Frank Bindt, a founding member of ATOS, passes away at age 93

Frank Bindt, one of the founders of the American Theatre Organ Society (then known as ATOE), and a legend in ATOE/ATOS history, passed away on July 12, 2010

at the age of 93. He is survived by his son, Bob Bindt, and Bob’s siblings Larry Booth and Martha Fowler. There are many step-grandchildren and greatgrandchildren.

Frank was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1916—just in time to be fascinated by the silent movies in the Princess and Hawaii theatres there. In the early 1940s, Frank worked with theatre organ legend George Wright to record some numbers on the Grant Union High School organ in North Sacramento, California. Several years later, Frank bought and installed a Style D Wurlitzer, which was eventually featured at the first ATOE/ATOS convention in 1958. Frank was also extremely active in the broadcast business, retiring as Technical Director at KGO-TV in 1985.

Later in life, Frank was able to attend a few theatre organ events. Some may have met Frank at the Bismarck, Pasadena or San Francisco ATOS Conventions. In 2004 he attended the “Fabulous Fox Organ Weekend” in Atlanta and was introduced as one of the founding members of ATOE/ATOS. He is pictured in the 1955 ATOE/ATOS organizational meeting that was held at Richard Simonton’s house at Toluca Lake, Los Angeles, California.

Frank was particularly interested in encouraging young musicians to pursue an organ career. He was a living example of wanting something and then making it happen. We could all learn much from his determination and sense of humor. We’ll miss you, Frank. Your service to ATOS will be forever appreciated.

More information about Frank Bindt will be featured in the September/October 2010 issue of THEATRE ORGAN journal.