The 80th anniversary of the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall will be marked with a special screening at 7.30pm of the classic film, The Wizard of Oz which premiered in 1939, the same year that the Hall opened on Hope Street.
Designed by Liverpool architect Herbert Rowse, the venue is on the same site that the original Hall had stood from 27 August 1849 to 5 July 1933, when it was destroyed by fire.
The film will be screened on the Hall’s unique Walturdaw cinema screen which rises from under stage, accompanied by Liverpool Philharmonic’s resident cinema organist, the inimitable Dave Nicholas. On Monday 10 June, Dave celebrated 30 years in the role with presentation of a certificate to him on stage marking his milestone, before playing the organ before the screening of Dumbo.
On 19 June, the Grand Foyer Bar will serve Wizard-themed cocktails, with an appearance by ‘Judy Garland’ and other characters from the film. Audiences are welcome to come along to the screening dressed as their favourite character from the film.
Liverpool Philharmonic’s Music Room will be become the ‘Emerald City’ from 6pm for a pre-screening reception featuring Wizard of Oz-themed canapes (including Aunty Em Pulled Pork on Kansas Corn Bread, Rainbow Crudités, Emerald Pea Hummus, and Ruby Red Meat Balls followed by Yellow Brick Rocky Road and Mini Rainbow cupcakes) and a free glass of fizz on arrival.
There’ll be a live performance of songs from the era by Simply Frank (AKA David Knopov) and actors dressed as characters from the film will make an appearance.
Wizard-themed cocktails can be ordered and will served at the exclusive box seats during the interval which are sold as part of this package.
Proceeds from this 80th Birthday event will support the restoration of Liverpool Philharmonic’s historic organ built by local firm Rushworth and Dreaper. The organ console, which has already been removed for restoration to commence, with a replacement console now in temporary situ, is stored under the stage
All its workings are hidden behind grilles on either side of the stage. More than 120,000 yards of insulated copper wire were used to theconnect the console with various sections of the organ. There are more than 17,000 switches and contacts in the organ, along with 2,847 electric magnets. Today, the organ remains the oldest remaining working example of its type anywhere in the world, with the same being true of the Walturdaw cinema screen.
Richard Haswell, Head of Liverpool Philharmonic Hall & Events said:
‘We’re delighted to screen the Wizard of Oz in our iconic home on the unique Walturdaw screen to mark the current Hall’s 80th birthday and the film’s 80th anniversary and to support the important restoration of our Rushworth and Dreaper organ.
‘Liverpool Philharmonic has been at the heart of the city’s cultural life since the 1840s. Today we present a distinctive, ambitious and entertaining live music programme of over 450 concerts and events annually, with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and its associated ensembles at its heart and welcome international guest artists to the city from across classical, rock, pop and other music genres attended by 340,000 people annually.’
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