Lewis Gerard at Dreamland Cinema Compton

Dreamland Glory Days Recalled

“The picture was taken in 1992 and shows Lewis Gerard, who was the organist at Dreamland Cinema from 1935 to 38 and 1947 to 52.” Does anyone have news of Lewis? Is he still alive?

Mike Nichols’s black and white photo above of the the Compton in Dreamland Cinema which is usually photographed in glorious color.

Visit the Dreamland Cinema page

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17 Responses to Lewis Gerard at Dreamland Cinema Compton

  1. Mrs Rosemary harding says:

    I wouldn’t think Lewis Gerrard is still alive, His son Warren was in school with me and left at 15 years old in 1952 so he would in his 70s

  2. Shona McKay says:

    Lewis Gerard died at Santa Barbara, California in 1995 at age 86. His son Warren died in 2007. Gerry (as Lewis was known) is survived by his son Roger, who lives in Northern California and four grandsons (Warren) who live in Toronto. Both Gerry and Warren spoke often and fondly of their memories of Dreemland.

    • Thanks for the update, especially that he was called Gerry. That helps future research.

      • Roger Gerard says:

        My mother, Joan, and wife to Gerry, died in 2004…also in Santa Barbara. She worked at Dreamland as a secretary, when he played the Compton. That is where they met. I was born in Ramsgate and grew up with stories from that era.

  3. Shona McKay says:

    Sorry, Michael. Jerry, not Gerry.

  4. Shona McKay says:

    No. It is Jerry. I simply made a mistake. If you google Jerry Gerard, you’ll find images and clippings related to him.

  5. Pingback: Lewis Gerard Died in 1995 | MMS Organ Music Blog

  6. Lew Williams says:

    Jerry was a very dear friend. Our mutual bond was the great organist Quentin Maclean, whom he’d first known in 1930. I visited him several times in Santa Barbara, and he was a wonderful friend who gave me much insight. I miss him to this day.

  7. Roger Gerard says:

    Lew…I recall my parents mentioning your name, as I lived in Scottsdale for a while. They asked me whether I knew you. Saw your name posted on a few items in their local paper, playing at some locations. Jerry thought highly of you, as did my mother.

    • Anita Hardcastle (nee Wilson) says:

      Hello Roger
      My name is Anita Hardcastle and my Mum Beryl Wilson is your cousin.
      Her father Leslie Lewis was your Dad’s brother who sadly passed away in 1963.
      I met your Dad (and Auntie Joan) on many occasions when he came over to Liverpool to visit and stay with my Mum and Dad.
      He was great fun and we used to look forward to his phone calls and visits.
      I found this site by accident but it is lovely to see he was so well thought of.
      It would be nice to make contact with you if you wish.
      My Mum is sitting with me as I send this message.
      Take care and best wishes
      Anita x

  8. Roger Gerard says:

    Hi Anita,
    Please email me at [my email] and I will reply.

    Roger Gerard

  9. Gareth says:

    Hello Roger, was Lewis Gerard the brother of emrys Ivor Lewis?

  10. Mark D Rawsthorn says:

    I don’t know if this is of any interest, but I have just been talking with my father, who is 86, about the Blackpool Tower Ballroom and his memories of it. This led him to tell me that Lewis Gerard’s son, Warren, was evacuated during World War II and lived in St Helens, Lancashire, with his (my father’s) aunt, Mollie Twist, whom I remember well. He also commented that Lewis Gerard, who played at Dreamland in Margate was simply a stage name and his real name was Ralph Lewis. Perhaps someone else can comment on the accuracy of this. It was this comment which prompted me to do an internet search for Lewis Gerard of Margate and led me to this website.

  11. Roger Gerard says:

    Hi Mark…my name is Roger. I am the son of Lewis Gerard and Joan Gerard, and live in California. My father’s real name was Ralph Lewis, and Lewis Gerard was a stage name. My father passed away in1995 in Santa Barbara, California. My mother passed away in August of 2004. Warren, my brother, passed away in November of 2007 in Toronto, Canada. His wife, Shona McKay, and I communicate frequently.

  12. Mark D Rawsthorn says:

    What a shame to have made this connection a little too late. I have just been with my father, and he remembered meeting your father on a few occasions, when he visited Warren. What he wondered was why Warren ended up being evacuated to his aunt and uncle at all; he wondered if there had been some previous connection between them. Sadly, his uncle died before I was born (and that was 1958!), his aunt (my grandmother’s sister) somewhat later (probably about 20 years ago), but now, their only son, who would have lived with Warren, has also passed away. He had a couple of daughters around my age whom I never see but he may have mentioned something to them. I just wondered if you could shed any light on why Warren, and not both of you, were sent to St Helens. To be honest, it’s hardly the most picturesque setting, although my great aunt was a lovely person!



  13. Roger Gerard says:

    Hi Mark…I might defer to Shona on this question, as I am not sure. If not we are in contact with a few relatives in England, who may be able to answer your question. I was born in 1951…there was 14 years difference in our ages. So, I was not involved with St. Helens. Will keep you posted.

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