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Canton Palace Theater organists featured at Cleveland Playhouse Square

CANTON – Jared Goldinger was a teenager when he first experienced the magic of the Kilgen organ at the historic Canton Palace Theatre.

Seated for a Charlie Chaplin movie, the Jackson Township resident waited for the silent film to start.

Before it did, Goldinger was mesmerized as the historic Kilgen organ rose with the stage. Seated on the bench was Jay Spencer, who stroked the keys of the bygone instrument.

“I had never seen anything like that when he was coming out of the pit lift,” Goldinger recalled. “My heart sunk. For lack of a better word, it was awesome.”

Goldinger was seated next to chamber pipes, and “listening to it for the first time rattle my bones was something else,” he said.

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Opened in 1926, the the Canton Palace Theater still has its original architecture and interior decor, as well as the original Kilgen pipe organ.  Organists Jay Spencer and Jared Goldinger play the instrument before movies.

Once the film ended, Goldinger was still thinking about the music. Approaching Spencer, the house organist let him play the relic for a bit, and Goldinger’s love for theater organs began.

In 2016, as a 15-year-old he joined Spencer as the second organist at the Palace Theatre.

Now the duo will take their skills to Connor Palace Theater at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland for a special summer movie event from Thursday through Aug. 21.

Cinema at the Square is a summer movie series from Thursday to Aug. 21 at the Connor Palace Theater at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland featuring the playing of an historic Kimball organ prior to films being shown.

Cinema at the Square features popular movies at Connor Palace Theatre. Prior to the films, Goldinger and Spencer will be among those playing the Kimball pipe organ.

Spencer will perform starting at 6:30 pm Thursday for a 7:30 pm showing of “The Princess Bride.” He will also play the organ for one hour before the 2 pm showtimes of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” on Saturday and “Independence Day” on Sunday.

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