Encore for the Mighty Organ

1973

Anglia Television programme examining the renewed interest in the cinema organ.

David Geary narrates an Anglia Television documentary tracing the resurgent interest in 'that gaudy, illuminated one man band', the cinema organ. Across East Anglia, enthusiasts take their passion to great lengths, with restored organs taking pride of place in the most unusual of locations. Following an introduction by Cinema Organ Society secretary Tony Moss about the 'very special magic' of organs in an age of 'canned' entertainment, the tour begins in the living room of David England's family home in Diss, which was built especially to house the workings of his Wurlitzer organ. Also in Diss, the Kitchen Brothers motor garage holds the third largest Wurlitzer in Europe, whilst James Crampton's water mill at Oxnead in rural Norfolk houses the former Wurlitzer of the Regal Cinema in Colchester. The cinema organ was developed from the humble church organ by a telephone engineer from Cheshire named Robert Hope-Jones, who moved to the United States and joined forces with Rudolf Wurlitzer. Film music veterans Florence De Jong and Ena Baga share memories of early organ and piano accompaniment and perform on a piano. Also visited is the Castle Hill United Reformed Church, which houses the Ipswich Light Organ Music Society's Christie organ, an organ installed in the gymnasium of the Taverham Hall School in Norfolk and the Compton organ used to lead singalongs in the Plough Inn at Great Munford in Hertfordshire.

Featured Buildings

Castle Hill United Reform Church, Ipswich; Oxnead Water Mill; Taverham Hall School; The Plough Inn, Great Munden

Keywords

Cinema organs; Music; Organs

Other Places

Diss, Norfolk; Great Munford, Hertfordshire; Ipswich, Suffolk; Oxnead, Norfolk; Taverham, Norfolk

  • Production company : Anglia Television

  • Director : Harry Aldous

  • Script : Ron Olsen

  • Narrator : David Geary

  • Camera : Ian Craig

  • Camera : David Pearce

  • Sound : Dennis Arundell

  • Sound : Tony Sercombe

  • Sound : Charles Earl (Dubbing Mixer)

  • Editor : Michael O'Halloran

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