Tivoli Theatre

6325 S. Cottage Grove Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60637

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Showing 26 - 42 of 42 comments

GrandMogul on March 30, 2007 at 2:01 am

Chicago Daily News, Tuesday, February 4, 1936, p. 18, c. 3:
The Balaban & Katz Tivoli theater, the first of the large de luxe neighborhood theaters, will celebrate its fifteenth anniversary during the week of Friday, Feb. 7. Although there doesn’t seem to be any great importance attached to theater birthdays, it is interesting to know that the Tivoli, when built, set the pace for the pretentious movie house of today.

The stage show for this event will be unit Mo. 5 of the Major Bowes amateur group. This group has never appeared on any other Chicago stage before. It will be their local debut.

The screen attraction for Anniversary week will be Lloyd C. Douglas' “Magnificent Obsession,” starring Irene Dunne and Robert Taylor.

GrandMogul on March 29, 2007 at 6:01 am

Famed “Schmeling-Louis” fight film shown at Tivoli—–


Chicago Daily News, Friday, June 26, 1936, p. 36, c. 1—–


The Joe Louis-Max Schmeling fight pictures, complete from beginning to end have been booked in as extra screen attractions at eight Balaban & Katz theaters starting today. In the loop the pictures will be shown at the Roosevelt and Apollo theaters; west side Marbro; south side, Tivoli and Southtown; north side, Granada, Varsity and Uptown. The pictures showing the knockdown in slow motion, also start at the Regal theater on the south side on Sunday

CHICTH74 on March 28, 2007 at 8:31 am

I think that it is not even an office but a parking lot.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on September 21, 2006 at 6:25 am

It is hard to believe that this neighborhood, which is now so devastated, once had things like the Tivoli Theatre and Trianon Ballroom.

Regarding the discussion of what now stands there:

I was under the impression that there is a Social Security office on the theatre site today.

Broan on August 21, 2006 at 2:21 am

Here is a postcard view of the lobby

KenC on August 9, 2006 at 7:49 am

In the book “CHICAGO INTERIORS” by David Garrard Lowe, there are some really nice pictures of the Tivoli, Central Park, and Uptown theatres (pages 44 to 49).

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on March 3, 2006 at 7:55 pm

From JAZZ AGE CHICAGO, here is an interesting article about a black dentist who sued the owners of the Tivoli.

View link

CharlesZirino on October 5, 2005 at 10:16 am

Well as a street kid of the forties and fifties I’ve probably been in every theatre on the south side includeing this one.It was kind of out of the way for me but occassionly I went there. It was a very nice theatre,but being from Englewood which had the Southtown as an example it did nothing for me! I remember taking a girl there to see A Walk in the Sun with Dana Andrews and God I hated that movie. War stories always seemed to give me a headache. It might of been the Flashing light of the cannon fire. That movie seemed like it went on for ever! She liked it.I felt like, somone please SHOOT ME!!!!
Chuckie Z.

dougbruton on August 26, 2005 at 6:35 am

As a younb boy from 1936 to 1940, I lived in the 63rd street area..mostly around Cottage Grove, St. Lawrence, and a few other streets I can’t recall. I was born on Dante Ave. I do recall the Tivol and attneding a movie there on at least one occasion. Most of all, I remember being on the street car and passing the Tivoli lit up in all it’s splendor. The sad thing, is it is not safe to even go to that area anymore. But for all of you who were not fortunate to be part of the great movie theater era…you can sit in front of your one eyed monsters in the living room or pay $8.00 to attend one of the 10 to 20 cracker boxes in the things they call theaters now.
Doug Bruton Denison, Texas

turnernyc on July 29, 2005 at 3:14 am

I looks like there is a dollar store in its place now. Can anyone confirm that?

Broan on July 28, 2005 at 9:44 pm

Here is a 1923 Chicago Daily News photo of the Tivoli

Scott on March 18, 2005 at 2:18 am

The site the theatre sat on is still vacant. I drove by it a couple of years ago after visiting the Science and Industry museum and don’t recall seeing anything there. In case you’re not familiar with the area, it is a very bad neighborhood.

turnernyc on March 16, 2005 at 5:29 am

Does anyone know what stands in the Tivoli’s place now?

Broan on July 18, 2004 at 11:37 am

Here is a link to an excellent picture of the Tivoli
View link

NickCoston on November 15, 2003 at 4:57 am

Two large, magnificant chandeliers from the Tivoli auditorium now hang in The Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago, on Central Ave.

JimRankin on February 25, 2002 at 4:47 am

I became interested in the name TIVOLI when I worked at a Milwaukee area hotel which had a restaurant with this name; they had no idea where the name came from, so I did some research, especially since it had also become the name of a number of theatres. It was popularized in the 19th century by the famous Tivoli amusement park and gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark founded in 1843 in imitation of the famous gardens and palaces of the Italian ruling princes of the 16th century, the Estes, who built the famed Villa d'Este palace in the region of Tivoli, a popular tourist attraction to this day. Thus, the pleasure-assuring name was thought auspicious by the developers of theatres, theatres being the pleasure palaces of the masses of their day.

This is akin to the common theatre name: RIALTO, for the famous enclosed Rialto bridge of 1591 in Venice, Italy over the Grand Canal, which to this day contains many amusing boutiques and is at the heart of an entertainment district. The distinctive architecture of the Rialto bridge also inspired many latter day architects, and perhaps found its forms reproduced in some movie palaces. A monograph on the origin of theatre names was presented at the 1981 Conclave of the Theatre Historical Society of America then meeting at the PABST theater in Milwaukee, but the origins of the above names and others were not known by the author of that paper. Perhaps this will add a little bit to that quest.