Wurlitzer Organ Trust of Auckland
Jan Grefstad’s Hollywood Cinema, Avondale, Auckland
New Zealand

"Pops on Pipes" 2015 Concert Series


Presented with

Funding Support



All concerts take place at the Hollywood Cinema
20 St Georges Road, Avondale, Auckland




See below for details of our two “FINAL” shows

On Saturday and Sunday 29 & 30 August

When we say





With the sale of the building we must sadly move on.

Rest assured the Wurlitzer will return

to the Auckland music scene,

just as soon as we can find a new home

for this spectacular and much-loved pipe organ.



SUNDAY MARCH 8 at 2.pm —
Friends of the Wurlitzer “Club Afternoon”

Once again, we launch our concert season with a fun afternoon of music and entertainment. 

The afternoon will include a video presentation, light afternoon tea and music from our own playing team at the Wurlitzer organ.

This is not a public event – FOTW members only and friends are very welcome too.



We Open our 2015 Year with a Wurlitzer Weekend Spectacular…..



“Sounds of Silents – WINGS 1927 Silent Movie”


To open our year, we are bringing Melbourne’s John Atwell over to present our small tribute to the on-going commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the start of World War 1.


We have had many fun afternoons of music with John Atwell over the years as he has performed alongside an Auckland based 1920s Dance Band, piano, trumpet and vocalist…. Now a new dimension as John accompanies a great classic from the silent movie era.


Wings is a 1927 American silent war film set during the First World War produced by Lucien Hubbard, directed by William A. Wellman and released by Paramount Pictures. It stars Clara Bow, Charles "Buddy" Rogers, and Richard Arlen, and Gary Cooper appears in a role which helped launch his career in Hollywood.


The film, a romantic action-war picture, was acclaimed for its technical prowess and realism upon release, the film became the yardstick against which future aviation films were measured, mainly because of its realistic air-combat sequences. It went on to win the first Academy Award for Best Picture at the first annual Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences award ceremony in 1929, the only silent film to do so.


See and hear how the Wurlitzer organ brings the silent movie to life through the power of music!!


SUNDAY APRIL 26 at 2pm 
“The Music that Got Us Through the War Years!”


John Atwell returns to the console, this time to share some of the most well-known music ever written. 


The program features music from some of the darkest days in our history…. The First World War, World War 2, the Korean War of the 50s and the Vietnam War of the 60s.  Each period saw music written and songs sung that will ever remain in the public mind and will always be associated with that particular theatre of war.


Most of this music turns out to be some of the liveliest and happiest music ever written, again all designed to lift our spirits and give us the strength to soldier on!!


Join us for an afternoon of fun music at this, our tribute to the music from the war years.




SUNDAY JUNE 21, at 2pm  
Chris McPhee & Rosanne Hosking (AUS)


Over recent years, Adelaide’s Chris McPhee has also given us some great music at the Hollywood Cinema.  As one of the younger generation of Australian theatre organists, Chris enjoys the opportunity to work with other talented artists and for this trip, he is joined by Rosanne Hosking also from Adelaide.


With over 20 years’ experience in the entertainment industry, Rosanne’s genuine love and passion for singing and performance shines through in everything she does. Possessing a natural warmth and an endearing quality, she is able to connect with audiences and students, young and old.


Chris and Rosanne have performed several shows together with theatre organ in Australia, and for our show, which they’ve titled “Two’s Company, Rosanne will demonstrate her great vocal skills as Chris accompanies her on the Wurlitzer pipe organ.  It will definitely be a “Pops” program that includes some of the hits of Edith Piaf, some Light Opera, the great Burt Bacharach and much more…….





Jelani Eddington (USA)




After 32 years of calling the Hollywood Cinema in Avondale "home", we have been instructed to have the Wurlitzer pipe organ removed by September 30 as the building is on the market to be sold.


So in an urgent bid to raise sufficient funds to have this historic pipe organ removed and safely stored pending a new home, we are presenting this second show featuring Jelani Eddington, the USA's leading exponent of this musical art form.


Jelani Eddington will be presenting a short program of music that will showcase just how versatile an instrument the Wurlitzer organ really is! The show will feature the Main theme from "Star Wars" and other popular movie themes, some hits from today and a short silent movie comedy, this demonstrating the original reason for the Wurlitzer Company building these amazing pipe organs.


The "Farewell to the Hollywood" show with Jelani Eddington on Sunday August 30, will feature a different program of music. That show is almost sold out!!


Tickets for the "Fund Raiser" show will be on sale at the door on the day from 12.15pm OR prepaid bookings are available if you'd like to be assured of a seat.



Please support this event and help us to save this much-loved Wurlitzer pipe organ!


For pre-paid bookings only contact Jan -

(09) 522 8944 (payment by cheque or internet banking)


Jelani Eddington (USA)




The Hollywood Cinema in Avondale that has been home to Auckland's historic 1926 Wurlitzer pipe organ for 32 years, is on the market to be sold as "land & buildings" only and we have been instructed to remove the Wurlitzer organ by September 30!!


If you have ever seen the Town Hall pipe organ, you will know that we are not talking about a keyboard and some loud speakers. The Wurlitzer is of a similar size but with the addition of a large percussion section of drums, cymbals, glockenspiels etc and will be a monumental task to dismantle, find storage for and then hunt for a new home. This has been heart-breaking news for the Trust that has cared for and promoted the instrument for so many years to 200-300 loyal supporters.


So sadly, failing a miracle that saves the Hollywood, all our remaining 2015 shows are cancelled and this show will be the last at the Hollywood Cinema.


...and what a fine way to finish, with arguably the finest concert performer today and a frequent visitor to Auckland - the USA's Jelani Eddington.


Jelani is a true consummate musician and over the years, he has become a much-loved entertainer to Auckland audiences, since his first visit in 1996 at the age of twenty-two.


Definitely a program that will feature music for all tastes, from the classics, movie & TV themes, the 20s & 30s, and right on up to today – “Pops on Pipes” this certainly is!








Time to Say Goodbye!





A great end to 32 years music-making at the Hollywood Cinema!








1925 Silent Movie”




In this silent horror classic, aspiring young opera singer Christine Daaé (Mary Philbin) discovers that she has a mysterious admirer intent on helping her become a lead performer. This enigmatic masked presence is Erik, also known as the Phantom (Lon Chaney), a horribly disfigured recluse who lives underneath the Paris Opera House. When the Phantom takes Christine prisoner and demands her devotion and affection, her suitor, Vicomte Raoul de Chagny (Norman Kerry), sets out to rescue her.


Another “great” from the silent movie era, and for this screening, the USA’s Dave Wickerham  will be at the console of the Hollywood Wurlitzer to use all the organ’s resources to bring the silent screen to life.


SUNDAY OCTOBER 4 at 2pm Dave Wickerham (USA)




In a complete change of pace from the drama of the silent movie, Dave Wickerham will share some lively toe-tapping music with us in another true “Pops” style program.


Who could forget Dave’s last visit back in 2012, when he invited his audience to note down their favourite request during the interval, and then featured almost every item requested during the second half! This proving the amazing virtuosity of this great keyboard entertainer.






Scott Harrison (AUS) with Tauranga’s Bay Dixie Band)




Join us for a fun afternoon of “Dixie Jazz” when the Wurlitzer pipe organ and Tauranga’s Bay Dixie Band join forces to make music together.


The combination of the Dixie band and pipe organ recreates some of the hottest sounds in music since the great Fats Waller first featured this mix back in the 1920s.


Scott Harrison from Melbourne and the Bay Dixie Band were featured at the Hollywood Cinema last year and our audience were VERY vocal in their desire to hear more of this magic combination!


What a spectacular way to conclude this vintage 1926 Wurlitzer pipe organ’s 32nd year of entertaining Auckland at the Hollywood Cinema.



Book A Concert Ticket

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To encourage interest from younger musicians, the Wurlitzer Organ Trust offers anyone
from 10 - 18 years of age, accompanied by a paying adult, Free Admission to our concerts.
Just ask for the Young Musicians Ticket.

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