Press Photo

Playhouse Cinema

Opened: 18th June 1929 by James I. Taylor

Manufacturer: Compton (A26)

Size: 2 Manuals, 5 Ranks

Ranks: Saxophone, Tibia, Viole, Stopped Flute, Vox Humana


1912: The theatre was opened on 14th August.

1929: The building was acquired by Mr Walter Bently and on the 18th June the organ was opened by James I. Taylor who worked for Compton

1934: This seems to be the last time the organ was played.

1935: The Union Cinemas chain took over in November

1946: Following the war the cinema was re-opened 1st April by the Essoldo Cinemas chain.

1962: The Playhouse Cinema was closed on 26th August.

1963: The Building was demolished in May. Thankfully Ricky managed to save the Stopped Flute and a few other parts from the organ before the rest was scrapped.


Harold Meredith – August – October 1929

Thomas Dooley – October – November 1929

Cyril Birmingham – July 1934

1929 Newspaper advert
Original time sheet


Not much is known about the organ at the Playhouse. The press photo above was not the console that was actually used, the main difference being the actual organ had no thumb pistons.

The organ had one tremulant which was placed outside the chamber, this did not go down well with nearby houses and so a silencing box had to be built.

The 16ft Tibia was in-fact a diaphone consisting of only 6 pipes with flaps to alter the pitch instead of 12 individual pipes.

The Saxophone was most likely a French Horn.