Compton Theatre Organ celebrates 80 years

The Compton Theatre Organ – described by musician Scott Harrison as “the most spectacular of its size” – will celebrate 80 years at Her Majesty’s Theatre on Sunday.

Harrison and organist David Johnston will headline the anniversary concert.

The organ was built in England in 1937 and first played at Warrington’s Ritz Theatre, before a private buyer shipped it to Victoria.

The Melbourne man found the 677-pipe organ impossible to install in his home and sold it to the Ballarat Theatre Organ Society, which spent 10 years installing it at Her Majesty’s, then known as The Memorial Theatre. The Crompton Organ has been played in Ballarat since 1982.

“People will be able to experience the full beauty of the theatre organ,” Ballarat Theatre Organ Society president Janet McCulloch said.

“I think it’s a beautiful instrument and it’s a lovely sound and it’s something very, very special.”

The Compton Theatre Organ’s 80 Years of Music concert is at Her Majesty’s Theatre at 2pm on Sunday, April 23. For tickets contact the theatre on 5333 5888.

Celebration: The Crompton Theatre Organ lives in Her Majesty's Theatre's orchestra pit.  Because it is rarely uncovered it is known as Ballarat's secret. The 80-year-old organ has 677 pipes and more than 200 keys.

Celebration: The Crompton Theatre Organ lives in Her Majesty's Theatre's orchestra pit. Because it is rarely uncovered it is known as Ballarat's secret. The 80-year-old organ has 677 pipes and more than 200 keys.