Tivoli Theatre

35 W. Galena Boulevard,
Aurora, IL 60506

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Tivoli Theatre, Aurora, IL - parade

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opening in 1928, one of Aurora’s larger movie houses after the Paramount Theatre (which was, like the Tivoli Theatre, designed by Rapp & Rapp), the Tivoli Theatre could seat over 1,000. It shared a building with a bowling alley.

The Tivoli Theatre was closed in 1981, and has since been torn down.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

karaoketom
karaoketom on January 16, 2004 at 7:20 pm

We used to skip out of school and go to the bowling alley downstairs and played pinball. The building that the theater was in also had an upstairs bar that had live music.

foxvalleyhome
foxvalleyhome on September 21, 2006 at 11:40 am

I had lots of fond memories of Aurora’s Tivoli Theater. In the late 60s to early 70s the Tivoli was a popular hangout. The inside of the theater looked very close to the Paramount Theater just across the street. The primary color was a deep red or burgundy with some off shades of red. There were some gold trims as well. The enormous crystal chandelier in the auditorium was identical to the one in the Paramount Theater complete with the starburst design painted on the ceiling surrounding it using a burgundy scheme. The Tivoli was a great place to catch a movie and at times live performances. Towards the end of this theaters life around the late 70s the theater was used to show Spanish films and burlesque type show with men in drag. What a sad way to go.

Bruce C.
Bruce C. on June 30, 2009 at 10:09 am

I grew up in Aurora and took this picture while attending a parade:

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This is a rather sad picture of the Tivoli, a theatre that I frequented as a kid. This must have been just before it was demolished.

Bruce C.
Bruce C. on August 4, 2009 at 1:43 pm

I have never seen any interior pictures of the Tivoli. I was a kid when I went there so I don’t really remember it very well. My parents seem to remember it a bit. I hope to get to the Aurora Historical Society in the near future with the intentions of finding pictures of the interior of the Tivoli and also the Isle (another downtown Aurora theatre). Chuck, can you scan one of two of your pictures and put them on line? Maybe my parents would recognize them.

Bruce C.
Bruce C. on August 6, 2009 at 8:21 pm

I found this nice picture of the Tivoli from back in the good old days:

View link

Bruce C.
Bruce C. on August 19, 2010 at 9:39 am

Yes, Main Street was changed to Galena Blvd. I believe this happened in the 1950s.

DAL
DAL on March 1, 2012 at 8:49 am

The Tivoli / Paramount was my first job as manager for Plitt Theatres in 1976. The Paramount was only open for about a month until the city took it over to convert to a performing arts center. The interior of the Tivoli auditorium had beautiful light window wells in the side walls, but the chandelier was long gone by the time I was there. Until seeing the photo from the glory days, I had no idea that there used to be a vertical sign. Not only was there a bowling alley underneath (we leaked onto the lanes if we spilled water in the mop closet!), but a ballroom above the lobby. I remember many Saturday evenings when our lobby echoed with the sounds of dancing from the floor above. One of my funniest memories: a muskrat from the neighboring Fox River got into our outer lobby, and my DM was chasing it around until he got it outside.

JPK
JPK on March 20, 2013 at 4:00 pm

I was managing this treasure when DAL arrived to rescue me. Plitt was operating it at the time. In fact, Plitt was operating the Paramount as well. There was only one manager for both locations. While I was there I had to open the Tivoli or the Paramount first,then, run down the block to open the other. It kept you in shape. It was also excellent training in the fine points of show scheduling. I was the last Plitt manager at the Paramount. Here is a tidbit that I suppose someone might remember. Shortly before DAL took over the Tivoli a projectionist named Carl died in the booth during a show on a Saturday night in the spring. Wasn’t that fun? I had to practically physically push the projectionist from the Paramount down the street to get the show running again after Carl had been taken away by the EMT’s. I think we were running “The Omen” at the time.

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett on June 20, 2014 at 4:47 pm

According to David Junchen’s “Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Pipe Organ”, pg. 144, the Tivoli Theatre in Aurora, Illinois originally had a 3 manual, 12 rank Geneva theatre pipe organ installed at some point (year not known or not given in the book). Does anybody know what happened to this organ and where it is today? Thanks!!!

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