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 fundraising 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. 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.
Friends of Rye Wurlitzer still need to raise funds to keep the organ playable and to further improve it for future generations to enjoy. Donations are always welcome, or you can help by attending our regular fund-raising shows.