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PhiliPamInCoventry
Holbrooks
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1 of 126  Thu 21st Jul 2011 4:40pm  
Moderator, : Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3895

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.
Sport, Music and Leisure - Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
PhiliPamInCoventry
Holbrooks
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2 of 126  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.
Sport, Music and Leisure - Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
InnisRoad
Hessle
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3 of 126  Fri 22nd Jul 2011 8:40am  
: Joined Feb 2011  Total posts:101

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

Sport, Music and Leisure - Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
Elaine
Coventry
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4 of 126  Fri 22nd Jul 2011 12:00pm  
: Joined Feb 2011  Total posts:59

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.
Sport, Music and Leisure - Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
PhiliPamInCoventry
Holbrooks
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5 of 126  Fri 22nd Jul 2011 3:44pm  
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That would be lovely. Thank you.
Sport, Music and Leisure - Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
TonyS
6 of 126  Sun 24th Jul 2011 7:01pm  
Off-topic / chat  

PhiliPamInCoventry
Holbrooks
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7 of 126  Sun 24th Jul 2011 9:43pm  
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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.
Sport, Music and Leisure - Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
Elaine
Coventry
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8 of 126  Wed 27th Jul 2011 4:04pm  
: Joined Feb 2011  Total posts:59

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.
Sport, Music and Leisure - Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
K
Somewhere
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9 of 126  Thu 24th Nov 2011 4:57pm  
: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:510

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.
Sport, Music and Leisure - Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
PhiliPamInCoventry
Holbrooks
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10 of 126  Fri 9th Mar 2012 3:09pm  
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Hi all Wave There are so many places & venues where I would love to meet you all, but sadly they no longer exist. Sad With the aid of pictures and recalled accounts from members of our site on here, we can enjoy Big grin the reminiscence in our minds, even if the Gaumont cinema is no longer in existance. Some things are complex and are difficult to describe where the concept is so far in the past. Those of you who are able to use your stereo earphones or have your pc attached to your Hi-Fi, (hey there's an expression from the past) might like this. It's a cinema organ being played by people that I know well, but I like it because you see something of the works as the tune is being played. No, it is not in Coventry, but sixty years ago there were at least a dozen of these instruments being played every week in our city. So, relax, put your feet up & your headphones on & watch & listen to this. I do hope that you like. Simon Gledhill and Richard Hills play 'Spectre on the Spree!' & if you like that, finish off with this. Richard Hills plays Tiger Rag Friday night was music night at the Albany pub for me in the seventies. We did not have one of these monsters though. Wave So I have to pretend too. Big grin
Sport, Music and Leisure - Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
PhiliPamInCoventry
Holbrooks
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11 of 126  Fri 16th Mar 2012 11:32pm  
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Hi all Wave Following on from my last post, anyone would think that the only organists in the world are all male. One of the finest organists that I have ever had the pleasure to listen too is Welsh born Carole Williams, who is currently organists in San Diego, but still completes world tours. She has played in Coventry & Birmingham. I include a link to her practice performance on the largest organ in Russia. I hope that you will enjoy this. Carol Williams on the largest organ in Russia Wave I can't show off these fabulous organs & not include right on our doorstep, our own Cathedral organ. So to finish of this Friday night: Toccata and Fugue in D minor Also from Coventry Cathedral with pictures Alistair Reid plays Praeludium in C by Dietrich Buxtehude Wave
Sport, Music and Leisure - Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
Ben10
Burntwood
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12 of 126  Thu 5th Apr 2012 8:54pm  
: 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
Sport, Music and Leisure - Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
PhiliPamInCoventry
Holbrooks
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13 of 126  Fri 6th Apr 2012 8:56am  
Moderator, : Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3895

Hi all Wave & Hi Ben10. Where is the organ now? Wave
Sport, Music and Leisure - Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
Ben10
Burntwood
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14 of 126  Fri 6th Apr 2012 11:34am  
: 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?
Sport, Music and Leisure - Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)
TonyS
Coventry
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15 of 126  Fri 6th Apr 2012 12:21pm  
: Joined Jan 2011  Total posts:1238

I guess thats "I'm not telling you" then! Thumbs up Only joking!
Sport, Music and Leisure - Organs (cinema, theatre, church, etc)

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