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SMH&VTS Exhibition & Show 2007  Tivoli & Area Improvements (Oct. 2013)  (NEW) All SMH&VTS Glasgow Gatherings and photos.

 

End note: I came across a web site dedicated to Scottish Theatres and Cinemas and which includes some photographs of the interior of the Tivoli as it is today. The photos were taken by a member of the
public who attended one of the annual 'Open Doors Days Days' when organised tours are given of buildings usually closed to the public. The photographs are not very sharp, no doubt due to the
available light and a handheld camera but they give a fascinating insight to the present day situation with the theatre. While I enjoyed seeing all the pictures, one in particular, far right , on the second
last line, is of interest to me as it shows the Stage Lighting Control Panel still in situ, which I am sure you will recognise from the first two pictures of this web site, of myself on the platform. I feared
that it may have been dismantled. However, it controlled both the stage and the 'house' lights and probably is stil l required for present use and, maybe even it's future use, albeit there are more modern
electronic and digital systems today that could do the job more easily and economically, but the control panel is every bit as historic as the theatre and deserves to continue playing it's part, if only as
a static display.

Another picture that tells a story is the interior shot far right on the top line. It shows the newer 'Lime Box'  at the back of the 'Gods' (Gallery). This was built in the 40's and I remember it being in different
stages of construction. However, you can see two 'windows' cut out on the proscenium, a little apart from each other ... this was the original 'lime Box' if you could call it that. One of the Lime workers,
the late John Lynch, lodged with us during the 50's and he told us stories about working in the 'Limes'  You virtually had to lye down to operate them and the side-to-side movement was so narrow that
the carbon arc would hit the sides and restrict how far you could point or spread the light.

Being carbon arc usage the fumes too were quite bad at times.  I had a look inside the 'room' during one of our closure periods and it was really no more than the space between the gallery floor and the
'circle' roof. As John was over 6 foot tall it must have been quite a squeeze. I can recall watching what was going on there during a show and when you consider they had to rotate coloured wheels and
add colour filters etc, they must have had their work well cut out for them. The new box was more like a small projection room at a cinema.

My brother, Alex, who lives in Dundee told me that he was in town during that open day and sure enough I found him in the photo centre on the top line. Alex is the chap in the blue jacket in mid-rear
centre. I don't recognise the chap on his right, so they may have just got talking at the time. Surprising what you find on the internet! 

The photos of the 'Fly's' area also brought back some memories. When all the backcloths were hanging from their fittings, you got the smell of heavy rope and the thick wooden railings which made if
feel as if you were on a ship. It was the darkness and creaking of the ropes and woodwork, during the time when I was acting as caretaker and on my own, you could easily image that there was indeed
a theatre ghost! This area was never as bright as it is in these photographs.

Update: June 2006.

Until I read a report in the Press & Journal of a statement by an Aberdeen Councillor that they were planning a new entertainment venue in the centre of the City and were turning their backs
(financially) on the Tivoli,  I had thought that the Council were interested in keeping the theatre going, but it seems that this now lies solely in the hands of the Tivoli Steering Group and it will be up to
their efforts to see that the Tivoli reopens as a Variety Theatre once again, or not, if their plans or willpower and enthusiasm fail. Therefore, at the time of writing the future of the theatre is still very
much in the balance and the building is crying out for a voice and assitance before it is too late. If up to the Council it will be left to rot away. It would be very sad to  loose  yet another grand old
building and source for live entertainment that would be open to numerous local groups who can't afford the other stage venues in the City. The Steering Group will require a lot of assistance,
especially in the way of voluntery work to bring the building up to public standards once again and to build up a finance to afford the work.

If you think that 'Variety' is dead, then have a look at the page in the Scottish Music Hall & Variety Theatre Society web site, in reference to The Grand, another 'Frank Matcham' theatre, in Blackpool,
that has recently been fully refurbished and brought back to life. A fine example of what could be done for the Tivoli and of which Aberddonians could be proud of having in their City. Note too the
well-known artists who are still involved in the live theatre and the decendants of late artists who carry on the great traditions. There would be no lack of artists to appear at the Tivoli.

Update: August 2006.

Eddie Swan, leader of the Tivoli Steering Group announced that they had found the finances to purchase the Theatre, which will allow them to apply for various grants from the EEC and the National
Lottery. This is the good news that everyone has been waiting for as it not only tells us that the Tivoli WILL reopen, but puts a real deadline for the reopening of the Tivoli. Edie also gave an estimate
time scale of 5-6 years for the reopening. We have something definite to look forward to at last and I wish the Steering Group every success to a speedy reopening.

 http://www.freewebs.com/scottishmusichallsociety/eventsarticles.htm

This also proves that there are plenty of acts, old and young, who will fill the bill and provide excellent entertainment.

Watch out for the 2006 'Open Doors Day', when the Tivoli will be open, with live shows and guided tours. This is on Saturday 9th of September. Go along and enjoy yourself and talk to the staff and
learn what is going on, and maybe even offer your services and help this dream to come true much sooner. The Steering Group web site is at:

http://www.aberdeentivoli.net

Tivoli interior:

http://www.chem.gla.ac.uk/~gbarr/cinemas/scotland/aberdeen/tivoli/

Another fantastic web site dedicated to U.K. Theatres and Cinemas can be found at:

http://www.survivingcinemas.org.uk/index2.html

There is an excellent section on Aberdeen theatres and cinemas, open, closed and demolished.

Any additional information would be most welcome. reidcrcwdr@aol.com

 

 

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                                   (Tivoli Steering Group)  
Doors Open Day 2006 (4 Pages)  Doors Open Day 2007 (11 pages)  Doors Open Day 2008  Johnny Beattie Party 2006  Fay Lenore Dedication 2007  Gerard Kelly Dedication 2008  Cormac & Sharp Dedication 2009
                                   John Shearer Dedication 2010   Dean Park Dedication 2011  Sydney Devine Dedication 2014   
SMH&VTS Exhibition & Show 2007  Tivoli & Area Improvements (Oct. 2013)  (NEW) All SMH&VTS Glasgow Gatherings and photos.

 

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