Wheaton man gives elaborate organ to theater

October 19, 2008 6:06:34 AM PDT
Wheaton resident Paul Van Der Molen is an organ donor with a difference. He's giving one of his prized possessions, an elaborate 1920s Wonder Theater Organ to the Wheaton Grand Theater.The refurbished organ is believed to be one of only five remaining in the world, and it can simulate the sounds of an entire orchestra.

The Morton organs were designed for and built into Loews Wonder Theaters.

Van Der Molen, who's had a lifetime fascination with elaborate church and theater organs, purchased this one in 1980 and sent it through an extensive renovation in 2001.

He says that although he and his wife have enjoyed the Wonder Organ for nearly three decades, they needed to find a new home for it to coincide with their own plans to downsize.

Information from: Daily Herald, http://www.dailyherald.com