The Penistone Paramount Cinema

Penistone Pictorial banner

The Organ
The weekly organ concerts are hugely popular and pack the town hall with mostly grey-haired music lovers who delight in the swell of the organ. Since these pictures were taken in 2000, Steve Tales, the excellent and professional cinema manager, has left the cinema. The top picture shows him explaining the workings of the organ stops and how they could be used to also control the lights in the original venue. This organ was built for the Birmingham Odeon in 1937. It was removed in 1988 and, after a careful and thorough renovation, was installed in the cinema with due ceremony in 1999.

console console

Under the floor
The following series shows only a few of the many parts of the organ. There is a surprising array of pipes and instruments. Each bank of instruments is laid out rather like an old-fashioned telephone exchange, which is not surprising as it was designed by an ex-GPO engineer. The air pump motor also drives a low voltage generator to supply the organ's electrickery.

The organ swell is controlled by a bank of solenoid-operated flaps. As they are progressively opened, the sound volume in the cinema increases. The whole thing is installed under the stage, with rectangular grills just below the front of the stage allowing the music into the auditorium. There is a wide range of instruments including a drum kit, xylophone and klaxon. Here are the pictures.

air pump thin pipes drumkit
Air pump, under auditorium Thin pipes Percussion section, the 'toybox'
big pipes sparks swell flaps
Big pipes Electrickery Swell control (flaps)
tall pipes more pipes fat pipes
Tall pipes Stylish pipes Fat pipes
xylophone teensy pipes stops close-up
Xylophone & wooden pipes High pitched pipes Close-up of keys

Back Top Home Edgar Allan Poe: 'Of puns it has been said that those who most dislike them are those who are least able to utter them.'