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Yes this is correct that the Tesco Metro have converted the original building.Its been a tesco since i moved to the area in 1986.
The Wurlitzer was of course a 2/10 and on perusing the photos on Flickr it appears that the organ chamber shutters are still in place.Very odd when the organ is up and playing at Cotton in Suffolk.
Ive worked at the Apollo a few times installing plasma screens.It was odd knowing that i was working where the stalls once were.Ive attached a couple of pictures of the Plaza WurliTzer-one in the pit at the Plaza and the other at its first home in Ascot after being removed.The organ had an odd start to life.,the chambers were split either side of the proscenium.The solo organ and the 32Diaphone disturbed nearby offices.The Solo organ was then moved up into the roof speaking out from above the proscenium which made it sound rather odd.The Diaphones were disconnected and it is believed left in the theatre in the roof space when the organ was removed.My guess is that they were broken up when the building was converted.Im presuming that the roof was taken off?
Diaphone disturbed nearby offices.The Solo organ was then moved up into the roof speaking out from above the proscenium which made it sound rather odd.The Diaphones were disconnected and it is believed left in the theatre in the roof space when the organ was removed.My guess is that they were broken up when the building was converted.I
Seems to me that anything of any interest in this place has been swept away years ago.Looking at the photo of it as built-what a fantastic building but its been butchered beyond recognition now.Other big buildings such as the opera House,the Grand and the old Odeon (Funny girls) or now more worthy of listing.
The basis of the organ is i believe in a church in the midlands with the console reduced to two manuals and church pipework substituted for the the original.
The Ritz was destined to be their new flagship cinema ,but the untimely death of David Bernard put paid to that.The stage end of the theatre that was still under construction was hurredly finished off with a wall behind the proscenium and no stage facilities.A 3/16 WurliTzer organ was cancelled and the organ (a 3/8)destined for the Ritz Wigan was installed in its place.The organ is now in Sydney Australia.
The 2nd grand Compton was removed in the 1990`s and reinstalled in a music room in Tarleton-about 7-8 miles outside Southport.Oddly enough ,the first Compton is now being installed in Hesketh Bank(previous at Chorley Town Hall)which is an adjoining Parish.so now both grand organs are now within a couple of miles of each other!
The Compton organ was removed and eventually installed in the home of Manchester organist Joyce Alldred (who also had the Grand Southport organ in their organ shop).It was then sold to a Cheshire Farmer and the last i heard was in store awaiting installation.The console was Comptons take on the wurlitzer french style.This organ also had a French Trumpet of 37 notes.
The Regent WurliTzer was a style 165 X (2 manual six sets of pipes)which was quite rare.It means that its pipework was divided into two chambers one above the other on the right hand sidewall.It was removed in the early sixties or even 1959 and the chambers were used for air conditioning.This was broken up for parts although the little French console was paired up with a similar organ at from the Gaumont Exeter.This organ lost its console during the war.It now resides-ipswich console and Exeter pipework at the Burtey Fen collection in Pinchbeck,Lincolnshire.
in fact the Wurlitzer wasnt broken up for parts.It was Cherry picked and the Music desk,Grand piano,Brass Saxaphone and Tibia Clausa went onto different organs.It was removed by the Cadence musical instrument Coand then sold onto Arthur Turner of Scarborough who installed it in the Hollywood cinema there-although his organ building skills were questionable.After his death,it was sold and is now awaiting installation in i believe Bexhill.The British Home Stores cafe now sits where the stage and Orchestra pit used to be and i often think back whilst drinking my Earl Gray!.