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Date set for final cinema organ concert at Shrewsbury nightclub before instrument is moved

It's the end of an era in Shrewsbury where a musical throwback to the 1930s will be bowing out of its current home.

The Buttermarket has housed the Mighty Wurlitzer cinema organ for more than 30 years
The Buttermarket has housed the Mighty Wurlitzer cinema organ for more than 30 years

The Mighty Wurlitzer cinema organ which has been a striking part of the Buttermarket nightclub for 34 years is having to make way for the modern needs of the business.

Following the news of the pending departure which came a few weeks ago, a date has now been set for a final celebration of the Wurlitzer.

Shropshire Theatre Organ Trust has been looking after the historic instrument and organising many concerts over the years to keep it going. Now a final concert has been arranged to take place on the afternoon of Sunday, September 18.

The trust is promising an afternoon of iconic music, memories and more with a veritable cavalcade of organists providing the tunes.

The Mighty Wurlitzer will be used for one more concert next month

A spokesman for the trust said the committee is in discussions with alternative venues both within and outside of Shropshire. It will be placed in safe storage in the interim.

It is Shropshire's only cinema organ in a public venue and started life in the UK at the Ritz cinema in Chatham.

The concert will be free entry with donations to the Shropshire Theatre Organ Trust welcome.

A concert in 2021 showed off the sights and sounds of The Mighty Wurlitzer at The Buttermarket in Shrewsbury

The owner of Shrewsbury’s Buttermarket Martin Monahan told the Shropshire Star that the venue has had to adapt and become ‘more than a nightclub’ to ride the storm that has hit the night time economy.

Martin has invested around £500,000 into the Buttermarket, which he says is booked up for events from September for over a year.

The three-storey club hosts regular events on the top floor from boxing matches to themed nights whilst still maintaining the nightclub element in the cellar bar.

An expansion of the stage and other changes mean that the Mighty Wurlizer is having to be moved out.

The organ is believed to be Shropshire’s only permanent theatre pipe organ in a public venue

The Wurlizter has a unique sound and even though this organ originally came from the States, the technology was invented in the UK.

It is believed to be Shropshire’s only permanent theatre pipe organ in a public venue. But it started out at the 2,332-seat The Ritz Cinema, Chatham, and was ordered from the Wurlitzer factory in North Tonawanda, America, on November 23, 1936. It was shipped to the UK on December 12 of the same year.

Prior to the Ritz Cinema going over to bingo, the organ was purchased and removed by organ builder David Pawlyn in 1971 and stored in his workshops at Aylesbury. David Pawlyn later installed the organ at The Buttermarket, Shrewsbury, in 1988.

For more information on the final concert and the trust visit https://www.facebook.com/684823258201127/posts/6086626101354122.

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