The Tivoli Theatre opened its doors on December 25, 1928, as a mixed use venue, movies and Vaudeville. Coming to life upon the invention of sound films, the Tivoli Theatre is the second theatre in the United States specifically designed to accommodate “talkies”. With the Depression and the shift away from Vaudeville entertainment the Tivoli was not used in earnest for live stage productions until the 1990’s. In the 1950’s the stage was actually rendered useless with the installation of a CinemaScope screen which covered the entire proscenium arch. The Tivoli has changed ownership many times over the years but has never been closed except for repairs and renovations. The present owners, Willis and Shirley Johnson, acquired the Tivoli building and took over the theatre operations in 1978, and embarked upon a course of restoration and modernization that continues to this day. The CinemaScope screen is gone, the theatre has been lovingly redecorated in a scheme designed by famed decorator Joe Ducibella, and the projection equipment has been updated to the latest in 3D digital equipment and Dolby sound.

Today, the Tivoli Theatre is the only single-screen theatre in the western suburbs of Chicago.  Selected by the American Institute of Architects as one of the best places to visit in Illinois, the theatre was voted the "Best Movie Theatre" by readers of West Suburban Living three years in a row.  In addition to its history, it's a wonderful place to see a movie at bargain prices seven days a week, with matinees on weekends as well as school holidays.  The After Hours Film Society also makes its home at the Tivoli, showing art and foreign films several times a month.  In addition, since 1989, the Tivoli has been host to hundreds of live performances, including the Midwest Ballet. With so many offerings, it is easy to make the Tivoli Theatre a favorite stop in your entertainment travels.

Click here for more information on the Tivoli Theatre Classic Cinemas

Architectural details from the Tivoli


Take One

  1. About Us

  2. Memberships & Donations

  3. About the Tivoli Theatre

  4. Directions

  5. Local Restaurants

  6. Contact Us


  1. Current Programs

  2. Past Programs

  3. Special Events

Programs are held at the

Tivoli Theatre

5021 Highland Avenue

Downers Grove, IL 60515

Phone: 630-968-0219

Fax: 630-968-0839