Paul Kirner's Music Palace is situated in Ynyshir, Porth - the gateway to the Rhondda Valley. It houses our collection which consists of a wide variety of theatre pipe organs, rare electronic entertainment instruments and other memorabilia.
Registered charity 1176604, Paul Kirner's Theatre Organ Collection was founded by it's namesake to promote Theatre organs and their music for generations to come. Paul is an experienced Musical Host, having established a very successful music venue in the Midlands. He opened Compton Lodge (Sapcote) with his late wife, singer and comedienne, Hazel, after they ceased touring clubland, in May 1979 and ran it until May of 2019. This theatre organ venue, which housed one of the finest instruments in the country, entertained hundreds of thousands of people over 40 years.
There are currently 4 theatre pipe organs at the Music Palace so with the organ from Compton Lodge we will have 5 in total which will make it one of the largest collections of it's type in the world. We also have a large collection of original tooling and machinery so we are able to maintain our collection and others around the world.
The Theatre Organ was originally developed to provide music for the Silent Film and to replace an orchestra. The organs have hundreds of organ pipes, a full range of percussions, xylophone, glockenspiel, chimes, sleigh bells, drums, cymbals and sound effects for silent films such as bird whistle, motor horn, horses hooves etc. The showing of silent films was never silent, there was always a pianist, organist or orchestra providing the background music.
As silent films were replaced with 'talkies' the organs remained popular playing for interludes between films. Theatre/cinema organs were also broadcast daily for many years and were a staple part of the British diet from the 1930s. As time and fashions changed these organs fell out of the mainstream but have remained popular with many of those who remember them with fond affection.
These magnificent machines are now a part of history and we are intent on preserving them and promoting them to future generations. There are not many centres in the world that are devoted to the history of the Theatre Organ where schools and the general public can not only hear but go and play on an authentic theatre organ. Without access to these magnificent machines how are future generations going to learn to play them? Unless they are preserved they will be lost to the depths of time. Organs need space to “speak” so we have installed them in a building with a substantial airspace to allow them to be heard at their best.