State cinema ransacked as historic pipe organ stripped

OVER £10,000 worth of pipes from the classic Compton organ that graced the State Cinema in Grays has been stolen.

It was originally reported in July that only £100 worth of materials were stolen from the Grade 2 listed building but now it has been revealed that the real cost is over £10,000 as over 300 pipes from the organ were ripped out and stolen.

The theft has come as a hammer blow to the Save the State Cinema campaigners but they are also very angry.

Spokesperson Peter Hammond said: “We warned the owners (TSP), Thurrock Council and the Development Corporation (DC) that unless their is tighter security then this would happen.

“We are furious that despite our numerous pleas to the DC to ensure the building was made more secure this has fallen on
deaf ears with known reports of at least 4 to 5 incidents of break ins over the last few months…. you would have thought that this would tell them something of the lack of care and security of the site??

“Last week the building was made much more secure, but rather much too late, as we have discovered, following the death of the caretaker we requested 24 hour security, yet nothing was done, and cctv only covers part of the building.”

Along with the State’s original organ pipes the thieves took light fittings off, hand rails, door handles and plates
on.

This was one of only four original Compton cinema organs left in their original venue and the State was the only one of these left
unmodernized.

Scrap metal dealers in the area have been put on alert but some have reported that the pipes would only be worth less than a thousand pounds for scrap.

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