FREE Tivoli Tours in Downers Grove IL SAT AUG 13 10AM-Noon

Tour the Historic Tivoli Building

As Part of Downtown Downers Grove’s “Downers Thru the Decades”

Downers Grove, IL – The Tivoli Building in downtown Downers Grove, home to the Tivoli Theatre and Bowl, carries a rich history dating back to 1928. And, as part of the Downtown Downers Grove “Downers Thru the Decades” Photo Tour, Classic Cinemas will conduct tours of the Tivoli Building [5021 Highland Ave.] on Saturday, August 13, 2011from 10 a.m. until noon. Tours are FREE and last about one hour, beginning every 15 minutes.

Visitors will first learn about the history of the Tivoli Theatre, from Willis Johnson, president of Classic Cinemas, who purchased the Tivoli Theatre 33 years ago. Johnson will talk about the original owners of the theatre, its architectural style, and how the building and operation of the theatre has changed. 

The tour will then be led into the theatre’s projection booths where guests will see firsthand how films are put together on the platter system along with the newest digitial and 3D equipment. The next stop is the sound booth at the rear of the auditorium, which is used for all live stage events. Also on display will be the three manual 10 rank Wurlitzer pipe organ, owned and maintained by the Chicago Area Theatre Organ Enthusiasts (CATOE). Tivoli house organist and members of CATOE will be available to answer questions and demonstrate the organ.

The event will continue backstage where the Tivoli Stage Crew will describe the technical workings of live theatre. Visit the rooms below the stage where performers prepare for their moment in the spotlight! Those who have graced the Tivoli stage include Julie Andrews, Alan Alda and Andy Williams, sponsored by Anderson’s Bookshops.


Nearing the end of the tour, visitors will be escorted into a “secret passage” that leads into the Tivoli Bowling Lanes, where pinsetters will be seen in action. The Tivoli Bowl has 12 lanes with computerized scoring, automatic bumpers and party rooms. The tour will conclude with information on upcoming events at the Tivoli Theatre and Bowl as well as further information regarding the “Downers Thru the Decades” Photo Tour.

Enjoy a morning walking through history with Classic Cinemas!

Classic Cinemas, based in Downers Grove, Illinois, is a family-owned company operated by Willis, Shirley and Chris Johnson. Established in 1978, Classic Cinemas operates 13 theatres with 99 screens in 12 communities in the northern Illinois area. For more information on Classic Cinemas, please visit www.classiccinemas.com.


  1. THS will be represented with a lobby display staffed by newly elected THS director Konrad Schiecke. Stop by to meet him and us !

  2. Can tour guests take pictures of the historical architecture of the theater on the tour?

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