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Atlantic City NJ Boardwalk Hall Auditorium Organ Tour The Largest Musical Instrument on Earth!

Posted on: June 22, 2018

What is one to do on a rainy day at the Jersey Shore, especially if you’re of the Retro Roadmap mindset? There’s only so much salt water taffy you can eat, after all.

Mod Betty suggests heading to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City for a tour of this National Historic Landmark AND the largest musical instrument on earth – the Boardwalk Hall Auditorium Organ!

Boardwalk Hall Atlantic City NJ Retro Roadamp

Opened in 1929 for the 75th anniversary of the founding of Atlantic City (and the 50th anniversary of Edison’s light bulb) the building is a sight to behold from the boardwalk itself, but moreso once you get inside.

Atlantic City NJ Boardwalk Hall Organ Retro Roadmap

Don’t worry if you don’t have tickets to an event, as there are 2 free ways to go inside and appreciate this gem.

Between May and September there are free ½ hour concerts on the Boardwalk Hall pipe organ and tours given, starting at noon Monday through Friday.

Boardwalk Hall Atlantic City NJ Retro Roadamp

Here below the giant barrel-vault ceiling you will hear the giant pipe organ come to life, while seated in the auditorium that has been graced by luminaries like The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi*

Boardwalk Hall Atlantic City NJ Retro Roadamp

If you want more than that – and I bet you do, since you’re a Retro Roadmapper, plan your visit for a Wednesday. Year ‘round starting at 10am they offer a free 2 hour in-depth tour of not just the building but behind the scenes in the organ itself!

Boardwalk Hall Atlantic City NJ Retro RoadampIt is so huge you’re able to climb around the various pipes and even go onstage where Miss America has trod for many years.

Boardwalk Hall Atlantic City NJ Retro Roadamp

*Speaking of Bon Jovi, Mod Betty was at this auditorium in 2006 to see them – which, if you know Mod Betty is highly out of character. But you see, Retro Roadhusband ( Cliff Hillis ) was in a band ( IKE ) who won a contest to open up for JBJ – and they even got to meet him and the band backstage!

Cliff Hillis Bon Jovi 2006 Boardwalk Hall Atlantic City NJ Retro Roadamp

That’s Retro Roadhusband Cliff Hillis to Jon Bon Jovi’s left, trying to act nonchalant!

It was funny to be on the backstage tour and suddenly realize that was where this photo was taken. We still talk about the catering that night – “crabcakes the size of softballs!” – and I did walk across the stage humming “Here she is, Miss America….” before soundcheck. Oh I love it when Rock and Roll and Retro Roadmap collide!

Boardwalk Hall Atlantic City NJ Retro Roadamp

Now, a few notes about the tours:

They are free but please make a donation! It’s the right thing to do, and your money goes towards restoring the pipe organ.

Parking is available below the building for a fee, enter on the Mississippi Avenue side. Cash only!

Note The 2 hour tour has a lot of walking / climbing, there is an alternate route if you don’t want to do that. If this is a concern, call them beforehand.