Bill Campbell is currently the organist for the Paramount Iceland Skating Rink located in Paramount, California. He provides music for special occasions and regular open skating sessions each week. The Iceland Rink is a local landmark which opened about 75 years ago in suburban Los Angeles, California. The organ is a 3 manual 19 rank Wurlitzer, which was originally installed in a theater in San Jose, California. The organ was moved to Paramount in the 1940’s and to the best of our knowledge is the only pipe organ being played in the United States for ice skating. Beyond this fact, the owners of the rink are the Zamboni family, inventors of the ice smoothing machine. Their machine is sold worldwide to arenas to clean up the ice during hockey games and skating exhibitions.
Bill has been a very active member of the American Theatre Organ Society for more than forty years. Originally a member of the Dairyland Theatre Organ Society in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he began his theatre organ playing career as the organist at the Avalon Theatre in Milwaukee in the 1970’s while attending high school. He was the movie organist and played weekends before some of the era’s most famous films such as The Longest Yard, Tommy, The Amityville Horror, The Exorcist, and Titanic. His musical preludes to the movies always included selections from the movies whenever possible. His association with the theatre lasted until the theatre finally closed its doors in 1999.
In the mid-1990’s, Bill’s love of theatre organ was reflected in the only recording to have been produced at the Avalon’s 3/28 Wurlitzer, Avalon, Volume 1, which received a great review from the Theatre Organ Journal.
In addition to appearing at the Avalon Theatre, Bill also spent about ten years as a Pizza Parlor Organist in Milwaukee appearing at the Pipe Organ Pizza and Piper Music Palace.
Bill’s theatre organ concert experience extends from concerts on the East Coast, having performed many times at the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda, New York, to appearances for the Land of Lincoln Theatre Organ Society at the Coronado Theatre in Rockford, Illinois, and Dairyland Theatre Organ Society in Milwaukee. When Bill’s full-time career as a computer professional changed and he moved to the West Coast in 2004, he continued to perform at venues on the West Coast. These included performing for the Wurlitzer Weekend in 2009 at the Paramount Ice Rink, the Los Angeles Orpheum Theatre historical tours, Orange County Theatre Organ Society at Fullerton Auditorium, South Pasadena High School, annual concerts for the Valley Organ Society in Los Angeles, and the Allen Organ Club of San Diego. Recent concerts have taken him from the Trinity Facility in San Diego to the Arlington in Santa Barbara and to Saltaire Victoria Hall in England.
In all of his concerts, Bill likes to present a variety of music from different time periods which reflect some of America’s most famous composers. A typical program may include selections from Irving Berlin, Cole Porter or George Gershwin. He’s always on the lookout for new selections that can be adapted to the theatre organ.
As a member of the American Theatre Organ Society, Bill has taken an active role in many annual ATOS conventions. He has fulfilled many roles including Treasurer, Transportation Chairman, and Chairman/President of the conventions hosted in Milwaukee in 2000 and again in 2004. On a local level, Bill served a two-year term as the President and Chairman of the Los Angeles Theatre Organ Society.