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, when this becomes possible once again, to see and hear the only Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ in the north east of England – prepare to be surprised and – we hope – delighted!

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Latest  News:

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Covid 19 Coronavirus:

Government Covid regulations have now been relaxed in England but visitors may still consider protecting themselves and others by wearing a facemask to reduce the possible spread of infection when attending concerts, etc.  Please also use the Hand Sanitiser dispensers and Wash Your Hands regularly using the anti-bacterial soap provided.  We have also installed dispensers in toilet cubicles to enable visitors to sanitise toilet seats before use

Improved ventilation in the building will help to disperse any air-borne infection more quickly and we have increased the spacing of seats downstairs in the main hall to improve safety and comfort.

For the latest Government advice and information: Click Here

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Forthcoming Concerts and Events News:

Our 2022 season continues and it has been encouraging to see many familiar faces at the concerts so far this season.

Events are expected to continue almost as per programme (see HERE for full listing), but please see important notice below.

SIMON GLEDHILL returns to the NVC on Sunday 19th June at 2.30 with a special programme celebrating the music of HOLLYWOOD of the years – the Composers, the Stars, the Studios, etc., etc.  Tickets are still available – contact David Kirkbride to reserve yours.

Friends of the NETOA who play the organ can join in the regular Tuesday practice sessions by contacting Jim Robinson to confirm what is happening, etc. and the Friends ‘Wurli-Gig’ mini-concert events will continue on Thunday 30th June at 7.00p.m. (No advance purchase of tickets needed – Admission £4.00 at the door).

JOE MARSH will be hosting a ‘Theatre Organ Appreciation TEACH-IN Day’ at the New Victoria Centre on Saturday 13th AugustThis is open to ANYONE who is interested in the organ – whether you play or not.  It will be an opportunity to find out what all the controls of the organ console do, what the different pipe ranks sound like – and – for players, information on different stop combinations and some hints on how best to use the organ in your musical interpretations.  Admission is FREE, but: YOU MUST BOOK A TICKET – either here on the website or be phoning David Kirkbride.  Space is limited! 

IMPORTANT NOTICE:

You may be aware that we suffered some damage to the main hall roof of the New Victoria Centre during storm Arwen and temporary repairs were carried out at the time.  A thorough examination has shown that the slates on the roof are in poor condition and rather than just patch it up further we have been making plans (and arranging funding) for a more permanent repair, which involves replacing the Victorian slates on the roof with new ones and under-felting to modern standards plus we will be installing insulation (which we do not currently have in most of the roof, except part of the organ chambers).

The work will involve erecting scaffolding around the building and we will also need to remove the seats from the main hall and cover up the organ console and piano to protect from any dust generated, so with work expected to take place during mid July to early August this has resulted in the cancellation of the Friends ‘Wurli-Gig’ event on 31st July.

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Heritage Open Days 2021:

.Once again we welcomed a constant stream of visitors to the New Victoria Centre on Saturday 18th September as part of the national ‘Heritage Open Days’ week when they were able to look around and find out lots more about the NETOA Wurlitzer organ.  Covid restrictions made this impossible last year, but extra TV cameras inside the organ chambers enabled us to give safe guided ‘tours’ of the workings of the Wurlitzer this year as well as explanations of the organ console and the history of our Wurlitzer.

In line with the ‘Edible England’ theme, visitors were able to look at recipes from the ‘Wurlitzer Centennial Cookbook’ which was produced in 1956 to mark the centenary of the founding of the business by Rudolph Wurlitzer in 1856.

For more information we still have have videos about the organ on our LINKS page (if you missed them when we went ‘virtual’ last year) and the following links also give more information on our ORGAN,  HISTORY and REVIEWS pages + you can enjoy our Wurlitzer at home on CDs available from our SALES page.

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The New Victoria Cinema Bradford was 90 years old on 22nd September 2020: 

The BRADFORD LIVE project to regenerate to former New Vic building is continuing and you will find links to several interesting videos on our LINKS page, including one by Mark Nicholson about the opening of the cinema in 1930.

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We Always Like YOUR News, Thanks! 

We would like your News, Views and Any Other Contributions for our regular newsletter ‘PipeTalk’.  Contact: The Chairman or Barry Raine

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Shop and ‘SMILE’:

With AMAZON ‘Smile’ you can shop conveniently online and help NETOA funds at the same time!  When you shop on Amazon, use the ‘Smile’ link and as we are a Registered Charity they will donate a small amount from your purchase price to NETOA funds.

It doesn’t cost you anything and is a great way to boost our funds as you shop – JUST Remember To ‘SMILE’!  Use this convenient button to go straight to the ‘Smile’ site and we will be smiling along with you!

Or, try it in the Amazon Mobile App: 1. Open the Amazon app on your phone  2. Select the main menu (=) & tap on “AmazonSmile” within Programmes & Features  3. Select North East Theatre Organ Association as your charity  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to activate AmazonSmile in the mobile app  –  Easy!!

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How to Keep Up-to-date:

The latest issue of our newsletter ‘Pipetalk’ has much more NETOA news and once again we would like to thank Barry and Rosilyn Raine, David and Suzanne Kirkbride and everyone who has worked extra-hard to get this out under the current difficult circumstances.  If you want to receive your own copy and keep up to date with everything that is going on, why not Become a ‘Friend’ of the NETOA?

For detailed national and international theatre organ news, the Theatre Organ Club and / or the Cinema Organ Society are the two main national bodies concerned with theatre organ history and preservation.

As well as here on the website, 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 Theatre Organ Venue & Events Guide – North of England Edition lists most of the major venues offering theatre organ concerts in the North and copies are widely available (it is hoped to make this a national publication this year).

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Do You Want to Help Our Award-Winning Charity?

In June 2016 the NETOA was honoured to be awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service (sometimes called ‘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!

All of the work involved in running the NETOA is done by a dedicated team of volunteers and you can help in a number of ways: By just buying a ticket & coming along to Concerts and Events!; By ‘lending a hand’ with some of the many tasks that need doing to keep things going; By making a Donation through our ‘Sponsor-a-Pipe’ scheme (see below).

The ‘Sponsor-a-Pipe Appeal’ is a special way that you can contribute to the upkeep of the New Victoria Wurlitzer organ by ‘sponsoring’ one of the 1,375 organ pipes in our ‘mighty’ instrument!   Your name (or that of someone you wish to be remembered) will then be added into one of the decorative ‘organ pipes’ in the New Victoria Centre Tea Room along with all of the other ‘sponsors’ – for more details click on the link at the beginning of this paragraph to go to the sponsor-a-pipe page.

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 (and has paid sufficient tax) will use the Gift Aid button when joining / renewing as a member of the Friends, or making a Sponsor a Pipe donation.  Thank you!

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History of Our Wurlitzer Organ:

The theatre organ is a fascinating instrument which played a major role in the social history of the mid twentieth century.  You can find a brief history of the NETOA and our Wurlitzer organ on the History page and you can also see the current Specification of the organ.  A fully detailed history of the organ and its various homes, together with information on how the specification has been altered over the years, so that it is now one of the largest Wurlitzer theatre pipe organs in Europe, is contained in our Souvenir Brochure which can be ordered from our online storeA group visit (see below) gives an opportunity to find out much more detail about the organ its history, its music, its technology and the way in which it was originally used.

This Website is the Quick & Convenient Way to:

Just Some of the Things We Do . . .

As well as our regular concert series where you can see and hear played by top-ranking professional players, we also participate in the national Heritage Open Days Weekend in September, an informal day when 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 and talk to the people behind the installation and maintenance of the organ!

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, its history, how it works and see it close-up.  We also 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.

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.  Details on our Play the Organ page.

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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. New Victoria 90 Years.  Music for All. Queens Award for Voluntary Service. Online Theatre Organ Concerts.