Spotlight on the Loop: Tivoli Theatre

This is the first edition of a series spotlighting the wonders of the Delmar Loop, a nearby hub of restaurants, shops, and more that nearly every Wash U student frequents. It gets its name from the street, Delmar Boulevard that it occupies, but most of us students just affectionately refer to it as “the Loop”. First up in the series is the Tivoli Theatre!

The Tivoli Theatre is a St. Louis landmark, a diamond on the famous Delmar Loop. It has been a home to entertainment for the St. Louis public since 1924. Just a short walk from campus, the historic theatre is one of my absolute favorite places in St. Louis!

My first encounter with the theatre was during my freshman pre-orientation with Student Life (the student-run campus newspaper), when Tivoli hosted a private screening of “Spotlight” for us to enjoy. I have been countless times since to see anything from showings of classic films (“Rocky Horror Picture Show”) to dubbed Japanese anime (“Your Name”) to free screenings of Wash U student documentaries!


So, I found myself claiming my ticket at the outdoor counter and heading into the old Delmar gem again last Thursday night. It was their final showing of the low-budget indie movie turned Oscar-nominated sensation “Call Me By Your Name” that everyone is buzzing about. The theatre was packed! I ran into at least ten people I knew, some seeing the movie for the fifth time and others who just happened to pass through to see what the crowd was about.   

I think there’s a certain sense of magic to the theatre. There is something special about walking up the sidewalk of the Loop, stars of writers, actors, and musicians who called Missouri home lining the sidewalk. The antique awning of Tivoli, lit up in red and gold, beckons with nostalgia. It is truly an experience, and I find myself constantly coming back to live it because the Tivoli Theatre is one of the places that makes Wash U feel like home.