Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tivoli Theatre in Spencer

The heart of most Indiana counties seems to be centered around a town square courthouse.  Sadly, so many of these squares are full of empty storefronts, not the hubs they once were.  In Spencer, that feels like the case sometimes.  Not far from where my parents live in Bloomington, there isn't much going on downtown in Spencer.  But the Tivoli Theatre, restored by funds from Cook, is quaint enough to attract my parents to go to a different town to see movies!  Tivoli shows first run films on the weekends, and it's only $5 for adults.  There's definitely a line and a crowd.  I can't believe this place was once at risk of teardown.

Old Photos from Tivoli Website

Mom and I went to see Maleficent.  The movie was okay, but I was mostly impressed by the theatre.  It seemed a lot of attention to detail was taken in the restoration, and the entire operation (minus one employee) is run by volunteers from the community.  Ticket takers, popcorn wranglers, even the projection and cleanup crews are volunteers.  Talk about a real gem.  There's also old movie posters (I wonder if they're from the old shows at the theatre) and retro tiling in the bathroom.  They even play the old "Let's All Go to the Lobby" concessions cartoon before the movie.  It feels like stepping back in time!

If you live around Bloomington, it might be worth a trip to check this place out.  It's wayyyy cheaper than the big theatres in town, and you're supporting historic preservation.

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  1. Aw, there's a similar Tivoli in Downers Grove, IL, near where I grew up. It must be the same company! I love it there.

  2. Apparently there are remnant Tivolis around the country in various states of functionality/repair. It feels like a step back in time!


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