This story was published by The Ypsilanti Record on Thursday, January 8, 1920.
The Martha Washington theatre is adding this week to its already finely appointed theatre a Bartola orchestral organ. Mrs. Signor, owner of the theatre, after looking over many other instruments, decided that the Bartola was the best that money could buy and in keeping with the high standard of quality maintained throughout her theatre.
This new musical fixture of the Martha Washington theatre is not a mechanically operated instrument, as many might suppose, similar to the player piano, but is operated and played by the person at the piano, and takes the place of seven musicians in the orchestra pit—the violin, flute, clarinet, xylophone, drum, traps, cathedral chimes and has a changeable keyboard which instantly changes it into a pipe organ. The base viol is also present and other musical attachments are worked in so systematically that when you attend the Martha Washington theatre you will not only see the best screen pictures that the large corporations are turning out but be given something extra in good in music.
The Bartola orchestral organ is to be found in many of the largest and best motion picture houses in New York, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit and others of the larger cities. It is so perfectly constructed that an experienced operator can play the pictures and render appropriate music to correspond with what is being enacted on the screen. It is said that in one theatre in Boston, where a Bartola orchestral organ was installed that during a rain and wind stom scene appearing on the screen that the person at the organ fittingly came in at the opportune moment giving a realistic effect of wind blowing and the snapping of trees, whereupon several in the audience began buttoning up their coats and putting on their rubbers; several raised umbrellas and youngsters a howl.
This new organ will undoubtedly be inn operation this coming Sunday for the first time, unless some unforeseen happening mars the installing of it, as experts are here working overtime to have it ready upon that date.