Tivoli Hotel

The site of the current Tivoli Hotel has been an entertainment and meeting place since 1846. In its 170 year history, it has hosted music, public meetings, theatrical performances and pub rock icons.

The hotel’s development followed the growing need for hotel accommodation in Adelaide’s early years. It also includes one of the very few remaining large rooms (the Ballroom) that were attached to many 1850s and 1860s hotels in South Australia. These were used as theatres or assembly rooms before town halls, institute halls and theatres were built. They provided important social spaces in the young colony.

The Tivoli Hotel was popular with Adelaide’s German community. In the 19th Century it was one of Adelaide’s leading theatrical venues. Its name was probably taken from the famous Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, a world-famous public amusement park that opened in 1843. Evening theatrical performances at the Tivoli only ended in 1916, when a six o'clock closing time was imposed on all hotels. 



The main hotel building facing Pirie Street dates from 1878. It was designed by the architect Rowland Rees. The balcony, with its coupled wooden posts and delightful balustrade, rests on carved wooden brackets. The hotel at the front of the site once was also known as the National Hotel.

The Tivoli’s Ballroom was one of the last of its kind anywhere in Adelaide or South Australia. It was reborn as a popular live music venue from the 1970s to the 1990s. "The Tiv" hosted many of the top acts of the time, most notably Adelaide’s own rock group legend, Cold Chisel. Other big names to grace the Tivoli stage include Blink 182, The Triffids, Pavement, The Divinyls, John Cale (The Velvet Underground), Paul Kelly and The Go-Betweens.

The hotel was extensively renovated in 2008. It still offers live entertainment and a range of dining options. The Ballroom has been transformed into an upscale restaurant.

Images

Pirie Street, 1925

Pirie Street, 1925

The National Hotel (later The Tivoli) can be seen on the left. | Source: Image courtesy the State Library of South Australia, B-2715 View File Details Page

The Tivoli Hotel, c1970s

The Tivoli Hotel, c1970s

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Tivoli Hotel, Pirie Street, 2014

Tivoli Hotel, Pirie Street, 2014

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Tivoli Hotel, Pirie Street, 2014

Tivoli Hotel, Pirie Street, 2014

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Video

Onstage Mishaps - Stilettos and Explosions

The site of the current Tivoli Hotel has been an entertainment and meeting place since 1846. In its 170 year history, it has hosted music, public meetings, theatrical performances and pub rock icons. | Creator: Ash Starkey, Starkeyz Productions View File Details Page

Dodgy Sunday Night Supper at The Tiv

The site of the current Tivoli Hotel has been an entertainment and meeting place since 1846. During the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s The Tiv was one of Adelaide's premiere live music venues. You could see bands there seven nights a week. But an 'odd' law meant you had to pay for and accept a meal to enter on a Sunday night. But as Suzy Ramone tells us "It wasn't always a meal you'd want to eat!" | Creator: Ash Starkey, Starkeyz Productions View File Details Page

Breaking the Law at the Tiv

The site of the current Tivoli Hotel has been an entertainment and meeting place since 1846. In its 170 year history, it has hosted music, public meetings, theatrical performances and pub rock icons. | Creator: Ash Starkey, Starkeyz Productions View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

“Tivoli Hotel,” Adelaide City Explorer, accessed July 23, 2017, http://adelaidecityexplorer.com.au/items/show/69.
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