The 3/14 Balaban II Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ was originally housed in the Colfax Theater in South Bend, Ind. As part of the Balaban & Katz movie theater empire, the Colfax Theater featured a custom-designed Wurlitzer theatre organ: a three-manual, 14-rank instrument with five tuned percussions and 15 sound effects. The Colfax organ, Opus 1903, became the prototype for the five additional Balaban II models that Wurlitzer eventually produced.
In 1963, Guenther H. Hille of Canfield, Ohio acquired and removed the 3/14 Balaban II from the Colfax Theater, restored it to its 1929 factory state and had it installed it in his own home for personal enjoyment. When Guenther passed away his family donated the organ to the American Organ Institute with the intent that the organ be restored and installed as is. The AOI will make no additions, deletions, or changes to the instrument and will restore the instrument to Wurlitzer factory standards.
The organ will be dedicated as the G.H. Hille Memorial Wurlitzer and will be used as a practice and teaching instrument.