Tivoli Theatre

5021 Highland Avenue,
Downers Grove, IL 60515

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Showing 1 - 25 of 66 comments

50sSNIPES on August 21, 2023 at 10:02 am

He’s an amazing man that made the Chicago Metropolitan Area and all of Illinois shine with love and entertainment, and I’m so sad and heartbroken on the news of his passing at age 86 today.

RIP Willis, you’ll be missed! God bless Willis and his great family.

DavidZornig on August 21, 2023 at 9:17 am

Willis Johnson, co-founder of largest Illinois-based theaters, dies at 86. He loved ‘being part of the fun’ with moviegoers.


skyycorvair on June 17, 2023 at 7:18 pm

They used to bus us from D.G. North to the bowling alley for PE class and seeing the exterior of the Tivoli a couple times a week was always cool!

Trolleyguy on April 19, 2023 at 8:36 am

Paywall at above link.

DavidZornig on April 18, 2023 at 3:13 pm

Documentary to salute Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove By Shaw Local News Network April 17, 2023


LouRugani on November 23, 2022 at 3:25 pm

“YOURS TO ENJOY - A beautiful new building designed in the sumptuous architecture of the Spanish Renaissance period; a spacious foyer brilliantly lighted and decorated; an interior gay with color and breathing an air of comfort and refinement - that is the Tivoli Theatre. The realization of a long dream - a de luxe metropolitan theatre right in the heart of Chicago’s Western Suburbs.

Planned and executed with the utmost care and thought for your comfort and enjoyment, it brings to your very door the latest sensation in Cinema entertainment - Sound and Talking Pictures. Not only will the feature pictures be the same as at the largest Chicago theatres - synchronized with music played by large Symphony Orchestras, and containing actual sound effects and in many cases Spoken Dialogue by your favorite screen stars, but the surrounding program will contain the latest Vitaphone and Movietone Singing and Talking Acts. These will bring you the greatest stars of vaudeville and musical comedy. Also the Movie-events of the world both visually and in sound. Pres. Elect Hoover, King George, of England, King Alfonso of Spain, Premier Mussolino (sic), and many others will speak to you from our screen. Amazing in its scope, it puts you in direct touch with events and people the world over.

We feel therefore that the Tivoli can rightfully be called ‘The Wonder Theatre of Suburban Chicago’."

(Advertisement: Downers Grove Reporter; Friday, December 21, 1928)

MustangMike on February 25, 2022 at 1:58 pm

Your seating information is a little off. There are 1024 seats in the original auditorium and 33 in the new “Willis” auditorium (named for the founder and president of Classic Cinemas). I’ll post a picture if the new screen.

Joe Moore
Joe Moore on April 14, 2021 at 9:13 am

It is now a two screen theater


“Johnson felt sure enough in the industry to install a fancy new theater at the Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove, despite a rollercoaster year.”

DavidZornig on November 24, 2020 at 7:22 am

Tivoli looking to expand into storefront. 11/12/20 Daily Herald article below.


Trolleyguy on May 5, 2020 at 12:28 pm

With the Covid19 shutdown and no patrons, the Tivoli is offering curbside pickup of popcorn and concessions over the weekend of May8-10. https://patch.com/illinois/downersgrove/tivoli-theatre-offer-popcorn-concessions-pickup-may-8-10?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_term=arts+%26+entertainment&utm_campaign=autopost&utm_content=downersgrove&fbclid=IwAR1yxbMal6hms7TpBVEvRQzX6fhUDXff5lflo-WPd-alrruKyUqvvXxH1VM

Trolleyguy on May 18, 2016 at 7:41 am

Updated website: http://www.classiccinemas.com/location.aspx?house=912

Broan on April 26, 2016 at 7:06 am

Trivia: the Curtiss One-Hour Dry Cleaners building at 935 Curtiss was constructed to be a movie theater. However, the Tivoli was begun soon after and the other project was dropped due to inability to compete with B&K. The unfinished auditorium of the theater on Curtiss was later used as an auto dealership and garage.

DavidZornig on January 29, 2014 at 9:53 am

Apparently the Tivoli Theatre is now also hosting live concerts. WXRT just announced a John Hiatt show for 02/26/14.

Mmandarano on September 27, 2013 at 11:37 am

Wow, wish I had a cinema near me like this! I’d be there every weekend.

Songb33 on September 27, 2013 at 11:08 am

The Tivoli is such a wonderful theater, we’ll drive the hour it takes to get there; always clean, always friendly, still feels like a small town old time theater…love going there!

sartana on September 4, 2013 at 4:01 am

Remodeling for better sound Boxoffice

DavidZornig on July 11, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Here’s the link to the Geico commercial featuring the exterior of the Tivoli. I hope this works. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjrXRXFCIwo

Trolleyguy on April 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm

The exterior of this theater shows up in the new Geico commercial about the gecko ventroliquist. Not sure if the auditorium shots are from the theater, but there are a few organ chords thrown in at the end.

MustangMike on February 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm

I took my wife to see “The Artist” at the Tivoli on Valentine’s day. It was pretty cool to see this silent film, set in the 20’s and 30’s, in a theatre from 1928. Especially cool because the Tivoli was built to house talkie movies but openned with one of the last great silent films “Fazil”

BJMcBean on January 2, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Back in 1965, my parents and I traveled from Southern California to Illinois so they could visit friends and family in their old stomping grounds. Lucky for me, the Dave Clark 5 were out promoting their latest film and stopped by the Tivoli. They simply walked on stage, waved, and left. So, yes, Mary, I was there, too. After their appearance, I ran outside, under the arms of the police officers surrounding their tour bus, and got right up next to the bus. I just stood there with my mouth hanging open, too shy to try anything else.

Mary, if you see this, I have some great photos I took of the DC5 that day.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on September 23, 2010 at 10:48 am

Was there any relationship between Van Gunten and Van Gunten and Eugene De Rosa? To me the Tivoli looks similar to this place:

View link

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on June 6, 2010 at 9:20 pm

From 1949 a photo postcard of the Tivoli Theatre & Hotel in Downers Grove.

kunimo on May 17, 2010 at 1:01 am

Here is a photo taken at the Tivoli with the lights out, showing the proscenium arch and the organist playing the Mighty Wurlitzer.

malfitt on March 29, 2010 at 2:36 pm

I grew up in Downers Grove and went to the “Tiv” on a regular basis as a kid. I remember that in 1965 the Dave Clark 5 appeared at the Tivoli Theater because their movie was premiering one evening and they showed up on a bus. Does anyone else remember this? It did deteriorate over the years, but it has been renovated (not necessarily restored)to the previous grandeur. Glad to see D.G.’s old Grand Dame is surviving and thriving!