ALEXANDRIA, Ind. — George Smith remembers raising money to refurbish the Paramount Theatre’s Grand Page Theatre Pipe Organ, and now he’s using it to make more repairs to the historic building.
Smith will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday to raise money for repairs to the theater’s gift shop after a water pipe burst earlier this winter. The $5 for admissions will also go toward general maintenance.
“He’s a treasure, as is the Page Organ,” Paramount Executive Director Gayle Jones Burris said. “He and (his wife) Norma have adopted the Paramount and the organ.”
Smith, who is the owner of George Smith Music, said he’ll perform a variety of music, including show music, tangos, soft music and a lot of “peppy” music.
“Boogies are my specialty,” he said.
Smith has been involved with the Paramount for years, and normally holds a fundraising concert at the theater at least once a year. He normally does a show to kick off the Christmas season, but he also steps in to perform if the Paramount has a major need, like when it needed a new roof several years ago.
He said he helped raise about $100,000 to refurbish the Page Pipe Organ in the early ‘90s and he’s helped bring in probably an additional $100,000 in the last 20 years.
Burris said some people were disappointed at Smith’s last concert because he had other performers and they thought he’d be solo. She assured his fans that this time it would be just him and the instrument he loves so much.
The musician is so involved with the Paramount that his wife threw him a surprise 80th birthday party there a few weeks ago, in the very room that now needs repairs.
Smith said as long as he can play, he’ll continue performing to raise money for the Paramount.