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PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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1 of 95  Thu 21st Jul 2011 4:40pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3861

We all miss aspects of our lives which are things of the past. You know how I miss steam on the railways, but we have to face the reality. It was too expensive to operate. The subject of cinemas brings almost a tear to me when I have stood watching a cinema organ being taken out to be scrapped. Sad There are about two hundred left now in the world, thats all. Only half a dozen of them are in their original building. Nowadays, I am lucky to find an organ in a church, as they are being scrapped at the same rate of knots. The organ in the Gaumont was similar to this in my pic, does anyone have any cinema organ pics from Coventry? The fact is that they are expensive to maintain, so they have to go. I have to face the facts, but it is very hard. Sad Just to explain, the cinema organs produced their sound from pipes, the same as a classical church organ, but in addition had a range of other instruments attached, all operated from the organ console by the organist. What you see in the photo is just the console. The body of the organ is elsewhere in the building, that's why they are so expensive to maintain. They are not just 'razamatazz' instruments. I tell you, to listen to one of the classical organists like Welsh born Dr. Carole Williams, or Jelani Eddington playing any of the great classical orchestrals, maybe with the accompaniment of classical pianist is nearly a wonder of the world. There are some examples on YouTube. Post moved from topic Coventry's cinemas, plus organs (theatre/church/etc) by Midland Red, 23rd Apr 2013 9:56 am
Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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2 of 95  Fri 22nd Jul 2011 5:50am  
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This link works by taking you to the selection page but I can't get it to work by just clicking on it. If you are able to watch & listen to the performance, please read some of the comments. I do not believe that any cinema organs remain in Coventry today, the nearest is preserved, near to the motor cycle museum close to Marston Green, where they do have concerts now & again.
Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
InnisRoad
Hessle
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3 of 95  Fri 22nd Jul 2011 8:40am  
Member: Joined Feb 2011  Total posts:130

The theatre organ console used to rise from the bowels of the thrust stage like the sword in the lake, accompanied by great cheers from the assembled matinee goers. I remember the one at the Empire, but my first matinees were at the Plaza. The great exponent of the day was Sandy McPherson, who played regularly on the radio in several guises, including "Chapel in the Valley" and could often be heard playing the BBC theatre organ, or the organ at Blackpool Tower.
Regards Innis Road

Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
Elaine
Coventry
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4 of 95  Fri 22nd Jul 2011 12:00pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2011  Total posts:68

I know someone in Coventry who has bought and is restoring a cinema organ, I can't remember where from though. I can find out though and send him the link to this discussion. He may be able to add something to it. Post moved from topic Coventry's cinemas, plus organs (theatre/church/etc) by Midland Red, 23rd Apr 2013 9:59 am
Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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5 of 95  Fri 22nd Jul 2011 3:44pm  
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On 22nd Jul 2011 12:00 pm, Elaine said: I know someone in Coventry who has bought and is restoring a cinema organ, I can't remember where from though. I can find out though and send him the link to this discussion. He may be able to add something to it.
That would be lovely, Thank you.
Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
TonyS
Coventry
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6 of 95  Sun 24th Jul 2011 7:01pm  
Off-topic / chat  

PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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7 of 95  Sun 24th Jul 2011 9:43pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3861

That was Phil Kelsall. He has been resident organist at the Tower since the late seventies. My wife calls him Mr. Rubber Legs. You might, when you see his heel & toe action on the pedals. There are loads of clips of him playing on YouTube and if you listen with Hi-Fi or earphones, you are nearly there. Thank you for that, Tony. In the fifties, there were at least five cinemas in Coventry with instruments like that one.
Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
Elaine
Coventry
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8 of 95  Wed 27th Jul 2011 4:04pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2011  Total posts:68

On 22nd Jul 2011 12:00 pm, Elaine said: I know someone in Coventry who has bought and is restoring a cinema organ, I can't remember where from though. I can find out though and send him the link to this discussion. He may be able to add something to it.
I am now at liberty to say that the ex-Savoy organ is being restored and installed at Warwick Road URC. If anyone would like more details of the person who is doing this, then I can pass on his email address by private message.
Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
K
Somewhere
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9 of 95  Thu 24th Nov 2011 4:57pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:567

There's quite a difference, though, Philip, between a church organ and a cinema (theatre) organ - the former has full ranks of pipes, and the latter used shared ranks; the church organ had a better quality of sound as a result. I own a Conn Theater 358, which although electronic, has a similar scheme to a pipe theatre organ - it has an oscillator for every note - but shares the electronic "ranks" just like a pipe organ, so reducing the amount of oscillators actually used. When it was new, about 35 years ago, you could buy three sets of small pipes for it, which stood on top, and were linked to the keyboard using solenoid valves. I love playing church organs, too (though I haven't played much for the last 7 years, even the Conn) and it used to be easy to get permission. But nowadays, unless you're known to the vicar, permission is almost always denied. In the past I played the gorgeous Norman and Beard organ in the large parish church in Aylsham, Norfolk Thumbs up Thumbs up Thumbs up but that was 25 years ago. Or more. If you don't mind me sending you a private e-mail, I can tell you an amusing story about playing the organ in our village.
Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
Ben10
Burntwood
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10 of 95  Thu 5th Apr 2012 8:54pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:2

Hi all, you may have read a post from Elaine regarding the ex-Savoy Wurlitzer organ. I am the co-owner of the organ now with a friend who lives in Coventry. We were wondering if anyone has any photographs of the organ or the cinema that we could see? It would be great to have some to accompany the organ as we have very little. Any stories of it too or even anyone out there who has once played the Wurlitzer . . . we would be very eager to hear from you. Regards, Ben
Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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11 of 95  Fri 6th Apr 2012 8:56am  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3861

Hi all Wave & Hi Ben10. Where is the organ now? Wave
Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
Ben10
Burntwood
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12 of 95  Fri 6th Apr 2012 11:34am  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:2

Philip, It's in Coventry safe and sound and is currently under restoration and will installed back into a Coventry location. Do you know of any photos anyone has?
Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
TonyS
Coventry
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13 of 95  Fri 6th Apr 2012 12:21pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2011  Total posts:1542

I guess thats "I'm not telling you" then! Thumbs up Only joking!
Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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14 of 95  Fri 6th Apr 2012 1:22pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3861

Hi all Wave The problem with these instruments is that nowdays they only survive with volunteers as they require a lot of space & skilled maintenance. That is why five have been thrown out of town halls recently. It is not just cinema organs either. It is becoming rare to find a classic pipe organ in a church these days, as they are being thrown out of churches for the same reason. Also, there is a shortage of proficient organists. I have officiated at two church services this morning, because there was no one else & I struggle to see the music. That is how bad it is. Sad
Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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15 of 95  Thu 11th Oct 2012 3:43pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3861

Hi all Wave Just spotted this in the Daily Mail. It is not Coventry, but I shall just pretend that it is. We had so many of these in our city fifty years ago. Wave
Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)

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