizza Parlor there June 15th. Steele sold his home and a great deal of pipe organ components that he had been accumulating for several years that were to be the basis of a large theatre instrument. He will move parts of the organ that he wishes to keep with him to Vancouver.
 
On May 18th, Dave Junchen, who was erecting the organ in the new parlor, put out a call for additional experienced help to come to Vancouver for at least one week's work to aid him in getting the instrument set for the opening day. This is the second in the Organ Grinder chain to be opened. It was learned the firm has plans to open several more units in the United States and then embark on an extensive building program in Australia. All units are to be equipped with theatre pipe organs, it was stated by a spokesman for the company.

Bobzien Hired to work on Vancouver Organ
Excerpt from The Console magazine, September 1976 (v14, No 9, pp6):
 
Los Angeles organman Merle Bobzien has been hired by The Organ Grinder Pizza Parlor in Vancouver, B.C. to complete work on the recently opened organ and regulate the instrument. Bobzien was hired by Hawaiian ATOS organ buffs to take care of the Robert Morton in the Hawaii Theatre and spent several months putting the organ in top playing condition.

Leaving All This
Excerpt from The Console magazine, August 1979 (v17, No 7, pp 12):
 
David Lobban, Toronto Organ Grinder associate organist, will soon leave his position to take up another bench spot at the organ Grinder Restaurant in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is shown here with Carol Piazza on the bench of the Riviera Theatre Wurlitzer Console in Tonawanda, New York.

Ron Poll Replaces David Lobban at Pizza Parlor
Excerpt from The Console magazine, February 1980 (v18, No 2, pp 23):
 
Ron Poll, original organist at the Vancouver, British Columbia Organ Grinder Restaurant, has replaced David Lobban on the bench, it was announced this month.
 


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