Worthing’s wonderful Wurlitzer is a combination of select orchestral voices and superb craftsmanship. The sound you hear is produced from over 1,500 pipes, which come from the two organ chambers each side of the stage. The pipes range from 2 inches to 32 feet in length. Alongside side these pipes are real percussion instruments, a Xylophone, Vibraharp, Sleigh Bells, Drums, Cymbals, even a set of Cathedral Chimes!
The instrument you see (although not in its entirety) was originally installed in the Metropole Victoria, London where It accompanied silent films. However when the likes of Keaton and Chaplin faded away, the mighty Wurlitzer took on a role of its own with organists who were stars of the day. Names such as Reginald Dixon and Sandy MacPherson are still well known.
Most organs left their cinemas in the 60’s and 70’s, deemed unpopular and not financially viable. Thankfully enthusiasts of the day bought, restored and found new homes for these mighty music machines. Thanks to Jim Buckland and the Sussex Theatre Organ Trust, the Assembly Hall is now home to one of the finest in Europe.
Listen & watch master organist Richard Hills play Tiger Rag