|Elsewhere on the
is an ad from the first
movie to be shown in the Ohio, "The Divine Woman". Here is an ad for
what was supposed to have been the last film to be shown in the Ohio,
"Play Dirty". This is from the Columbus Dispatch, February 14, 1969.
The movie engagement ended on February 24, 1969 and the Ohio's doors
The two films listed above the ad, "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" and "Camelot" have both appeared in the CAPA Summer Movie Series. However "Play Dirty" has not had a return engagement.
|The final event, other
than "Play Dirty" to be held in the
theater (that is, if
you don't count the planned sale of theater fixtures as an event!) was
to be this concert by Roger Garrett on the Morton. Roger was the second
Resident Organist of the Ohio, holding the position from 1933-1942.
While the future of the theater looked bleak, the Morton had a better fate as local organists Tom Hamilton and Carlos Parker had purchased the organ from Loew's and were going to remove it prior to the destruction of the theater. Thankfully the theater was not demolished and the Morton's ownership has since been transferred to CAPA who performs almost all of the organ's maintenance.
|The final performance
front page billing by the
Columbus Citizen Journal newspaper. It's somewhat hard to see, but it
looks like there are people actually sitting in the orchestra pit. The
photo caption states there were 3323 tickets sold, an overflow crowd
for the event. One of those in attendance was current Resident
Organist of the Ohio, Clark Wilson.
Here is an excerpt from the book "The Ohio Theatre Golden Jubilee" which describes in words better than I can come up with a bit about the event:
"... on Sunday, February 16, the final significant event in the theatre's long life as a Loew's movie palace took place: a farewell concert on the theatre's famed Morton organ. Roger Garrett, for years the regular organist for the Ohio and the last organist to appear regularly at a Downtown Columbus movie theatre, returned for what was to be a nostalgic farewell.
The event was indeed nostalgic, ending as Garrett and the Morton sank into the orchestra pit with the swelling sounds of "Auld Lang Syne" filling the vast spaces of the Ohio..."
|The book Those Wonderful Old Downtown
Theaters by Phil Sheridan further illustrates the
importance of this concert:
"But if a person knowledgeable in Ohio Theatre lore were asked to name the one factor which was more responsible for saving the Ohio than any other, the answer would have to be the fabulous Mighty Morton Theater Organ. It served as the rallying point, the catalyst, the cause celebre for the early opposition which delayed demolition of the building until the various "Save the Ohio" factions could be combined and marshaled." (page 92)
It is somewhat ironic to think that in the beginning, the Morton came to be because of the Ohio. But in the saving of the theater, the Ohio was preserved because of the Morton. Perhaps there is a whimsical story which could be written using this storyline.