From: Stan Lowkis, July 1997
Opus 2218 was donated to a collage in Geneva
around 1988-89. There is an interesting CD recorded in 1989 as soon as
organ was partially playable recorded on Gallo label Switzerland. It is
referred to as "Orgue de Cinema Claparede"
From: Thomas Klose, May 2001
Wurlitzer op. 2218 left the factory September 18, 1937 and was installed in
the Granada Theatre, Clapham Junction, London, where it attracted the crowds
for long as most of you may know much better than me.
However, when the theatre was closed the organ came up for sale and was
purchased by a Swiss group of enthusiasts who istalled it in the auditorium
of the Collège Claparède in Conchès near Geneva where it was reopened by
Robin Richmond May 7, 1982.
For quite a long period of time the instrument had not been much in use
except perhaps for the appearance of Jonas Nordwall last year and obviously
suffered from negligence. A couple of years ago the console had been brought
over to Germany and received a new stop action system through the well known
organ building firm of Heuss in Lich. Some work had also been done last year
by a Swiss organ builder. However, and this is what I feel about it, organ
builders in Continental Europe, particularly as they mainly have to deal
with church organs, do not always do justice to theatre pipe organs and
their particular basic principles.
My fellow enthusiast Sven Wortmann, besides building his own homemade cinema
pipe organ, maintains the Wurlitzer in the German Film Museum at Frankfurt
for many years and collected a big deal of experience in trouble shooting
and repairs. Alongside his many professional and private commitments he also
advises some other owners of T.P.O.s of different makes in both public and
private locations. Since he came in touch with Swiss fellow enthusiasts he
naturally took a special interest in the Wurlitzer in the College and
meanwhile spent a couple of weekends working on the organ and also playing
Last weekend he and a few Swiss enthusiasts went to work again. This time
they rebuilt the motors of both the glockenspiel and the xylophone which
from now on again will enhance the magnificent sound of this organ. Thomas
Richter our local expert on mechanical music instruments brought the
mandolin effect of the attached piano back into working order, I was told.
Much more work is due to be carried out in the near future, including a new
main cable and platform for the console to move it around in the auditorium.
There is no proper organ bench, just a Howard seat. Hence a matching dog leg
bench will also have to be custom made. Any suggestions re measurements or
even drawings would be very well appreciated. If anyone has got something
like that please feel free to mail privately to email@example.com . A
small choice of pictures, courtesy of Sven Wortmann, has been mailed to be
seen at TheatrePipeOrganPicPost@yahoogroups.com