UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. – The St. Louis area marks two major milestones in its history this year: the 70th anniversary of the movie Meet Me in St. Louis and the 90th anniversary of the Tivoli Theatre.
On Saturday, May 10, 1924 the Tivoli Theatre opened to the public for the very first time. It was University City's first theatre, but it preceded the Fox Theatre and was a gem of St. Louis.
Residents across the city were transfixed by the ornate construction of this four story building on Delmar, with its 180 feet of street frontage.
It was such a landmark in the day, that then-St. Louis mayor Henry Kiel was one of the dozens of dignitaries to give a speech at the opening.
Over the years, it would go through hard times and several ownership changes. In the late 1960s the name was briefly changed to the Magic Lantern.
In 1994, then-owner Harmon Mosley shut it down. It's once magnificent glory had fallen into disrepair, its beauty decayed. Part of the structure was even condemned.
That's when Blueberry Hill owner Joe Edwards stepped in and the rest is history.
Over two years and with $2 million, Edwards restored the Tivoli to its 1920s glory. He took it from a single screen to three, preserved the orchestra pit, and hung a new velvet curtain.
Along with mainstream movies, the Tivoli kept its commitment to showing art and independent films.
Now this anchor of The Loop is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
You can join in the 90th birthday celebration at the Tivoli this weekend during a screening of Meet Me in St. Louis Sunday, May 25 at 4 p.m. Admission is $5.
Other stories about the Tivoli Theatre:
29-foot sign towers over Tivoli box office
Long-time patron shares his best Tivoli memories
Famous faces who have visited the Tivoli
Poster collages took 6 months to complete
Meet the man behind the Tivoli's revival
Tivoli memorabilia from Vincent Price to E.T.
From the high court to the Tivoli
John Thompson took tickets, gave memories
Rambunctious Tivoli fat cat attacks handler's shoulder on air