Collection Spotlight

​1928 Dual Turntable

Years before DJs were mixing beats at parties in the Bronx, the double turntable was used in a distinctly different setting—the movie theater. In 1929, following the advent of sound pictures, many movie theaters fired their musicians. However, there weren’t enough talkies to fill out a full roster and theaters still had to play some silent films.

The solution? Recorded music and sound effects to accompany those silent pictures. Using dual turntables, projectionists could fade the output from one turntable to the other, creating a (mostly) seamless cascade of sound to accompany the previously silent picture.

As sound pictures became predominant, the dual turntable’s role quickly diminished—only to return decades later as the Hip-Hop DJ’s instrument of choice.

Don’t miss the chance to see one of these vintage dual turntables—a model from 1928 that is part of OMCA’s collection—on display in RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom


Photography: Courtesy of the Oakland Museum of California (1928 dual turntable).

RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom is supported in part by the Oakland Museum Women’s Board and members of the Donor Forum.

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