Hammersmith Apollo


The famous Apollo in Hammersmith started life as the Gaumont Palace cinema in 1932, seating around 3500 patrons in luxurious splendour. Included in the design was a 15 rank 4-manual Compton cinema organ, which rose majestically on a lift in the centre of the orchestra pit. The organ remained in situ throughout the building's years as the Odeon but fell into decline and was badly treated by the 1980s. In the mid 1990s the console cable was severed and the organ left unplayable.


Fortunately after considerable lobbying from interested parties the council were persuaded to enforce having the instrument refurbished and the console reinstated. This process originally started in around 2004 but only the console was worked on. Our team were subsequently called in to continue works in 2007 and get the whole organ playing again. Our work included some releathering, various other repairs to chests, pipe repairs, extensive cleaning and maintenance throughout, resurrection of the blower, new vibraphone bars and the installation of a multiplexer to couple console back to original relays. A re-launch event was held by us in July 2007. Since then we have continued to look after this very fine organ and have also undertaken other works, including the releathering of the regulators in recent times. The photos give a brief overview of our work on this magnificent and wonderful instrument.