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Downers Grove

Plans for second theater next to Tivoli approved in Downers Grove

The Downers Grove Village Council Tuesday approved the Tivoli Theatre's plans to open a 33-seat theater in a storefront adjacent to it.
The Downers Grove Village Council Tuesday approved the Tivoli Theatre's plans to open a 33-seat theater in a storefront adjacent to it.

DOWNERS GROVE - Downers Grove officials on Tuesday approved the Tivoli Theatre’s request for a special-use permit to build an additional theater in a vacant building near the existing theater.

The decision comes on the heels of messages of support shared by elected officials at recent village council meetings.

The Tivoli Theatre’s plan is to add a 33-seat theater within in a vacant building, located at 5021 Highland Ave. Classic Cinemas, which owns the Tivoli, does not intend to buildout externally into the nearby parking lot.

The Tivoli Theatre has long been an anchor in downtown Downers Grove. The fully restored theatre features a single-screen theater with 7.1 surround sound and 4K digital projection, according to its website.

Council consideration of the required special-use request was met with little discussion during the meeting, but Mayor Bob Barnett said it’s not for lack of village council support.

Several commissioners made remarks last week, giving kudos to the Tivoli Theatre for presenting a plan to reinvest in Downers Grove.

Commissioner Cavanaugh Gray has said he is excited by the company’s pitch to the council in light of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact to the local economy.

“To see the activity of the Tivoli going forward in times like this—when you think about the shutdowns across the country, the pivots that theatres have had to make—to know that there’s action and there’s movement in that direction is a good sign,” Gray said. “It’s a great thing to see the Tivoli positioning for what’s to come. I appreciate the efforts and what’s being done by this organization.”

The leadership at the Tivoli Theatre has acknowledged the way people have raved about what the organization offers the community.

“We appreciate the support,” said Chris Johnson, the CEO of Classic Cinemas. “We do believe if we’re allowed to go forward, that will only enhance the experience.”

The project, as approved by the village council, will allow the Tivoli Theatre to play twice as many movies, Johnson said.

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