A special report from ATOS-SMGC Chapter Secretary John DeMajo:

Ellenton, Florida

On July 13 2001, my family and I journeyed to Ellenton, Florida to visit the new Roaring 20's Pizza and Pipes Restaurant. We had such a great time, I decided to share the experience with our chapter members through this special photo report.

Located between Tampa and St. Petersburg, Roaring 20's Pizza and Pipes is conveniently located just off Interstate 75 in a beautifully landscaped mall in Southern Florida. The exterior is inviting and excitement greets you at the door. (Click photos for larger image.)


As soon as we entered the restaurant, it was evident that this was something special. A quick glimpse of the organ, located front and center of a large dining area, left no doubt that this is a flawless installation of an extraordinary 42 rank instrument. Two massive, windowed chambers provide an excellent view of the organ's internal workings. Additionally, exposed base pipes on a side wall and numerous percussion instruments suspended from the ceiling, provide visual stimulation to delight the listener.

Our visit lasted the entire five hours and thirty-minutes of open time on a Friday evening. The place remained packed during the entire evening.

For the Friday evening show, our organist was Dwight Thomas. He shares the spotlight with veteran theatre organist Bill Vlasak. Both men are extraordinary performers who can put a large theatre organ through it's paces. I can assure anyone that listening to Dwight for an evening dispelled any fear in my mind that theatre organ music was becoming extinct, or that there was no interest from today's general audiences in this art form. .

I believe this photograph speaks volumes about the future of Theatre Organ. Thanks to places like Roaring 20's, Organ Stop Pizza and other like establishments devoted to placing theatre organ in the forefront of restaurant based entertainment this great part of American history can survive for another generation. It was great to see children literally dancing in the aisles to the sounds of Chattanooga Choo-Choo and other "Big Band" tunes.

Roaring 20's is indeed a credit to its creator, Mr. Bill Dickerson. In addition to a well executed organ installation by Kenny Crome and his crew, Roaring 20's features exceptionally good pizza, sandwiches and salads at really reasonable prices. Please visit the official web site of Roaring 20's, at www.roaring20spizza.com for more information and photos. I highly recommend a visit to Roaring 20's. It is something every theatre organ lover should experience.