Gerry Marian | St. Louis Public Radio

Gerry Marian

Gerry Marian, who plays the organ at Chase Park Plaza Cinemas, looks at the screen while rehearsing. This weekend, Marian will perform an original live score during showings of "The Phantom of the Opera." Oct. 22, 2019
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On a Thursday evening at the Chase Park Plaza Cinemas, the 7:10 screening of new Disney film “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” is still a good 20 minutes away. But in a sense, the night’s special feature has already begun. 

Attired neatly in a white sportcoat and dark pants, seated at an electric Conn 652 organ just off to the side of the screen, Gerry Marian plays “One,” from the Broadway musical “A Chorus Line.” 

For these few minutes a night, he pumps life into a vanishing art form. Audience members are still quietly shuffling into the theater, holding popcorn and sodas. Some are paying close attention to the pre-show music. Others chat or look down at their phones. 

Marian’s nametag displays his one-word job title: organist.