110 James Street N,
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Previously operated by: Famous Players
Architects: Herbert George Duerr, B. Kingston Hall
Firms: Hall & Duerr
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Wonderland Theatre, Colonial Theatre, Princess Theatre
News About This Theater
- May 21, 2010 — Happy 30th, "Empire"
- Jul 7, 2004 — Attempt to Save Tivoli From Demolition
- Jul 2, 2004 — Wall Collapses At Hamilton's Tivoli Theatre
The Tivoli Theatre was the home of vaudeville shows and movies from its opening on September 29, 1924. In 1950, the Tivoli Theatre started showing movies full time and was 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 remains and by 2014 was in use by the Canadian Ballet Youth Ensemble.
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Recent comments (view all 74 comments)
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!!
BrockKing13: The Colonial/Wonderland/Princess has a its own page at Cinema Treasures.
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.
The auditorium still stands and is being restored for use by the Canadian Ballet Youth Ensemble.
BrockKing13… Regarding your “Gone with the Wind” comment from July 15th, 2013, it would appear you’re confusing the original run with the film’s 1941 general release or a later re-release. While I was researching the original release of “GWTW” for this retrospective article I found the first run in Hamilton was actually at the Capitol in February 1940. And it was a roadshow (reserved seats) and so the cost of admission was more than the 35 cents you’re recalling (much closer to a dollar). It ran for two weeks followed by a one-week moveover run at the Savoy.
Saw so many great movies at the Tivoli during the 80s — Raiders (6 times during the summer of ‘81), Star Wars/Empire double bill in early '83, Jedi a few months later, Never Cry Wolf, Aliens…too many to list. Loved the huge screen and great surround sound. I did see the last movie ever shown there (Last Crusade) sometime before the theater closed in Sept of '89. Great memories, like the Century and Avon, but the Tivoli was my favourite.
I wonder if anyone remembers a man by the name of Johnny Claus, he used to put up the posters for the theatre in the 50’s. His wife’s name was Grace and they lived on George St.
2014 related article.
August 1954 photo added credit Superior Engravers, courtesy of Randy Watts.
The Tivoli Theatre is certainly not open! It was last used in the spring of 2004, as a live performance venue. Since then, other then brief opportunities to tour the building, the public has had no access to it.