Rickards New Opera House 249 Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC - 1910 Harry Houdini engagement. Later the same site became the Tivoli theatre.

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Tivoli Theatre

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Rickards New Opera House 249 Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC - 1910 Harry Houdini engagement. Later the same site became the Tivoli theatre.

Rickards New Opera House 249 Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC - 1910 Harry Houdini engagement. Later the same site became the Tivoli theatre.

At the start of the 20th century, Harry Houdini was the world’s most popular entertainer, and one of its most famous celebrities. In 1910, he came to Melbourne.

Poster image - Courtesy Magic Posters Collection - The Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin.

The Tivoli Theatre was built on the site of the Opera House. It was designed in a French Renaissance style designed by architectural firm Backhouse & Co. of Sydney. It opened on 18th May 1901 as Rickards New Opera House, with British music hall star Marie Lloyd topping the bill. W.C. Fields appeared here in 1903. In 1910 Harry Houdini appeared for a weeks' engagement.

In 1914 it was re-named Tivoli Theatre. In 1921 it presented its first film “What Women Love” starring Annette Kellerman, but cinema use only lasted a few months and it reverted back to variety theatre use. In 1924 the Tivoli Theatre became part of the J.C. Williamson circuit until 1932. Many top stars appeared on stage over the years.

Contributed by Greg Lynch -

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