Job number: A385
Although installed in a church, this has to be what I think is the finest surviving cinema organ built by Compton.
The organ was originally installed at the Ritz Cinema in Nuneaton and has 3 manuals, 6 ranks of pipes and of course the melotone unit. It was designed by organist Harold Ramsay. When this church was built in the late 1960s, rather than spend large sums of money on a new organ the priest at the time was a cinema organ enthusiast and had this organ brought and installed here.
The melotone is an electrostatic device patented by Leslie Bourne, electronics engineer for Compton, and works by rotating discs etched with waveforms and was fitted to most of Compton's cinema organs after 1935. It was later developed into a complete electronic organ for both church and entertainment use.
Over the years I have seen so many cinema organs altered, enlarged (sometimes with ranks by different builders!!) and their original character lost. Not so with this one which remains completely original (minus the illuminated surround!) and is therefore my most favourite Compton cinema organ. The layout is as follows:
Non-tonal percussions and novelty effects
Xylophone and Glockenspiel
Melotone (under expression from solo expression pedal)
The organ was built by a J C (John Compton) so how appropriate that such a magnificent product of this company is now serving another J C - Jesus Christ! What better place could there be to enjoy those heavenly sounds of the melotone!