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Lake Cowichan view from our dock.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Organ Stop Pizza and the Arizona Mormon Temple

Yesterday, Monday Dec 12th, was our last day here in Mesa. On this date 34 years ago, our daughter Kristi was born. Love ya Kristi! Hope you had a fantastic day on your mini-vacation with Jason.

My day was spent grocery shopping and cleaning chores and Ray also did a few maintenance things. By 1:30 pm it was time for our last hot tub and we spent the next few hours sitting in the shade outside enjoying the balmy weather.

Several people said we must go to the Organ Stop Pizza and also see the light display at the Mormon Temple, so tonight would be the night as it was fairly close to where we are currently staying.

5:30 pm found us at the Organ Stop Pizza for dinner. Good thing we came early so had no trouble finding a seat up close. By 6:30 the place was getting packed with families. Seeing all of the kids dancing around to the music was very cute. Even an old dude who arrived in a wheel chair got up and was swaying to the music with his arms doing most of the dancing with his daughter and grandchildren. Great to see.


" Organ Stop Pizza, home to The Mighty Wurlitzer. Organ Stop’s Mighty Wurlitzer is one of the largest and finest theater organs in the world today. Its nearly 6000 pipes, numerous percussions, and countless traps are masterfully presented by The Musical Staff who are world class musicians."

"In 1972, the original Organ Stop Pizza restaurant premiered in Phoenix, Arizona at the corner of 7th Street and Missouri Avenue with a Wurlitzer pipe organ which was originally built for Grauman’s Hollywood Egyptian Theater. This unique concept of a pizza parlor with a pipe organ was envisioned by William P. Brown, a Phoenix real estate developer whose enthusiasm for the theater pipe organ and its music led to the creation of this landmark attraction.
The phenomenal success of the Phoenix restaurant prompted plans to open another Organ Stop in Mesa. It opened in 1975 near the corner of Dobson and Southern Avenue with a Wurlitzer organ from the Denver Theater in Denver, Colorado. In the theater, the Denver instrument had 15 ranks, or sets of pipes. The instrument was totally rebuilt, and the decision was made to enlarge the organ to 23 ranks for its debut in the new Mesa Organ Stop."
"The success and popularity of the new Organ Stop Pizza mirrored that of the Phoenix location. In 1984, Bill Brown decided to retire from the restaurant business. The Phoenix Organ Stop was sold to a real estate developer, who sold the pipe organ and demolished the building in favor of an office complex. Incidentally, that instrument was sold to a couple in Downers Grove, Illinois, for installation in their home! The Mesa Organ Stop was sold to longtime employee and manager Mike Everitt and his business partner Brad Bishop. Under the new ownership, improvement of the pipe organ became a high priority. Over the course of the ensuing years, careful acquisition of rare pipework and percussions were made, culminating in what is now the largest Wurlitzer pipe organ in the world. With the change in ownership, the restaurant continued to gain in popularity. Inevitably plans were made to move into a facility twice the size of the original in order to accommodate the ever increasing number of patrons and ever-expanding organ. This new mega facility, located at the corner of Stapley Drive and Southern Avenue, was designed specifically to accommodate the expanding scope and size of the Organ Stop Wurlitzer. Construction of the new facility began in May of 1995 and the grand opening was Thanksgiving weekend of that same year."

Needless to say we were amazed at this wonderful music making machine. The music was so rich and full that it made your heart sore. Just like being at a symphony. You felt it in your chest. The pizza was great and they served beer on tap, including two of our favorites, Michelob Amber Bock and Twin Peaks Kiltlifter. Everything was very reasonably priced and was self-serve, cash only. A medium Pizza and 2 beer $30. Ray and I were enjoying our pizza 20 minutes after ordering. The seating consisted of long tables with benches that had the best view although you could go up into the balcony and sit in a proper chair. We stayed downstairs with a great view but could not stay too long with Ray's back situation.

Ray taking a picture of me from the balcony.

The organ comes up from under the floor with the organist. They have puppets, sing-a-longs and keep your thoroughly entertained. The whole front wall of the restaurant is the "pipes". The organist takes requests and plays a wide variety of music including old pop songs, like "Play that Funky Music". Ray and I will definitely visit this place again next year. What a memory.

View from the balcony of the whole wall of pipes.

There are all sizes of pipes behind the purple walls and smaller ones hanging from the ceiling.

The puppets above.

Some of the funky percussion instruments.

           These are the organ's baffles and they vibrate like crazy.

With full bellies off we went to the Arizona Mormon Temple. We arrived by about 6:45... good thing as we managed to get a parking spot close to the display. By the time we left an hour later, the place was packed. Note .... if you go to a light display get there just after dark before the majority of the people arrive!

The Mormon Temple display is really magical. Their gardens have groups of lights that mimic planted flowers. Pretty cool. They have concerts every evening by different groups. As this is a Mormon Church there were several religious displays including a huge Nativity Scene. Not that we are very religious, but it was nice to see the "Christ" in Christmas. 

As we were leaving the display we noticed this in the parking lot, taking people for light tours in the area. A great end to a great day and great week here at The Good Life RV Park.


  1. We've heard others rave about the Organ Pipe Pizza Stop...a must do the next time we're in the area. Great photos again Ray. Xmas lights can be so hard to capture without becoming blurry...for me anyway!

  2. Ray bought a carbon fiber tripod from London Drugs this summer that is very lightweight and that is the reason his Christmas Light pictures are so clear. He takes about 4 seconds for the shutter speed.