D Quentin Bellamy Posted September 11, 2006 Share Posted September 11, 2006 I think that it was in about 1966 that the Regal Marble Arch was demolished, and just prior to its demise the 36 rank Hill Norman & Beard "Christie" organ designed by Quentin Maclean was removed into storage. It has remained in that state in a trailer (I gather located in a barn) in Cornwall ever since. I am sure that this situation has just about driven a generation of theatre organ fans crazy ! Apparently its owner who never succeeded in doing anything with his container of bits was (probably for quite reasonable reasons) not keen to encourage all manner of theatre organ anoraks to his home, but now he has died and the Marble Arch organ has re-surfaced (as it were). Whilst it is restorable, its condition is far from good, and the photographs of it reveal that there is a considerable amount of restoration work required that would keep many organ builders busy for many months. There are a number of photographs of it in its present state - it will most certainly need its keyboards re-building! The organ apparently wasn't a great success in the cinema in spite of its great size, but it has recorded well - particularly by Sidney Torch. So far as the future is concerned, of course the issue with it its size. With organ preservation societies up and down the land struggling to find venues in which to re-install various Wurlitzers (and two homeless four manual instruments spring readily to mind), a 1920s orchestral pipe organ I guess will stand little chance short of a miracle and someone with a huge bank balance. (It included a 44 bell carillon in its spec which created such a noise that an injunction was issued forbidding or at least severely restricting its use!) The present state of the Marble Arch Christie can be seen via the yahoo group UKTheatreOrgans which is moderated by Peter Hammond. For those interested in such things I have definitely found this to be far and away the best theatre organ group on the net. Q - who along with many theatre organ nuts is hopeful of a miracle! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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