Spencer’s Tivoli Theater Reopens

The Tivoli Theater has been undergoing restoration for the past two years.

tivoli theater

Photo: Dan Goldblatt/WFIU News

The Tivoli Theater is a historic site in Owen County.

After nearly two years of renovations, Spencer’s historic Tivoli Theater is set to open Friday night.

Two years ago the building was barely standing, but soon it will open to the public in its original form as a movie theater and multi-purpose venue.

In addition to showing films, the Tivoli Theater will accommodate musical ensembles, events, conferences and catering. Owen Valley Winery is also leasing a room in front.

Theater executive director Dana Beth Evans says opening night is sold out.

“It’s a small town theater in a small town community, and that’s awesome, because there’s nothing like that small town feel,” she says. “People really get behind you and enjoy that and appreciate it, and make sure that it stays the way that it was meant to be.”

The Cook Group funded the restoration, which has included several unique projects. This spring they installed a fiber-optic ceiling that resembles the night sky as it would have looked when the theater opened on New Year’s Eve of 1928.

Owen County Preservations President Debby Jordan says the theater holds special memories for many Spencer residents – some of whom will attend the opening.

“It’s great to say we’ve made it,” she says. “The community has such memories here, they all had their first dates, they all met their future husbands here. In fact, one of our projectionists, Harley Allen, is in a nursing home and he will be here for our gala and he will open the curtains again.”

The theater has 290 seats and will show movies each weekend.

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