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Author Topic: Cinema organs.  (Read 24103 times)

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Barrowboy

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #32 on: June 01, 2014, 13:30:45 »
Jan, I'm pleased that Clive Polden could help you regarding the Majestic organ. I did meet George Blackmore (who is featured on one of the photos). In the 1930's he was a bright young local lad who won a scholarship to study organ at Rochester Cathedral. However, he was far more interested in the Compton installed, just down the road, in the Majestic. After a few private sessions learning the intricacies of the cinema organ, George became relief organist, then full time organist at the.Majestic.

In the 1970's Stan Port, bought the Compton organ from the Canterbury ABC cinema and installed it in the children's nursery he owned in Star Hill, Rochester. Stan was very proud of this instrument and held monthly organ concerts for the public. Who better to play at the opening concert than George Blackmore? I was lucky enough to be in the audience for this concert. The organ sounded great and George told many stories of his youth in Rochester. It was a great homecoming for him. The Stan Port concerts continued for many years until he sadly died. The organ was sold to a buying in Wales but, as far as I'm aware, has never been heard in public again. So, as you can see, George Blackmore has been associated with no less than three public organs in Rochester.

Best wishes to you Jan and all organ friends in Holland.

JanR

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #31 on: May 30, 2014, 18:47:09 »
Mr. Polden has sent me a couple of pictures of the Compton cinema organ. Wonderful pictures.
As promised I share with you those pictures.

Does anyone of you know someone who worked in that cinema or at the Compton organ ?
It would be most welcome to contact him or her. Maybe he or she can tell me more about this great cinema and organ.

Photos courtesy of Cinema Theatre Association Archive.
best wishes,
Jan.

JanR

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #30 on: May 29, 2014, 13:56:58 »
I've been in contact with the CTA Archivist, Clive Polden.

He sent me a couple of beautiful pictures of the Compton. If I have permission to publish the pictures I will post some of them.
I hope I also can be in contact with someone who worked at the Compton on the Majestic Theatre.

I have a lot of questions ;-)

JanR.

JanR

  • Guest
Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #29 on: May 13, 2014, 20:28:13 »
Barrowboy,

Many thanks for the pictures.
I recognize two of them but your version is better than mine.

Thanks also for your suggestions and information.
I will contact Mr. Polden

We love our Compton and it will be cherished  :)

JanR.

Barrowboy

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #28 on: May 13, 2014, 16:21:27 »
Sorry, I forgot to select the "more attachments" button. Here are the external shots of the Majestic / Gaumont / Odeon.

Barrowboy

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2014, 16:14:46 »
JanR, delighted to hear that the Rochester Compton is still singing in its new home in Holland. I have attached a few photos which you may find of interest. The exterior shots show the cinema in all its three guises, Majestic, Gaumont, then finally Odeon. The interior photo shows the organ in its "up" position and gives a fair view of the stalls area of the auditorium. I know that the Cinema Theatre Association carry an extensive collection of cinema photographs in their London archive. Although these are not viewable on-line at present, there is currently an ambitious project where all of this archive is being digitalized for on-line viewing. Can I suggest that you contact the CTA Archivist, Clive Polden via his e-mail address: cta-archive@hotmail.co.uk should you require further information.

Carry on the good work on the organ. Surprised, but pleased, that the Kent History Forum has spread its wings to Holland.

Barrowboy

JanR

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2014, 19:38:35 »
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.


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

I'm a man from Holland and am pleased to say that the Compton which is shipped to Holland still is fully operational.
Last year my friends and i completely restored the console and improved it.
I've made also two websites about this organ and the other cinema organs in the Netherlands.
The "Lady Compton" is now situated at Haarlem in a Streetorgan Museum.

If you want to have detailed information about the "Lady Compton" please let me now.

If you have information or pictures of this organ at Rochester and Orpington it would be most welcome.
But also pictures and information of the building itself would be interesting.

This Saturday, Eddie Ruhier will perform a spectacular concert on the Compton Cinema organ and in July, Len Rawle will give a wonderful concert.

For information: http://www.comptonhaarlem.nl and http://www.theaterorgel.nl

I hope we can help each other.
Regards,
Jan.

AntonioTyler

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2013, 16:40:20 »
From todays Dreamland Newsletter.

PROJECT UPDATE The Dreamland’s Grade II* listed cinema building is now beginning to shrug off its scaffold cloak; of particular interest is the fin which provides the backdrop to the Dreamland lettering.Thanet District Council have agreed funding to replace the existing lamps with led light, work which Coombs (Canterbury) Ltd. are undertaking. This means that the new lighting will be more energy efficient with minimal maintenance costs whilst providing a more robust and stable solution. We anticipate seeing the first 5 restored iconic signage letters on the Dreamland Cinema Building fin being test lit on Friday 16 December, 2011 – time to be confirmed – but no doubt after sun set. The sign will be lit nightly thereafter until Sunday, 1 January, 2012. A fantastic historic opportunity to capture the illuminated Dream coming true !Remaining works are progressing well, with the un seasonal mild weather enabling the external re-pointing and structural repairs to be pushed along, together with the replacement roof coverings.

The time is soon approaching when we will have power to the cinema organ, at which point we will be inviting David Wattenbach back to visit and report on its current condition.

John


Yes, new lighting is far more efficient and needs much less maintenance. Things are improving in the modern world:)

Yes lights have improved in last few years..

Offline colin haggart

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2013, 22:40:21 »
I'd love to hear and see it working, I wish I could be there when David tries it out.

AntonioTyler

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2013, 10:33:13 »
From todays Dreamland Newsletter.

PROJECT UPDATE The Dreamland’s Grade II* listed cinema building is now beginning to shrug off its scaffold cloak; of particular interest is the fin which provides the backdrop to the Dreamland lettering.Thanet District Council have agreed funding to replace the existing lamps with LED lighting, work which Coombs (Canterbury) Ltd. are undertaking. This means that the new lighting will be more energy efficient with minimal maintenance costs whilst providing a more robust and stable solution. We anticipate seeing the first 5 restored iconic signage letters on the Dreamland Cinema Building fin being test lit on Friday 16 December, 2011 – time to be confirmed – but no doubt after sun set. The sign will be lit nightly thereafter until Sunday, 1 January, 2012. A fantastic historic opportunity to capture the illuminated Dream coming true !Remaining works are progressing well, with the un seasonal mild weather enabling the external re-pointing and structural repairs to be pushed along, together with the replacement roof coverings.

The time is soon approaching when we will have power to the cinema organ, at which point we will be inviting David Wattenbach back to visit and report on its current condition.

John

Yes, new lighting is far more efficient and needs much less maintenance. Things are improving in the modern world:)

Offline JohnWalker

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2011, 13:21:39 »
From todays Dreamland Newsletter.

PROJECT UPDATE The Dreamland’s Grade II* listed cinema building is now beginning to shrug off its scaffold cloak; of particular interest is the fin which provides the backdrop to the Dreamland lettering.Thanet District Council have agreed funding to replace the existing lamps with LED lighting, work which Coombs (Canterbury) Ltd. are undertaking. This means that the new lighting will be more energy efficient with minimal maintenance costs whilst providing a more robust and stable solution. We anticipate seeing the first 5 restored iconic signage letters on the Dreamland Cinema Building fin being test lit on Friday 16 December, 2011 – time to be confirmed – but no doubt after sun set. The sign will be lit nightly thereafter until Sunday, 1 January, 2012. A fantastic historic opportunity to capture the illuminated Dream coming true !Remaining works are progressing well, with the unseasonal mild weather enabling the external re-pointing and structural repairs to be pushed along, together with the replacement roof coverings.

The time is soon approaching when we will have power to the cinema organ, at which point we will be inviting David Wattenbach back to visit and report on its current condition.

John

Offline Bryn Clinch

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2011, 10:03:07 »
Keep an eye on the progress of the Margate Dreamland Restoration. If they complete the job, then the Compton Organ could play again.

I want to have a go on it.

Me too, colin haggart! There`s another big organ in Dover Town Hall that hasn`t spoken for years, a four manual concert organ and larger than the Dreamland Compton. There are proposals to restore it, but the anti-brigade reckon that nobody will want to play it. Can you believe that? If Margate can do it, surely Dover can!

Offline colin haggart

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2011, 21:44:52 »
Keep an eye on the progress of the Margate Dreamland Restoration. If they complete the job, then the Compton Organ could play again.

I want to have a go on it.

Rochester-bred

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2011, 17:35:23 »
Back in the early 80s there was an elderly taxi driver in Chatham/Rochester who used to play organ music in his cab and i can remember many a night coming home in the wee hours from work and sitting listening to the music in his cab till a piece had ended, Was lovely.

Offline Bryn Clinch

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Re: Cinema organs.
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2011, 15:52:18 »
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

Thanks for that, man-of-kent! It took me back a `few` years as, when I was in my `teens, I had the opportunity to play this organ. Came up on the console lift to the `Dambuster`s March`. Used the drum roll and cymbals - an experience I`ve never forgotten. Your link mentioned the problems with the piano attachment - it didn`t work when I tried it. The Manager told me that a trumpet rank had been removed and installed in the big Christie (Hill, Norman & Beard) organ in the Dome, Brighton. I`ve tried to get confirmation of this but nobody seems to know anything about it. It was a long, long time ago. Happy days!

 

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