About Rye Wurlitzer
The Friends of Rye Wurlitzer was formed in 1993 by enthusiast Richard Moore to restore the 1925 Wurlitzer Theatre Organ at The Milligan Theatre, Rye, the second oldest Wurlitzer in the country, having originally been opened by organist Jack Courtnay at the Palace Cinema, Tottenham on 6th April 1925 where it remained until it moved to Rye in August 1957.
Through a series of fund raising concerts and events, plus various grant applications, sufficient funding was raised, combined with much volunteer work, to restore the organ to playing condition and to move the console down from its original position on the balcony to assume pride of place, centre stage on a lift.
Regular Sunday concerts are held featuring the U.K.’s top organists. They start at 2.30pm and there is ample free car parking on site.
The Wurlitzer is a Style D, Opus 999, with 2 manuals and 6 ranks of pipes (so around 450 pipes). It has recently undergone subtle but effective enhancement by the addition of three ranks of Virtual (digitally sampled) Wurlitzer Pipework, an Orchestral Oboe, Clarinet and String Celeste, which, along with a piano and harp samples, has kindly been provided by Paramount Virtual Organ Works.
Now the organ is in such good order, Richard has turned some of his attention to the issue of who will still be able to play it in years to come. Do visit the Organfax Rye Wurlitzer (Academy) page to learn more about this exciting development. To allow time to devote to this, he has stood down from his association with the FORW and handed over the reins to the new team.
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