The Rex cinema, Elland (near Halifax), is a structurally-unaltered, purpose-built cinema dating from 1912. After a 24 year period of bingo followed by closure, it was refurbished and reopened in October 1988 by Charles Morris and his then business partner, Peter Berry. It is a true independent cinema and operates without subsidy from the National Lottery, local council or anybody else.
A Conn 651 Theatre organ, with resonator pipes and two Leslie tone cabinets, was installed in May 1990. Prior to that, a Hammond organ had been brought in and was played by the late Ron Curtis to accompany a week-long film festival in December 1989. Four concerts were then arranged and were such a success that they have continued ever since.
Arnold Loxam gave the first concert in February 1990 and played every year until his recent retirement. Nearly sixty different organists have played to date and include such names as Dudley Savage, Doreen Chadwick, Howard Beaumont, Eddie Ruhier, Len Rawle, Nigel Ogden and William Davis. Chris Powell appeared in the first season when aged only eighteen and other organists who played at the Rex when young have included Andrew Nix, Matthew Bason, Ryan Edwards and Mark Thompson. Most organists play the Conn but others bring their own organs and some play both.
Concerts are held on the third Sunday afternoon of every month commencing at 2.30 for two hours. Admission is £5.00 for everybody. The cinema accommodates 300 people on comfortable, Pullman cinema seats. Tea and biscuits are served in the interval and a 5 - 10 minute film novelty is included. There are two car parks next to the cinema which are free on Sundays and there are several pubs and restaurants within walking distance for a meal either before or after the concert.
Mildred Sutcliffe, our resident organist, plays before our film performances and during the interval on most Saturday nights and Thursday mornings. See our website above for details of film programmes. The position of resident organist originally belonged to Belinda Abbiss who was followed by Harold Lister, Gil Oselton and, for several years, Dr. Arnold Loxam.
Only 5 minutes from Junction 24 of the M62.
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