Welte Cinema Organ (interior view); Photo: D. Linke
Welte Cinema Organ (interior view); Photo: D. Linke

» Welte Cinema Organ

Welte Cinema Organ

The Welte Cinema Organ is the largest exhibit of the film and cinema technology collection. Used for accompanying silent films, the organ imitates sounds and instruments.
It's inner mechanical setup can be contemplated through a glass panel in our cinema. Besides, the organ is used for the accompaniment of silent films once a month. Built in 1929, the organ was originally used at Luxor-Kinopalast Chemnitz. Since 1993, it is in use again after extensive restoration. The instrument once replaced the cinema orchestra and accompanied "silent films" until the sound film made the organ redundant.
The cinema organ allows for powerful accompaniments of films, with special effects and imitations of sounds and instruments. This offers the organist a wide range of improvisation possibilities.

- 1929 built by the company Michael Welte Söhne, Freiburg, installed and used at Luxor-Kinopalast Chemnitz
- 1979 dismounted and put in storage on initiative of the GDR state film archives
- 1980 handed over to Filmmuseum Potsdam during the time of its foundation and once again put in insufficient storage
- 1992 beginning of restoration by Dresden-based organ building company Jehmlich
- 1993 celebration of the organ's re-installation; the organ has been in use since then
- 1998 release of the first Filmmuseum Potsdam CD

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