Tivoli Theatre Renovations Continuing


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Work is continuing on renovating and expanding the Tivoli Theatre in downtown Chattanooga.

A century old landmark in our community is closed off to the public for the time being. This is for the future preservation of the Tivoli Theatre.

Nick Wilkerson, the CEO of the Tivoli Theatre Foundation said, “So we’ve been working on a holistic plan to renovate the Tivoli Theatre since 2019, and we’ve been hard at work on all of the planning that goes into making that happen.”

Being able to pull off this transformation will be costly, as the main lobby of the Tivoli will be expanded into what will become the Performing Arts Center. This is a long process to ensure the integrity of the building, but the Tivoli Foundation has been receiving a lot of help to pull this off.

Wilkerson said, “Thankfully we’ve been able to raise a lot of money so far. We’ve raised over 20 million dollars. A project like this though is closer to about 55 to 60 million dollars in total, so we are still working on making sure the community understands how important this is. We feel very confident in our ability to execute this project and get it off the ground and look forward to starting construction in the next few months.”

As part of the renovations, patrons can expect more concession and retail options, restrooms, and a rooftop bar. Additionally with the Performing Arts Center, a new theater inside of that building will honor the late Bobby Stone.

Wilkerson said, “We wouldn’t have a Tivoli Theatre Foundation in so many ways without Bobby Stone. Bobby Stone was a founding board member of the Tivoli Theatre Foundation. He was just a really great guy. He was a great Chattanoogan. He was a great filmmaker, he had a real passion for the arts, for live concerts and events, but also for movies. So we thought it was only fitting that we would have a new theater, a fourth theater in our venues called the Bobby Stone Theatre.”

With this new theater and center, the Tivoli Foundation plans to use it to reach back out into the community with a new education program.

Wilkerson said, “We think there is far too many people in our community that don’t have access to the performing arts. So, we have committed that this education program, that 50 percent of all program participants will be from low-income or minority backgrounds.”

The renovations will continue through 2024. Performances and other events will still be held at the Memorial Auditorium and Walker Theatre.

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