The recently installed Wurlitzer organ at Victoria Hall

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Cinema Organ Society - Northern District

Telephone Number :  0845 400 2208

Email address :

Website :

Contact name :  Richard Stephenson

Venue address : Victoria Hall, Victoria Road, Saltaire, West Yorkshire, BD18 3JS

About Cinema Organ Society - Northern District

We are delighted to welcome friends old and new to our friendly events of wonderful live music, played on our superb Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ.

Concerts are generally held on Sundays, starting at 2.30pm (doors open 2pm).  Admission is normally £12, with under 18s admitted free of charge.  Fabulous refreshments are available before the concert and at the interval.

For those interested, here is the history of our Wurlitzer...

The organ was originally installed in the Gaumont Cinema, Oldham, Lancashire.  It was opened on 14th June 1937 with Jack Fenner at the console.  The specification for this Wurlitzer was drawn up by famous organist Quentin Maclean and only two of this style of organ were made for Hyam’s Gaumont British, the other being for the Gaumont Cinema in Watford, Opus 2207.  The Gaumont eventually closed on the 2nd December 1961 and the organ purchased by the Cinema Organ Society.

The organ’s first new home was the Dale Hall at Hampsthwaite, near Harrogate, North Yorkshire.  It took four years to install the organ and it was heard for the first time in public on the 26th February 1966.  The organ stayed in this location for 22 years and was used for concerts and private practice.  One player who used it for practice was young Phil Kelsall, now the much celebrated main Resident Organist at the world famous Tower Ballroom in Blackpool, and justly honoured as Phil Kelsall MBE.  The final concert at Hampsthwaite was on the 3rd December 1988.

The organ was then installed in the Trinity Arts Centre in Pudsey, a suburb of Leeds, where it was opened on the 30th June 1991, but unfortunately this venue did not live up to expectations and by December 1994, removal commenced.

Successful negotiations enabled installation to start at the Ritz Ballroom in Brighouse. This former cinema was built with organ chambers at either side of the proscenium, together with decorative plaster grilles, fronting the chamber shades.  However, despite this, no organ was installed until the COS arrived in 1995.  Shortly after the installation, opportunity was taken to enlarge the organ with the addition of a Tuba Horn in the main chamber and an Orchestral Oboe in the solo chamber.  This provided a greatly enhanced stop specification.  For various reasons, the organ was removed from the ballroom and placed in storage in 2006.

The organ’s latest home is the Victoria Hall in Saltaire, a grade 2* listed building, located at the centre of Sir Titus Salt’s historic village, designated a World Heritage Site.  The Victoria Hall was opened in 1869 as a place of recreation, culture and learning for the local community, and the main hall has a sprung dance floor with 10 metre high ceilings.

The organ was installed in the hall and opened on 12th April 2009.  It speaks from two chambers, situated under the stage, while the Wurlitzer console is on a hydraulic lift which raises it to stage level.  When installed at Saltaire a Wurlitzer English Horn was added that came from Opus 2209, the Metro Theatre Durban, South Africa.  In 2017 we added a Wurlitzer Krumet, with a new specification drawn up by Simon Gledhill.

Cinema Organ Society - Northern District's Photo Gallery

Victoria Halls Richard Hills in Concert March 2022 Ian Sutherland Concert with Simon Gledhill and Aaron Hawthorne Silent Film Show Len Rawle MBE playing at Saltaire in August 2021

Cinema Organ Society - Northern District's Concert Diary

March 12thSimon Gledhill & Aaron Hawthorne (more details)

Ian Sutherland Award concert

March 17thJonathan Eyre (more details)

Silent fil A Song of Two Humans

April 16thPhil Kelsall MBE
May 14thJohn Mann & Len Rawle
June 11thDavid Lowe & Joe Marsh
June 11thDavid Lowe
July 9thDonald MacKenzie
September 10thChristian Cartwright
September 12thOpen Day from 11am - 4pm with mini-concerts, chamber tours and light refreshments - ADMISSION FREE
September 12thMichael Carter (more details)

Open Day from 11am - 4pm with mini-concerts, chamber tours and light refreshments - ADMISSION FREE

September 13thA special programme of films and organ music to celebrate 70 years of the COS, 7:30pm Start
September 13thDavid Lowe (more details)

Saltaire Cinema COS 70th year organ interludes

October 15thStephen Foulkes
November 4thAaron Hawthorne (more details)

Phantom of the Opera silent film

November 12thMichael Maine
December 10thMichael Wooldridge
December 14thDavid Lowe (more details)

Seasonal film presentation 'Meet Me in St Louis' plus supporting feature and David Lowe at the Wurlitzer

March 10thHoward Beaumont
April 14thPhil Kelsall MBE
May 12thDeclan Poole
June 9thMichael Wooldridge (more details)

Len Rawle Tribute concert

July 14thStephen Austin & Will Shaw
August 11thChris Powell
September 8thNicholas Martin B.E.M.
October 13thJohn Atwell
November 10thBernard Tilley
December 8thRobert Wolfe