John Mann, The Last Cinema Organist

The sound of the cinema organ has long left film theatres, but it has not been forgotten! The Cinema Organ Society is thriving- as its president, John Mann, who lives in Brighton, explained – and demonstrated. John was born in Brighton and, after piano and church organ lessons, was engaged at Brighton Ice Rink to play for the skaters at the age of 17. John was also with Bobby Howell’s Band at Brighton Sports Stadium.

John met the well known cinema organist Peter Kilby who recommended him to Joseph Seal, then Musical Director of the ABC Cinemas circuit. John didn’t have to audition for Mr. Seal who thought highly enough of Peter Kilby’s judgment to engage John on the spot.

In recent years John has cut back the touring but still plays at Worthing and Eastbourne during the summer with his Eminent organ and continues to delight theatre organ fans with his superb playing and cheeky brand of humour.

John has many recordings to his credit both on his Eminent organ and a variety of theatre pipe organs. He has broadcast from the Granada Tooting and been a popular and frequent contributor to BBC Radio 2’s ‘The Organist Entertains’.

Presented by Yael Breuer

Film and Edit William Ranieri

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