Orange County Theater Organ Society Vamps It Up with 'Nosferatu'

Orange County Theater Organ Society Vamps It Up with 'Nosferatu'

When we asked Ed Bridgeford, the president of the Orange County Theater Organ Society what type of audience one could expect at one of his organization's events, he showed the kind of diplomacy that must have gotten him elected in the first place.

"Our audience is, I would say more... mature," the 76-year-old said.

But don't let the fact that the members of OCTOS prefer Laurel and Hardy to Ed Hardy and would rather listen to big band than play Rock Band fool you into thinking they're a bunch of fuddy duddies. (Also try not to judge us for writing "fuddy duddies.") The OCTOS get wild with their Wurlitzers.

They recently hosted Cameron Carpenter, a controversial organist known for wearing tight glittery shirts and high heels specially designed to reach more pedals. Check this video of him lookin' like Freddy Mercury while playing the theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The OCTOS spices things up a bit more this Friday with a presentation of "Nosferatu," the so-called "father of all horror films" at Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton (8 p.m., $15). The silent film scared the crap out of an entire generation and went on to inspire one of Willem Dafoe's greatest works, Shadow of the Vampire. This time around it will feature a live Wurlitzer organ soundtrack performed by Bob Salisbury, the former house organist at the Avalon Theatre in the Casino on Santa Catalina Island. Memba him?

This particular Wurlitzer, which Bridgeford says was once considered the Cadillac of theater organs, was installed back in 1930 when silent movies were in their glory daze. Organ lovers (stop giggling already!) have lovingly maintained the instrument over the years and it's currently in tip-top shape. Halloween is still a couple of weeks a way but there's nothing like a movie with an old-timey, fugue-filled soundtrack to get you feelin' spooky.

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