Definition of Wurlitzer in US English:



  • A large pipe organ or electric organ, especially one used in the movie theaters of the 1930s.

    • ‘Peter Seward is a specialist and player of most electronic organs, including the Wurlitzer theatre pipe organs.’
    • ‘Austin Rayner entertained cinema audiences at the Regal in Piccadilly, as he sat astride the huge Wurlitzer organ when it appeared from beneath the floor in the intervals.’
    • ‘He got on the guitar, I got on the Wurlitzer and we wrote the song within an hour.’
    • ‘Don Hyde, chairman of the Lancastrian Theatre Organ Trust, said the trust rescued the large Wurlitzer from the Odeon when it was being converted into a multi-cinema.’
    • ‘With Dub Intefadah, Penner combines the methods of circuit bending with his Wurlitzer organ and electric guitar, throwing in folk singing for good measure.’
    • ‘When the Odeon started life as the Paramount on October 6, 1930, it had a flickering projector, and later became renowned for its Wurlitzer organ played for years by Nigel Ogden.’
    • ‘What a wonderful building that was, such wonderful decor and foyer, with a staircase going up either side and a lovely Wurlitzer organ.’
    • ‘More of an acquired taste are her occasional forays on the Wurlitzer organ, which may induce flashbacks of Rolf Harris.’
    • ‘Between the Wurlitzer's full-bodied, rounded sound and the generally chilled mood of the writing and playing, the album has a subdued, reflective tone, albeit with a healthy rhythmic underpinning.’
    • ‘The song's sample of a dust-carpeted projector snaps its finger to teach the beat to a roiling tom-tom rhythm, and mixes with a Wurlitzer organ and guitars that squeal like after-hours drunks on a freeway.’
    • ‘Unlike his stark, Crazy Horse-inflected debut of a few years ago, North Side Benches is a poppier affair, replete with synthesizers, Wurlitzers, glockenspiel, and a helping hand from Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy.’
    • ‘The exhibition of instruments, ranging from tiny musical boxes to a huge Wurlitzer cinema organ, will be enhanced by the grant, which has been made available by the Heritage Lottery Fund.’
    • ‘Directly behind her is a Fender Rhodes with an apple-red Wurlitzer on top - played by swinging around on her piano bench - and both have a Drawmer 1960 inserted on their direct channels.’
    • ‘Oh, that's not all he plays - he's also the church organist at Auckland's Epsom Presbyterian, and accompanies silent movies on the Wurlitzer at the Hollywood Theatre in Avondale - but funerals are his bread and butter.’
    • ‘The band's tempos now surpass dirge-speed and their ever-reverberant arrangements have grown to include drums, banjo, pedal steel, Wurlitzer and, on one song, a choir.’
    • ‘Nostalgic Roy spent seven years building the 20-seat cinema complete with plush red curtains and carpets, 1930s cinema seats - and even a model Wurlitzer organ.’
    • ‘The old movie palaces of my childhood where patrons paid 25 cents to watch a double bill, plus news and cartoons, while listening to the Wurlitzer organ during intermission, are now shopping malls or revivalist churches.’
    • ‘That night big band music, ballroom dancing and the Wurlitzer organ will all help transform the Tower Ballroom into a nostalgic extravaganza.’
    • ‘Harcourt's soft vocals lead every track, and he also plays his own piano, Wurlitzer, guitar, sax and harmonica (among others).’
    • ‘To the right, hidden from the couples' view in the trap door under the stage, the organist is sitting at the Wurlitzer, his jacket as shiny white as his keyboard.’


Named after Rudolf Wurlitzer (1831–1914), the German-born American instrument-maker who founded the manufacturing company.