'Christmas Vacation' to kick off new Bobby Stone Film Series

'Christmas Vacation' to kick off new Bobby Stone Film Series

December 10th, 2018 by Barry Courter in Breaking News

The marquee of the Tivoli Theater reads "In Memory of Bobby Stone" on Aug. 10.

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

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› “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” Dec. 22 at 7 p.m.

› “ET,” Jan. 5 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

› “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Jan. 6 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

› “The Big Lebowski,” Jan. 19 at 3 and 7 p.m.

› “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Jan. 20 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

› “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou,” Feb. 2 at 3 and 7 p.m.

› “Despicable Me,: Feb. 3 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.


Before his accidental death by drowning in August, Tivoli Foundation board member Bobby Stone was actively pushing to have movies return to the historic Tivoli Theatre. His dream becomes reality on Dec. 22 when the Bobby Stone Film Series presents a free screening of "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."

The announcement follows the installation of a new $350,000 state-of-the-art digital sound and projection system, said Keith Sanford, Tivoli Foundation board chairman. The new system includes a 4k digital projector, immersive surround sound featuring 24 speakers placed around the upstairs and downstairs seating area, plus one drop speaker and two subwoofers, and a 50-foot dropdown screen, which is the largest of its kind in North America.

Funding came from a major gift from Stone's family and friends.

"The Tivoli Theater Foundation is proud of the recent turnaround it has seen since assuming control of the theater in 2015," Sanford said. "The return of film programming into one of the country's best venues will only build on that success."

Stone was a filmmaker himself, co-founding Atomic Films with Dave Lang in 1987.

"Bobby was a cheerleader for all things Tivoli Foundation, and none more so than this project he envisioned and helped oversee," said Nick Wilkinson, executive director of the Tivoli Foundation. "While we are saddened by the loss of this instrumental board member, the Tivoli Foundation is excited to honor him with the completion of this project."

Other films in the series, which will run through Feb. 3, are "ET," "Bohemian Rhapsody," "The Big Lebowski," "To Kill a Mockingbird," "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou" and "Despicable Me."

Today, the Tivoli is mostly used for concerts and theater productions such as the "Broadway at the Tivoli" series, but it has a long history of being a movie theater, as well. In fact, when it opened in March 19, 1921, opening ceremonies included several concerts by the Tivoli Symphony and a screening of Cecil B. DeMille's "Forbidden Fruit."

"The Wizard of Oz" was shown there for four days in 1939, and other classics like "Wuthering Heights," "Gone With the Wind" and "Snow White" graced the Tivoli screen when they were released.

Wilkinson said future films in the series will include arthouse and other distinctive programming reflective of Stone's love of cinema and his own skill in cinematography.

"Having grown up seeing films at the Tivoli Theatre, it is a surprising honor to see the fruition of my nephew's involvement in the relaunch of film at the Tivoli," said Cynthia Anderson, Stone's aunt.

"I hope his love of film and caring spirit will be carried forward by the series named in his honor. The family is honored and appreciative of the work and attention the Tivoli Foundation has given to this project."

A free concert featuring the theater's Wurlitzer organ featuring holiday music will precede the screening from 6-7 p.m. Free popcorn and Coca-Cola products also will be available.

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354.