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Report - The Tivoli Theatre, Aberdeen 23.07.08

Discussion in 'Theatres and Cinemas' started by Gorecki, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. Gorecki

    Gorecki 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Jul 29, 2007
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    The Tivoli Theatre opened in 1872 as Her Majesty's Theatre and was built by the Aberdeen Theatre and Opera House Company Ltd, under architects James Matthews of Aberdeen and C.B. Phipps, a London-based architect brought in to consult.
    The auditorium was rebuilt in 1897 by theatre architect Frank Matcham, but then closed temporarily in 1906, following the opening of the larger His Majesty's Theatre. The smaller theatre was extensively reconstructed in 1909, again by Frank Matcham, and re-opened in July 1910 as the Tivoli. The Tivoli was refurbished again in 1938.

    The theatre became a bingo hall in 1966. In the mid 1980s plans were made to improve the bingo-oriented facilities and the building, but little was actually done. The building finally closed for bingo in 1998 and has remained disused since.



    I have always been fascinated by the building, passing it on the bus every day to school back in the day, the exterior shot out at me. I figured the only way to gain access was to ask permission...
    And that's what I did....

    So yesterday Alir_147 and I met the key holder at the stage door, he locked us in for a few hours and we were given free will of the building.
    We didnt know where to start.....


    Straight up to behind the scenes.
    The Fly floor remains intact above the false ceiling built on the stage when the Tivoli was used as a Bingo Hall.
    The split grid and fly floors have not been adapted since a refit in c1938. The wooden cleats are still in situ and traces still remain of the grid pulleys and hemp ropes.
    The lighting battens still hang in their original positions connected to the Rank Strand Grand Master. The safety curtain is welded in the raised position.




    Our friend Minimax :D


    Down some stairs and we come to a little bar area


    "If you've no gold, you'll NUGGET drunk"


    On to the Lime Box ...
    Carbon Arc Lime:
    There are three carbon arc limes in the lime box. Boxes of carbon rods and coloured gels still remain on the floor left after the last live theatrical production. Two AC/DC rectifiers which powered the limes remain in the flooded electrics intake room in the basement.


    Old graffiti ... love it how these two were "pals" from the 60's.


    The Gods



    The balcony seating was originally bare wooden benches.
    They were later ‘padded’ for additional comfort.
    The ushers used brush like poles to push customers along the benches to cram more people into the balcony




    The stage now, which has these awful 80's bingo tables.


    Next it was backstage...

    The star trap!


    I've never been backstage before, I wasn't sure what I would expect but it's really cramped.
    You can imagine all the dancing girls huddled in this area!!


    Original dressing room from 1940


    Hi Hi :D


    Down in the bassment...

    AC/DC Rectifier:
    The theatre electrics intake room is in the basement of the building.
    The Tivoli has two surviving AC/DC rectifiers. These were used to provide DC current for the carbon arc limes .


    It was flooded down here with sea water from the harbour //




    Some remnants of BINGO





    The Tivoli Theatre Trust have been in protracted discussions with the owner of the building in order to purchase the theatre with the intention of restoring and reopening this historic building as Aberdeen’s mid-scale theatre venue.
    And a big thank you to Keith for letting us in and photographing this awesome place =]

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  2. Alir147

    Alir147 Guest

    Re: The Tivoli Theatre, Aberdeen REPORT 23.07.08

    Here's my photos... Absoloutely top class place and genuinely sad to see the state some of it is in. The guys who let us see it were fantastic and had good info about the various workings which I / we would have otherwise skimmed over.


    dressing rooms behind the stage. a wee time capsule.


    the invasion of the bingo from 1965


    the old museum style AC/DC converter in the basements





    it would be real nice to see this place get a new lease of life, as it seems all too possible at the moment it could suffer a lot more in the future.

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