EAST END OF LONDON PHOTO GALLERY & COMMENTARY
London's East End Synagogues, cemeteries and more......
My personal journey through the Jewish East End of London
Brothers and the story of a mighty Wurlitzer cinema organ being
brought back to life in the Troxy, Commercial Road
In the former Trocadero (Troxy) cinema in Commercial Road
a mighty Wurlitzer cinema organ is being brought back to life.
The Troxy was opened in 1933 by the Hyams brothers and it was
one of a string of cinemas they owned throughout London,
including the Trocadero in the Elephant and Castle where the
newly restored organ originally had its home. The three
Hyams brothers were
and Mick Hyams. Phil, the eldest, started in the cinema trade as
a teenager, working in the New Popular Cinema Theatre in the
Commercial Road. The New Popular was partly financed by the
brothers' father, Hyam Hyams, nephew of the founders of the
Grodzinski bakery chain. Phil was joined by his brother Sid and
together they built up a small cinema chain.
In 1927 the
Hyams converted a vast tram shed into their first super cinema:
the 2,700 seat Broadway at Stratford. Of significance was the
installation in the Broadway of a modest but highly effective
Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ. In 1927 these were a relative
novelty in the UK, and the Broadway Wurlitzer was one of the
pioneers. In 1928, the Hyams sold their existing cinemas to the
newly formed Gaumont British combine and started afresh as H&G
Kinemas. The Hyams brothers went on to open other cinemas,
including the Trocadero in Commercial Road and the Trocadero in
the Elephant and Castle - both equipped with Wurlitzer organs.
Trocaderos closed in 1960. The Elephant and Castle
Wurlitzer was saved by the Cinema Organ Society and put into
storage. The Commercial Road Wurlitzer was sold off for
spare parts and the building became a bingo hall. Later
the organ was installed in Edric Hall on the South Bank, but
when that closed for redevelopment in 2004 a new home for the
organ was needed.
By now the
grade two listed Trocadero in Commercial Road belonged to the
Sharma family and they kindly offered the Cinema Organ Society
the use of their magnificent building as a home for the organ.
And so, matters have come full circle as a mighty Wurlitzer once
again takes its place in the Commercial Road Trocadero.
This is not the end of the story because considerable funds are
still required to complete the installation. If you want
to know more, or wish to donate, please contact the Cinema Organ
Society via their website:
mighty Wurlitzer in situ today in the Troxy, Commercial Road
Troxy, Commercial Road, its magnificent interior and exterior