The largest cinema organ ever installed in Europe finds a new home in the East End
East London’s Troxy venue is set to recreate its glory days by providing a home for a cinema organ which was originally created in 1930.
The largest Wurlitzer pipe organ ever installed in a European cinema will find a new home in the art-deco building in Commercial Road, itself a cinema until 1960 showing films from “King Kong” to “The Siege of Sidney Street”.
The four keyboard organ, which uses 1,500 pipes which will also be restored on either side of the Troxy stage, began life at the former Trocadeo cinema at the Elephant & Castle.
But its saviours, the Cinema Organ Society, still need funds for the restoration, which will cost �240,000 to complete and are holding an open day at the Troxy on April 9 to show off the organ console and give guided tours of the theatre.
Their chairman, Simon Gledhill, said: “The Troxy will create a landmark theatre organ venue in this country.
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“For the first time in many years, it will be possible to experience the magical sound of a large Wurlitzer organ speaking into a super cinema auditorium.” The organ was saved by the society when the Trocadero was demolished in the 1960s and in the 1970s was installed at the South Bank University close to its original home where it remained until 2004.
The Troxy and the Trocadero were both the brainchilds of entrepreneurs the Hyams brothers and the Troxy used to have its own organ.
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Once its days as a cinema came to an end, it was used as the London Opera Centre and as a bingo hall.
Deepak Sharma, the managing director of Troxy owner’s Ashburn Estates, said: “It will be wonderful to see something as grand as this at the venue.”
In the heyday of silent films, cinema organs differed from church varieties because they were voiced to mimic orchestral instruments and had their own percussion.
The society and the Troxy owners plan to hold special events to showcase the instrument once the installation is complete.
Entry to the open day is free but a donation of �3 is recommended.
For further information, visit trocadero-wurlitzer.org.