WELCOME to the NETOA

Welcome to the our website.  We hope that the Art Deco styling of the site will set the scene for you to enjoy finding out about one of the ‘centre-pieces’ of the golden age of Britain’s ‘super-cinemas’ (which ran roughly from the mid-1920s to the outbreak of World War 2): the mighty ‘cinema’ or ‘theatre’ organ.

On behalf of the Trustees and Friends of the North East Theatre Organ Association, we hope that you will be encouraged to pay us a visit in person to see and hear the only Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ in the north east of England – prepare to be surprised and – we hope – delighted!

A Happy New Year to All our Visitors!

Our 2019 concert season concluded with two excellent (and well-attended) Christmas concerts featuring Chris Rae, Lewis Scott and Declan Poole at the Wurlitzer playing a wonderful selection of familiar and less-familiar seasonal pieces and, of course, concluding with the ever-popular carol singing for all.  A couple of days later the Howden le Wear Village Carol Service was held at the New Victoria Centre and it was a pleasure to welcome members of the village churches into the New Victoria Centre (itself a Victorian Methodist church building) once again.

We wish all of the visitors to our website a very happy and musical year in 2020!

Welcome to our 2020 Concert Season & how to Keep Up-to-date

The new concert season commences on 15th March – Please go to the Events page for details about forthcoming concerts and events and to order Concert Tickets.

In preparation for the concert season, we are currently carrying out a further stage of maintenance and tonal regulation work on the Wurlitzer organ following on from the work carried out last year by Abi and Robert from Balfour-Rowley Organ Builders.  Robert is once again busy working on the organ’s pipework carrying out tonal regulation to keep the organ sounding its best.

You will also find our concerts listed on www.organrecitals.com (which features lots of organ and concert / recital related information both theatre and classical), as well as on www.organfax.co.uk (where you can find information about theatre and electronic organ events all over the UK).

The best way to keep up to date with what is going on is to become a ‘Friend’ of the NETOA, or you can keep up with national and international theatre organ news via the Theatre Organ Club and / or the Cinema Organ Society, the two main national bodies concerned with theatre organ history and preservation.

History of the ‘New Vic’ Wurlitzer Organ

You can find a brief history of the NETOA and our Wurlitzer organ on the History page and also the current Specification of the organ.  A fully detailed history of the organ, together with information on how the specification has been altered over the years is contained in our Souvenir Brochure which can be ordered from our online store.

Book Concert Tickets, Order CDs and more, Online

Via our website you can:

  • Buy tickets for forthcoming concerts
  • Order CDs, NETOA Mugs, Brochures and other items through the NETOA online store
  • Join the ‘Friends of the NETOA’ and renew your membership subscription
  • Assist with our fundraising through the ‘Sponsor a Pipe Appeal’

Public Concerts and Heritage Open Days Weekend

We have a regular concert series where you can see and hear one of the largest theatre pipe organs in Europe, we also participate in the national Heritage Open Days Weekend in September. Everyone is welcome to come along and look around (both front-of-house and behind-the-scenes) to find out what a ‘Mighty’ Wurlitzer is all about!

People of all ages are fascinated by the theatre organ, its history, its music, its technology and the way in which it played a major role in the social history of the mid twentieth century.

Group Visits & Friends of NETOA

We are happy to arrange private visits for local groups, schools and organisations who wish to find out more about the Wurlitzer. Please contact John Heslop for more details: john.heslop@netoa.org.uk

We also have regular private practice sessions, when members of the ‘Friends of the NETOA’ can play the organ themselves.

We particularly encourage young musicians who are interested in learning to play the theatre organ as well as anyone who is interested in finding out about the technical aspects of this most complex of musical instruments.

Queens Award

In June 2016 NETOA was awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service. This is the ‘MBE for volunteer groups’ and we believe that it is the first such award given to a group involved in theatre organ preservation. We would like to dedicate this award to all of the volunteers who have helped, over many years and in so many different ways, to make our project a success!

We are a Registered Charity

As a Registered Charity, the NETOA can claim ‘Gift Aid’ on certain donations (including membership subscriptions, donations under the Sponsor a Pipe Appeal, etc.), whereby HMRC add 25p extra in every Pound to the amount given to us. We are most grateful if anyone who is a taxpayer will check the Gift Aid box when joining / renewing as a member of the Friends, or making a Sponsor a Pipe donation. Thank you!

Visit the Mighty Wurlitzer Cinema / Theatre Organ. Organise a Group Visit, Friends of NETOA Practice Sessions. Book Concert Ticket & Sponsor a Pipe. Great Visitor Attraction for Durham, Crook, Bishop Auckland & the North East. NETOA 50th Anniversary, Music for All.