The 1926 silent film ‘For Heaven’s Sake’ to be shown at The Music Palace in Porth, Wales on Sunday 23rd October 2022

The 1926 American silent comedy film ‘For Heaven’s Sake’ directed by Sam Taylor and starring Harold Lloyd is to be given a rare screening on 23rd October at The Music Palace, a former Welsh chapel in the backstreets of Ynyshir, Porth in the valleys which is now a venue for a major revival of theatre organs and music.

The film will be accompanied by Donald Mackenzie a renowned theatre organist who has been the resident organist at the Odeon Leicester Square for over 25 years, playing the ‘Christie organ’ from the Regal cinema in Edmonton.

This film was one of Lloyd’s most successful films and the 12th-highest-grossing film of the silent era, earning $2,600,000. It’s the story of an uptown boy falling for a downtown girl, as an irresponsible young millionaire changes his tune when he falls for the daughter of a downtown minister[i].

The Music Palace was originally Saron Chapel (built in 1884) and was bought in 2012 by professional theatre organist and musical entertainer Paul Kirner, who converted it into a unique concert venue and bar with original fittings and fixtures added from 1930’s cinemas.

The venue is home to “Paul Kirner’s Theatre Organ Collection” (a registered charity), a treasure trove of stunning theatre pipe organs, lovingly rescued and restored by Kirner and his colleague Ben Snowdon, as well as vintage keyboards and organ memorabilia.

The charity aims to preserve and promote theatre organs and bring their rich, nostalgic music which was so popular in the 1930s and 40s, to life to be enjoyed by new generations.

Kirner and Snowdon built the collection by rescuing defunct theatre organs from cinemas and other locations across the UK and restoring them to their former glory.

One is the ‘Christie organ’ once the pride of Regal Cinema in Edmonton and made famous by the late Sidney Torch (founder of ‘Friday night is music’ on BBC Radio 2), who opened the cinema and regularly broadcast from there playing the organ in the 1930s.

As well as listening to Donald Mackenzie play this organ; those attending the film showing can look around the organ collection before the performance and during the interval.

Ben Snowdon said, “After a successful summer of events we’re delighted to be welcoming Donald Mackenzie to our unique venue and for him to accompany the showing of one of the top films of the silent era. We are doing two showings of the film now as it’s proved immensely popular with our afternoon performance virtually sold out. We’d encourage anyone interested to get their tickets booked as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.”

‘For Heaven’s Sake’ will be shown on Sunday 23rd October at 2.30pm (almost sold out) and 6pm. Tickets cost £10 and can be reserved by calling 07974 813445 or emailing pkmusicpalace@gmail.com.

 

For more information, please go to:  Paul Kirner’s Theatre Organ Collection (pktoc.co.uk)


Reference

[i] https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0016895/