14th May 2024

At last Sunday’s concert at Saltaire, Cinema Organ Society Vice-president John Leeming presented Declan Poole with the Ian Sutherland award, which is presented periodically to young organists who demonstrate outstanding talent and potential.


28th April 2024

News from The London & South of England Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society.

We are sorry to announce that our planned re-launch of the UK Young Theatre Organist of the Year Competition has been postponed and is now likely to take place in 2025.

Update 14th April 2024

Sadly we have made the decision to postpone the opening of the Compton Organ at Bilston Town Hall on the 27th April. It has not been an easy thing to do, however there are several issues that have come to light whilst working at the Hall today which we just won’t have the time to address.

11th January 2024

Good news from Cannock Chase Organ Club, the opening of the newly reinstalled Compton organ, the basis of which was installed at the Gaumont Cinema in Coventry will take place at Bilston Town Hall at 2pm on 27th April. Further details and booking link Here

6th January 2024.

Gordon Whitehouse, District Secretary, Midlands & Wales District writes – On a Sad Note, District Treasurer Michael Faldon, taken ill following a re- occurring illness which aggressively returned, sadly passed away on Wed 3rd January.

Michael, a strong supporter and highly valued member of the District Committee and Concert team, will be very sadly missed, his contribution at our meetings relating to various District activities will be forever remembered and valued, indeed Michael was heavily involved in making contact with local social media and organisations spreading the word of our concerts and activities. This action proved successful in the results achieved.

We send our thoughts and condolences to his wife Judith and offer our full support at this very difficult time. Rest in peace and thank you Michael, a job well done.

14th November 2023

The COS is deeply saddened to have learned of the death of Len Rawle MBE.

Len made a huge contribution to the theatre organ world, both in the UK and overseas — as a concert artist, teacher, theatre organ preservationist and skilled organ technician. He was the featured organist at many COS concerts. For over 50 years, he was the devoted custodian of the beautiful Empire, Leicester Square Wurlitzer, which he installed in the home he built for it in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire.

He did much to encourage young theatre organists, to promote the cause of the theatre organ, and to support his fellow organists, and will be greatly missed by his many friends around the organ world.

We send our sincere sympathies to Len’s wife, Judith, and to his family.

Michael Hunt, the gentleman who established the fabulous Wurlitzer organ venues at Singing Hills and the East Sussex National, sadly passed away at the end of August.

Michael Wooldridge writes “He had declined a lot in recent times and this intensified over the last month. Despite that, he still loved my visits to play for him at home and just a week or so ago was still able to enjoy my playing, joining in to sing and applauding.

He had been a good friend to me for more or less exactly 44 years, when Bobby Pagan first made the introductions, and we have shared many important family events ever since.

He will be much missed by family and friends, and by our cause as well, having been a major supporter for over 50 years.

Following on from the recent closing of Odeon Weston-super-Mare with its Compton organ, Charles S.P. Jenkins has updated the Stories of London website with 4 pages about the building and organ. Individual links are:

https://stories-of-london.org/otwsm-1 The building of the Odeon
https://stories-of-london.org/otwsm-2 The opening of the Odeon in 1935
https://stories-of-london.org/otwsm-3 The Compton Organ
https://stories-of-london.org/otwsm-4 The final concert

The Theatre Organ index on the site with a wealth of information and photos is at:

New Ian Sutherland Award Recipient

At Declan Poole’s highly enjoyable recent concert at Troxy, the COS was delighted to announce that he will be the next recipient of the Society’s Ian Sutherland Award. This award, created 40 years ago and named after a former COS Newletter Editor, is presented periodically to young theatre organists who demonstrate outstanding talent and potential. Declan demonstrated both during his Troxy concert! He will be presented in a separate, specially arranged COS concert at which he will receive the Ian Sutherland Trophy. Congratulations, Declan!


The Odeon Cinema in Weston-super-Mare which is home to one of only two original Compton pipe organs still found in working cinemas in the UK is sadly to close.

A final concert featuring Michael Wooldridge took place on Sunday 21st May, A newspaper article about the organ and the concert can be found Here.

Update August 2023 – Merlin cinemas have taken over the cinema and are going to call it the Plaza. Hopefully good news for the Compton.

Saltaire Wurlitzer

A new video featuring the Saltaire Wurlitzer for 2023 can be seen here

Also, pre booking is now available for concerts, see the individual event page for link to booking site.

Ian Sutherland Award

Congratulations to Aaron Hawthorne on receiving the Ian Sutherland Award, named in memory of a former COS Newsletter Editor, and which has been given 18 times over the years to young theatre organists considered to demonstrate outstanding talent and potential. Aaron received the award at a special concert at Saltaire on 12th March, sharing the playing with Simon Gledhill, who was the first recipient 40 years ago.


David Streeter

David Streeter sadly passed away in February. Midlands and Wales District Secretary Gordon Whitehouse writes:

David Streeter, a man to be remembered for his warmth and enjoyment of meeting people and making them feel welcome in whatever he was involved with. His musical association was spread between music as Organist at his local Church in Acocks Green to his long standing membership of the Midlands & Wales District Committee including the ” Organ on the move” Project from Solihull to Hampton in Arden.

David will be very sadly missed and on behalf of the District Committee and the Concert team, I say a Huge Thank You David, never to be forgotten.

Regent Street Cinema

Starting 6th March 2023, organ preludes before the matinee on 1st Monday of each month. Sponsored by the Cinema Organ Society. First performance by the one and only Richard Hills. 1pm Monday 6th March

Sad news from Paul Kirner’s Music Palace

28th November 2022 – It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that our founder, Paul Kirner passed away this evening. Following a long battle with cancer, Paul passed peacefully at home with his
close friends by his side.

Rest in Peace Paul- Thank you for the Music!

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