Tivoli Theatre

110 James Street North,
Hamilton, ON L8R

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Tivoli Front 1987

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Tivoli Theatre was the home of vaudeville shows from 1925 to 1949. In 1950, the Tivoli Theatre started showing movies and operated by Famous Players Corp. it was remodeled in 1954. It remained a popular movie house until it closed in 1990.

In 1995, the Tivoli Theatre returned to its roots as a venue for live stage shows. Closed in 2004 after a portion of the frontage collapsed, the lobby area was demolished, but the auditorium remained several more years until it too was demolished.

Contributed by Chad Irish

Recent comments (view all 68 comments)

CSWalczak on December 4, 2012 at 11:13 pm

According the information at the IMDb for “Rated X”, filming took place in Hamilton, at the Tivoli, in Toronto, and in Uxbridge, Ontario. Portions of the also made-for-TV film, “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” based on the play by (and really about) Neil Simon, made the year after “Rated X,” were also filmed at the Tivoli.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 6, 2012 at 8:47 am

The page for architect B. Kingston Hall at the Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada lists the Tivoli Theatre in Hamilton as a 1924 project of the firm of Hall & Duerr. The page lists a total of five theater projects for the firm.

After the firm was dissolved in 1926, partner Herbert George Duerr established his own practice and went on to design at least twenty more theaters.

TivFan on December 27, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Finally, some action at the Tivoli. The Hamilton Spectator reported (Wednesday, December 26) that a buyer is interested in developing the vacant portion of the Tivoli property. The end of January is the target for the finalization of the deal. You can see the article at thespec.com: Tivoli shall rise again, Ballet pledges.

TivFan on February 7, 2013 at 3:39 pm

There is still no word on any development at the Tivoli Theatre. As mentioned in my December 27 comment, the finalization of the deal has not been announced. If you are interested in the saving and restoration of old theatres (or any kind of building) see “The Cost of History” on this site. Go to the home page and see “Latest Movie Theater Videos”. It is short, but there is a lot of information about what goes along with the restoration and the upkeep of a building.

TivFan on February 7, 2013 at 3:49 pm

If you are interested in other comments about the Tivoli Theatre project, see the “Skyscraper” forum. There are comments as current as early February 2013. (A direct address to the forum would not work for me.) Do a Google search for “Tivoli Theatre Hamilton”/go to page 2 of “web results”/and select “Tivoli Theatre [Archive]-Skyscraper Page Forum…”. It is the 8th item on the list on page 2. There are many comments, including some from somebody who made an offer to develop the property/project.

TivFan on February 16, 2013 at 1:48 pm

The Hamilton Spectator (our city newspaper) reported on Friday, February 15 that Bella Diamante has finally found a developer to buy the Tivoli…HER HUSBAND!! More details later…

BrockKing13 on July 15, 2013 at 10:14 pm

I was employed as ass’t mgr and did some maintenance at the Tivoli in the early 70’s. I amazes me the historical misinformation that exists about this place. The theatre was built in 1908 and went by several names (Wonderland, Colonial etc.) It was a vaudville theatre until the 1920’s. During these years many of the biggest stars of the day performed here. Many went on to great sucess in Hollywood. In 1925 Famous Players built the large auditorium on the back, and the front of the theatre became the long lobby.The entire theatre was done in Italian Renaissance style with frescos,tapestries and roman statues in the auditorium wall recesses. A massive pipe organ was installed with pipe lofts inthe front recesses on either side.In 1954 the theatre was remodelled again and many of the 1925 fixtures were either removed or hidden behind walls and curtains. Her heydays were over by the early 1970’s and she was reduced to soft core sex movies until Famous Players let her go. Most of my information comes from old files, photos and first hand accounts by those who worked here during the golden years of this fine old lady. One of the biggest movies ever to show here was Gone With The Wind in 1939. According to receipt books I found, the show sold out every performance from 9am till late night every day for weeks. The adult admission price was 35 cents.

DavidDymond on July 15, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Good information Brock — the original owners of the Tivoli property would NOT sell to Famous Players Canadian Corporation and so Famous created a “fake” company to acquire it and they sold to this “fake” company!!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 15, 2013 at 10:53 pm

BrockKing13: The Colonial/Wonderland/Princess has a its own page at Cinema Treasures.

BrockKing13 on August 4, 2013 at 5:06 am

This theatre and the Century were my two favorites of all time. When I worked there I did a lot of exploring. All the history and ‘ghosts’ never leave my memory. Thanks Joe, I will check out the page.

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