The Mighty Woking Wurlitzer
Experience the Golden Age of the American Theatre Organ
Woking Leisure Centre is the home of a ‘Full Bodied Mighty -Wurlitzer’ Theatre Organ, built in America in 1937 and originally housed in the Granada Cinema, Welling, Kent.
Since being installed here by enthusiastic volunteers from ATOS (The American Theatre Organ Society) in 1995 extra pipes have been added and the Woking Wurlitzer is now substantially larger than even the more famous Blackpool Tower Ballroom organ.
The organ weighs around 15 tons. All of the sound comes directly from pipes and percussions contained in 3 specially built chambers – there is no amplification. Although the pipes and organ console remain original, in order to enlarge the organ’s specification, ATOS installed a £20,000 Digital Relay Transmission System to act as an interface between the organ’s keys and the pipes. As a bonus, the facility now exists to connect any electronic ‘MIDI’ instrument to the Wurlitzer
The value of the organ in 1937 was £10,000. As Wurlitzer has not built a pipe organ since 1939 these unique instruments are now much sought after antiques and almost priceless.