Rebirth of the Tivoli
fixture on Wyandotte Street East for over three-quarters of a century,
The Tivoli Theatre has undergone many transformations since its
debut as The Walkerville Theatre in 1918.
by renowned architect Howard Crane, the creator of Detroit's Fox
Theatre and Music Hall, the theatre lost most of its former charm
and beauty during the last thirty years.
the theatre first opened, it was illegal to show movies on Sunday.
The Tivoli, as it became known in 1930, enjoyed great success by
offering both silent movies and vaudeville acts, guaranteeing it
an audience every day of the week.
theatre goers could choose to watch the shows from either Windsor
or Walkerville as the town border ran right down the middle of the
gradually faded away after the introduction of sound motion pictures
in the late 1920's but live theatre made a short-lived comeback
in 1959 when the Windsor Light Opera Association staged a musical
and briefly considered buying the acoustically exquisite building
for its permanent home.
Tivoli was instead converted back into a movie house and was known
as "The Tiv" until closing in 1965. In later years it was briefly
resuscitated as a bingo hall and then as a community music/ dance
studio but its doors have remained closed for the last few years.
many area residents barely give the derelict building a second glance.
For those alert individuals who have noticed some activity in the
building lately, you haven't been seeing things. David Booth and
Jim Shaban of Magic Theatres purchased the theatre in July of 1998
and are in the process of giving it a much needed facelift, both
inside and out. Not only are they restoring the building to its
former grandeur, they are renaming it The Walkerville Theatre and
are reviving its original function as a performing arts venue. To
ensure the viability of their venture, they are installing a nursery
school on the main level of the theatre.
Upon a Brewery