950 s/n / 95 AP / $140 retail
Artist’s Proof $195
image size: 19 x 15
-the Grande Dame of Hamilton theatres-
The Tivoli is the last of the majestic theatres in Hamilton.
Built originally as a carriage factory in 1875, it evolved into a vaudeville house and movie theatre in 1908. In 1924 the Princess theatre became the lobby for the vaudeville/movie house of the new Tivoli. It was the Tivoli, which first had the wide screen cinemascope and was the first theatre in the Country to have folding seats. It was at the Tivoli, in 1926, that the first “talkie” in Hamilton took place. The Tivoli was only the third theatre in Canada to show the first talking motion picture, “The Jazz Singer” staring Al Jolson
The original Tivoli with its ornate décor of Italian Renaissance was a testament to the glittering era of the ‘roaring twenties’. Niches in the walls at the sides of the amphitheatre contained sculptures of famous poets, composers, Greek Goddesses and Roman Emperors. A set of Louis the fourteenth tables and chairs graced the foyer. The glory of the architecture evident in the opulent, domed ceiling. At that time Hamilton had more live stage theatres, per capita, than any other city in Canada.
Ghost of the Tivoli
The Tivoli is listed as one of the haunted theatres in Canada .
On December 2nd, 1919, wealthy theatre magnate, Ambrose Small, after
meeting with his lawyer to liquidate all of his theatrical holdings,
stepped out into the crisp, winter air and was never seen again.
Efforts to solve the case proved fruitless even to the extent of
contacting famed author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Neither the murderer
nor body was ever found. The case remained unsolved and was officially
closed in 1960. Over the years a man dressed in Victorian attire sporting an enormous, handlebar mustache has been seen loitering in andmonument to our Canadian heritage for future generations.
At the time of this writing the fate of our last remaining ornate movie palace remains uncertain. In my opinion, a historic building, such as the Tivoli, deserves to be preserved and maintained as a monument to our Canadian heritage for future generations.
Original watercolor: 25″ x 16″ $7,000
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