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Author Topic: Cinema organs.  (Read 20408 times)

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Offline CDP

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2011, 11:32:23 »
There are many "  ..... organ club  " in existence with many elderly? professionals who play the circuits around England. Would these clubs or the organists know what happened to these organs. Just a thought ! There is an Organ Club in Sheerness and in Sittingbourne.
The solution to every problem is a.) time , or  b.) another problem.

Offline man-of-kent

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2011, 21:30:18 »
Keep an eye on the progress of the Margate Dreamland Restoration. If they complete the job, then the Compton Organ could play again.
Derek Brice

Offline JohnWalker

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2011, 19:23:11 »
Barrowboy to the rescue! Bryn, you are correct regarding the Ritz, Chatham, this organ is now in the Buttermarket at Shewsbury - although the building is in receivership and the organs future is in doubt. The Gaumont, Chatham Compton organ was unfortunately scrapped in 1961 when the cinema was converted into a bowling alley. The Regent (Odeon) Chatham was never fitted with an organ - although provision was made. It is quite possible that this was due to flooding issues. The Rochester Majestic/Gaumont/Odeon, had a lovely Compton which was removed in 1961 and installed in a church in Orpington. This was later removed and shipped to Holland. For many years Medway folk could still enjoy cinema organ music at the Rochester Organ Studio on Star Hill. The Ex ABC Canterbury organ was installed in the childrens nursery here and regular Sunday afternoon concerts were held. Sadly after the owner's (Stan Port) death the organ was split up, never to be heard again.

I have quite a collection of organ literature and would be happy to look up details in other areas of Kent for Forum members.

Hi all

I am the son-in-law of Stan Port, and I can report that his Compton organ was sold to a Cinema Organ collector in North West Wales and as far as I am aware is in safe hands. I am certain I can find out exactly where it is from his daughter who was responsible for the sale.  

Ray Johnston

Interesting information rayjohnston.  The first film I ever saw was at the ABC Canterbury - Wizard of Oz - around 1952/3 I think.

I remember the organ and was totally fascinated by it.  If I remember correctly there were various instruments behind a high level art deco style grill on the left and percussion on the right.  Would love to hear a cinema organ again some time.  Not sure if any still left in Kent that are played.

John

Offline man-of-kent

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2011, 18:24:04 »
In case anyone didn't know, this is what happened to the Christie organ that was in the Granada Maidstone.
http://www.theatreorgans.com/southerncross/Queensland/KelvinGrove.htm
Derek Brice

Offline Bryn Clinch

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2011, 13:39:55 »
That`s good news, rayjohnston. I`m sure many people would be interested in the organ`s whereabouts.

rayjohnston

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2011, 16:22:31 »
Barrowboy to the rescue! Bryn, you are correct regarding the Ritz, Chatham, this organ is now in the Buttermarket at Shewsbury - although the building is in receivership and the organs future is in doubt. The Gaumont, Chatham Compton organ was unfortunately scrapped in 1961 when the cinema was converted into a bowling alley. The Regent (Odeon) Chatham was never fitted with an organ - although provision was made. It is quite possible that this was due to flooding issues. The Rochester Majestic/Gaumont/Odeon, had a lovely Compton which was removed in 1961 and installed in a church in Orpington. This was later removed and shipped to Holland. For many years Medway folk could still enjoy cinema organ music at the Rochester Organ Studio on Star Hill. The Ex ABC Canterbury organ was installed in the childrens nursery here and regular Sunday afternoon concerts were held. Sadly after the owner's (Stan Port) death the organ was split up, never to be heard again.

I have quite a collection of organ literature and would be happy to look up details in other areas of Kent for Forum members.

Hi all

I am the son-in-law of Stan Port, and I can report that his Compton organ was sold to a Cinema Organ collector in North West Wales and as far as I am aware is in safe hands. I am certain I can find out exactly where it is from his daughter who was responsible for the sale. 

Ray Johnston

Offline Barrowboy

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2011, 11:35:15 »
Bryn, I did not know that an ex-cinema organ was installed in Christchurch, Canterbury. I must look into that.

Further to my earlier posting, I had stirred a few memories on another internet site. One contributor has posted this somewhat "atmospheric" account of visiting the organ dealer which stripped the Christie from the Granada/ABC Dover:

A visit to Monk & Gunthers was quite an experience.


They were in an old terrace property with an undistinguished door in darkest old London Town. One could only suspect that they had something to do with organs by a battered row of pipes hanging squint above the threshold (Probably damaged in the Blitz). Once the bell was rung it took a long time for someone to answer.  It was like entering the haunted mansion complete with creaky door which only opened wide enough to let you side-in sideways due to the fact that the walls were lined, on both sides, with various sets of pipes. In fact the whole place was full of complete and remains of organs, with only enough room to carefully pick you way down the middle of the floor. Very much reminicent of a scene from a black and white Dickens film or Harry Potter set. Mr Monk and Mr Gunther were very friendly but mysterious characters. My most vivid memory was of the Melotone horns hanging from the rafters of their large sheds round the back. There must have been a dozen at least. The poor Christie consoles and a Morris car entombed amongst enormous piles of newspapers. Compton Cinema Organ consoles were lurking round every corner and a very strange organ was set-up, which played two notes for every pipe. Apparently this was some peculiar patent that M&G had tried. They must have removed more Christie and Comptons than any other company plus the occasional Wurlitzer. When both the fathers died the death duties crippled the business forcing the sons to sell-up and move. It was quite hard to buy anything, as their stock answer was " Give us some time to look out the parts". This meant weeks or months. Not much good when you'd travelled a long distance to see them. As this a part of Cinema Organ history, the likes of which we are unlikely to see again, anyone else who was the dubious honour of getting inside should share their experiences too.

Regards, Barrowboy



Offline Bryn Clinch

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2011, 17:11:11 »
That`s a sad story, Barrowboy. Did you know about this one that was `saved`, if only partially?

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=N14674

Offline Barrowboy

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2011, 15:50:15 »
I now have a little more information regarding the Granada Dover organ. It seems to confirm that the organ was removed and broken down to be sold as spares:

From my records the organ was removed and broken down by Monk & Gunther of Bruce Grove in the 1950's.


Recently the sons, now at Enfield, were selling-off Christie parts and one of these was the Tibia from the Granada.


Don't know if anyone bought this but I purchased the one from Rivoli Souhend which was a metal rank and its' chest stamped 2713.


Christie consoles were stacked outside under a lean-to. They were piled three high. One day they burnt them all.


If only I'd had a camera.

As a point of interest, these organs were stripped out of cinemas in their 100's during the late 50's early 60's and could be purchased very cheaply - if only the purchaser had the room to instal them. They now occassionaly turn up on e-bay and go for a song (sorry, couldn't resist that pun).

Deano

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2011, 19:59:21 »
Although the Sittingbourne Flicks was well out of date,
 i wish there was a nearer picturehouse now it has closed

Offline Barrowboy

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2011, 12:34:56 »
The only information I have, from the British Installation List, is that the 3 manual, 7 rank (sets of pipes) Christie was removed in the 1950's and broken down for re-use. I have posted a plea for information on the Yahoo Cinema Organ group and await a response. Hopefully, I will come back with some more news at a later date.

Offline jpdeejay

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2011, 10:08:58 »
If only we knew who that organ enthusiast was, maybe we need a time machine to go back!!!!!

Offline Bryn Clinch

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2011, 08:43:58 »
The only information that I know is that it was sold to an organ enthusiast. Help!!!! Barrowboy.

Offline Andyb

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2011, 19:38:44 »
JPDeejay and I have been searching for years of any bits of the Christie 3 Manual organ that was removed in 1960, from the Granada Cinema Castle street Dover, but alas after many hours no luck..........................
Metiri est cognoscere

Offline Barrowboy

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2011, 09:45:21 »
Barrowboy to the rescue! Bryn, you are correct regarding the Ritz, Chatham, this organ is now in the Buttermarket at Shewsbury - although the building is in receivership and the organs future is in doubt. The Gaumont, Chatham Compton organ was unfortunately scrapped in 1961 when the cinema was converted into a bowling alley. The Regent (Odeon) Chatham was never fitted with an organ - although provision was made. It is quite possible that this was due to flooding issues. The Rochester Majestic/Gaumont/Odeon, had a lovely Compton which was removed in 1961 and installed in a church in Orpington. This was later removed and shipped to Holland. For many years Medway folk could still enjoy cinema organ music at the Rochester Organ Studio on Star Hill. The Ex ABC Canterbury organ was installed in the childrens nursery here and regular Sunday afternoon concerts were held. Sadly after the owner's (Stan Port) death the organ was split up, never to be heard again.

I have quite a collection of organ literature and would be happy to look up details in other areas of Kent for Forum members.

 

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