Welcoming Windus & the Wurlitzer to the Blue Mouse Theater

As theater exhibition increased during the 1920s, theater owners went about making changes to their theaters; adding more seats, hiring more help, etc. For John Hamrick, owner of the Portland Blue Mouse theater, installing a new, custom designed Wurlitzer organ was just the trick. According to an article in the Oregonian, Hamrick had the Hope-Jones Wurlitzer organ installed at the local theater in the spring of 1922. As the first of its kind in the city, the new organ, on its own, was sure to stir up some attraction. However, the installation of the Wurlitzer was only half of the news.

Harold Windus, a young organist working for Hamrick at his theater in Seattle, was declared to appear for the opening night of the organ's debut, as stated within the Oregonian. Another article from The Oregon Daily Journal illustrates Windus's journey to becoming a motion picture organist. After studying law at the University of Oregon, Windus was trained in Portland as a theater organist, performing early after his college career in the Sunset and People's theaters. He performed at various other local venues before returning to his home state of Washington, when shortly after he nabbed a job under Hamrick at Seattle's Blue Mouse theater.  

Windus's return to performing in Portland was advertised in several of the theaters' newspaper announcements involving the newly installed organ -- including the last article within the Oregonian. After the organ was finally situated inside the Blue Mouse, a series of concerts was announced to introduce the organ to the public. Selections from musical comedies, along with solo performances (including some from Harold Windus), would be held at the theater to promote their recent musical addition. Though these performances didn't necessarily feature films in conjunction with the live organ and orchestra, the specialized Wurlitzer and return of organist Harold Windus would bring in revenue from movie lovers and music lovers alike.