About the Barton Organ

The Michigan Theater has one of only a handful of historic pipe organs that remains in its original home. Now nearly 100 years old, the Barton has been played almost daily since 1972, and currently provides audiences with a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience before movies, lectures, and concerts, as well as accompanying screenings of classic silent films several times per year.
  • "This irreplaceable and historic instrument is a local and national treasure. Future generations deserve to hear the Barton Pipe Organ in all of its glory." -Henry Aldridge, Head Organist
  • Established
    1927

Help Preserve the Barton Organ

Despite careful maintenance, almost 100 years of regular use have taken their toll. In early 2014, it became clear that the Barton needed to be rebuilt and restored to its former splendor. The organ keyboard and console were removed from the theater in June and were taken apart, cleaned, repaired and meticulously re-assembled. The organ returned to the Michigan Theater in October of 2014.

But the work is only half-done. The organ’s pipes and the chambers are still in tragic disrepair.

To Make a Gift

Visit our donation page here, or contact Lee Berry to discuss a multi-year pledge.

Please consider a pledge of support to preserve the magic and the music

How can you help? The total cost for the restoration of the Michigan Theater’s Barton pipe organ and lift is approximately $200,000. A number of gifts were provided to help pay for the first phase of the restoration, but an additional $120,000 is still needed to complete the second phase.

Raising the funds necessary to rebuild the organ and preserve it into the future is essential. This requires the compassion and generosity of a handful of visionary individuals who recognize the value of such a gift in preserving not only the instrument, but an era. Please consider making a donation to keep the Barton Organ music playing for future generations of Theater-goers.