Scene from the documentary film "The Doors: Break On Thru...

 Scene from the documentary film "The Doors: Break On Thru - A Celebration Of Ray Manzarek." Credit: Henry Diltz

Few sounds from the 1960s are as recognizable as that of the Vox Continental organ, and few musicians played the instrument quite like Ray Manzarek of the Doors. Fans of the late keyboardist can keep his spirit alive at screenings of "The Doors: Break on Thru — a Celebration of Ray Manzarek," which arrives in theaters nationwide Feb. 12, which would have been Manzarek's 81st birthday.

The film will screen locally at several venues, including Huntington's Cinema Arts Centre, Holtsville's Showcase Island 16, Showcase Farmingdale and Westbury Stadium 12.

Billed as a hybrid documentary/concert film, "Break on Thru" captures a tribute concert for Manzarek that was staged at Los Angeles' Fonda Theater on his birthday in 2016. (Manzarek died in 2013.) The Doors' two surviving members, drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger, spearheaded the event and called on a wide range of musicians. A clip from the film features a rendition of "Love Me Two Times" played by Densmore, Krieger, Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots on bass, Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters on vocals and his longtime bandmate Rami Jafee on keyboards. Other musical guests included Warren Haynes of the Allman Brothers Band, Stephen Perkins of Jane's Addiction and John Doe and Exene Cervenka of X.

Manzarek was a founding member of the Doors, having met Jim Morrison in the mid-1960s while the two were studying film at UCLA. During a chance reunion on Venice Beach, Morrison sang Manzarek several original songs, including "Moonlight Drive," and the two decided to form a musical partnership. The moment was made famous in Oliver Stone's 1991 film "The Doors," which featured Val Kilmer as Morrison and Kyle MacLachlan as a bespectacled Manzarek.

While many bands of the '60s favored the baroque sound of an electronic organ — from the Animals to Iron Butterfly to ? and the Mysterians — Manzarek added a unique twist. Because the Doors had no bassist, during live shows he often played the bass line on a Fender organ with one hand and the main keyboard parts with the other. Manzarek's versatility helped define such classic Doors tracks as "Riders on the Storm," "Break on Through (To the Other Side)" and the No. 1 hit "Light My Fire."

“I don’t want to get emotional,” Densmore says in the film, according to Rolling Stone. “I’ve been listening to Ray’s playing ever since he passed, and [I’m] just amazed by his ability to split his mind into two musicians — bass player and keys — and all of these licks. So gifted, so unique. There’s no one like him.”

For tickets and information on "Break on Thru," go to

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