Organist accompanies Hunchback classic

    The Old Pine Street Church near 4th Street in Philadelphia is more dead than alive.

    The Old Pine Street Church near 4th Street in Philadelphia is more dead than alive. It has a congregation of 130 Presbyterians, but its graveyard holds hundreds more. Many were soldiers in the Revolutionary War. For Halloween tonight the church will bring to life an old silent film, complete with a massive pipe organ.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091031pchunchback.mp3]

    Some of the action in the 1923 silent film The Hunchback of Notre Dame takes place in the Gothic cathedral of that name. However, the Old Pine Street Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia is nowhere near the size of the cathedral in Paris and its organ, however impressive, will never get the kind of reverb that comes out of a huge stone nave.

    But organist Don Kinnier says he can tease eerie voices out of the pneumatic instrument.

    Kinnier: It’s a very, very, a romantic instrument – and that doesn’t mean that people will be kissing in the balconies here at the church, it’s a very, very, smooth sound. It’s a nice organ for this film because its easy to capture some of the 14th century sound with a 19th century instrument.

    The film features monster film legend Lon Cheney as the grotesque Quasimodo.

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