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Tivoli: The last act


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FINAL BOW FOR TIVOLI

Theater comapny cancels its season as experts decide if bulding must be demolished

By DOUG FOLEY

The fianl curtain may have fallen on the tivoli theatre after almost 100 years. The top floor of the three story structure has been demolished, the second may be taken down today and engineers will decide if the first floor also has to be leveled. The downtown structure has served the city from the earliest days of motion pictures to its current playbill of live performances. But it cannot operate in the wake of the collapse of a portion of the south wall near

James Streeet North. The 750-seat auditorium was unscathed in the collapse but has been rendered unusable, says Loren Lieberman, who runs the tivoli theatre company's 2004-2005 season. " what am I going to do? Put port-o-potties out on the street for my patrons? " he asked angrily yesturday.

"There is no next season. The hydro, water and gas operations are toast. We need a lobbym washrooms, office space, props room, stage sets and storage space." Those services were lost last week when a portion of the south wall of the part of the property closest to James Street collapsed. "We've tried to do as little as possible to disrupt the building, but every hour we find something new that makes it unsafe," said Mitchell Gibbs, manager of Team1Environmental Services, wich is involved in the demolition. Gibbs said the possibility exists that the whole thing may come down. "If it comes down it will be late afternoon."

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FRIDAY, JULY 9TH 4:00 PM There is going to be a candle light vigil (angry protest) on the plight of downtown Hamilton at Ground Zero (formerly known as The Tivoli Theatre)

"The more, the angrier. We need to let the elected officials know we've had enough of poor property standards, homelessness, crime and drugs, vandalism etc.." -taken from a poster someone just brought me.

Everyone invited.

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(sigh)....downtown Hamilton..... as someone who has worked down here for 6 years now, and passes through it every single day, I can see with my own eyes it's downward spiral.... it is dirty, grimy.... people who have slipped through the cracks of our fragile mental-health and addiction support systems.... I can see it in the emacipated frames of the crackheads, talking in tongues and wandering into oncoming traffic.... the dollar store queens and wanna-be pimps.... strip clubs, bingo halls, 5 floors of porn, the empty shopping mall, the closed up buildings, boarded up for years and decaying by the hour.... the signs of what seemed to have been a thriving community where people once went to shop and where they lives, experienced culture.... historic buildings spraypainted, the windows blown out, shards of scaffolding and concrete falling down to the litter-strewn streets....

it COULD be so much more.

it COULD be revitalized.

but money talks - what is it going to take to take the downtown core back and give it to people who will pump the funds and vision into making it succesful again? "Downtown Hamilton" has become, for all intents and purposes, the West Hamilton Mountain.

GH17.jpg

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but money talks - what is it going to take to take the downtown core back and give it to people who will pump the funds and vision into making it succesful again? "Downtown Hamilton" has become, for all intents and purposes, the West Hamilton Mountain.

good thing the city is pouring over $250,000,000 into a road that avoids downtown entirely...

its like "oh, this room is dirty... lets build a new room instead of cleaning it"

where/when is that protest KC?

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This is a tough city to live in sometimes. It's like the rest of Canada has forgotten that we have a culturally diverse and artistically rich centre here, but instead of putting fuel in the fire, they have doused it with too much water for the creativity to stay afloat. People are depressed and the city is depressed along with it.

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PRESS RELEASE: For immediate release Thursday July 8, 2004

LARGE PROTEST TO BE HELD IN DOWNTOWN HAMILTON:

Sam The Record Man and The City of Hamilton did not listen.

On Friday July 9, 2004 beginning at 4pm there will be a large protest at the site of the ill-fated Tivoli Theatre. The historic building, built in 1875, suffered damage to the third floor roof on Tuesday June 29. Since then, the

City of Hamilton engineers have removed the entire third and fourth floor of the building. It is the expectation of the engineers working on the site that the entire front portion of the building will be lost.

The Tivoli Renaissance Project and the charitable organization Creative Arts Inc., managed by Mr. Loren Lieberman, have been working for several years to prevent the deterioration of the building while facilitating a restoration plan. However, the Sniderman family, who own the Sam the Record Man empire, privately own the Tivoli Theatre property. In private hands, the building was not eligible for federal or provincial funding. Deals to facilitate a transfer of the building's ownership were ongoing until the death of Sid Sniderman early this spring.

For the past 6 years, the cries for help from the Tivoli Renaissance Project fell on deaf ears. Despite his insistence that the building was in serious jeopardy,

neither the City of Hamilton nor the Sniderman family listened to Loren Lieberman. The results of which were clearly evident as the Tivoli's famous marquee was destroyed and sent to a scrap yard over the weekend.

The City of Hamilton failed to enforce the property standards act, which would have saved this historic landmark. Such action would have set a precedent

that the City was not willing to face as much of Hamilton's downtown core, including the infamous Lister Block building, is deteriorating rapidly.

Many businesses are leaving the Hamilton's core, as no one is interested in coming downtown. Restaurants and shops have closed, the historic Farmer's Market is threatening to vacate and hundreds of Stelco workers were recently

relocated out of their downtown offices. Despite this rapid exodus, including the loss of the historic theatre which brought hundreds of thousands people downtown for live theatre, Hamilton Mayor Larry Di Ianni and the city

councillors insist that everything is fine.

This Friday evening, Hamiltonians will send a message to their municipal government: the current situation of the downtown, the lack of support, initiative and care and the failure to enforce property standards is unacceptable. The community, public safety and core of Hamilton should not

be ignored any further.

Members of the local business and arts community are holding the rally. All members of the general public are encouraged to attend and fight for the vitality and safety of their City.

TIVOLI THEATRE/DOWNTOWN HAMILTON RALLY

Friday June 9th, 4pm

Tivoli Theatre

108 James Street North, Hamilton

For more information about the Tivoli Theatre visit, www.tivolitheatre.ca

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Good to see people are aware. Do whatever you can to make it out tomorrow we need all the help we can get! We need the most people around six so we can make it on the news! tell everyone you know! bring your friends, your relatives, your kids and your dogs! vive le Hamilton!

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