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Tivoli at the Nelson-Atkins Premieres with Special Showing Oct. 21

            Beloved Arthouse Theater Resurrected in Iconic Museum

Kansas City, MO. Sept. 20, 2019–Kansas City’s favorite arthouse movie theater, Tivoli Cinemas in Westport, will reopen at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. Tivoli at the Nelson-Atkins will hold a special Donor’s Premiere of its first film, The General, starring Buster Keaton, in historic Atkins Auditorium on Monday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. The 1926 classic silent film will be backed by the Alloy Orchestra. Based in Cambridge, Mass., the Alloy Orchestra performs its own accompaniments to silent films. Limited public tickets will be available by visiting the museum website. The public launch of Tivoli at the Nelson-Atkins will be on Wed., Oct. 23 and will showcase stories told through independent, foreign, and artistic films.

The Tivoli, one of a handful of local independent theaters to show historic, documentary, and art films, operated for nearly four decades before closing its doors in April of this year. Tivoli owner Jerry Harrington, whose passion for art house films set him on his long career path, will act as film curator of Tivoli at the Nelson-Atkins.

“We have been very interested in strengthening our film programming at the Nelson-Atkins, and housing the beloved Tivoli while benefiting from Jerry’s deep knowledge of independent films has a wonderful symmetry,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell CEO & Director of the Nelson-Atkins. “This exciting partnership will fill a vacancy that has been left in Kansas City since the Tivoli’s closing. We recognize film as an art form that has been embraced worldwide, which echoes the encyclopedic collection at the Nelson-Atkins. Our film program will be as global as our permanent collection. We are happy to give a home to film, which is the youngest of the arts muses.”

The Nelson-Atkins is undertaking major technological updates and improvements to allow filmgoers  an optimal experience. The existing digital projection equipment will be upgraded, a new and larger film screen will be installed, and the stage curtains reoriented to adapt to film aspect ratios. The sound system will undergo a major overhaul with the installation of a loop system for the hearing impaired.

“This is such an amazing opportunity for film lovers in Kansas City,” said Harrington. “My heart was broken when the Tivoli closed. I could never have imagined re-opening the doors in such a magnificent setting.”

A diverse and exciting array of programs is planned, including revival and classic films, live opera and theatrical performances, silent films with musical accompaniment, Oscar-nominated shorts, screenings with directors, filmmakers, editors, producers, and artists, and pre and post-film community discussions. These programs would not be possible without the visionary leadership of these sponsors: The Sunderland Foundation, Donald J. Hall, Shirley and Barnett C. Helzberg, Neil D. Karbank, Estelle and Morton Sosland, G. Kenneth and Ann Baum, Robert & Phyliss Bernstein Family Foundation, Sara and Bill Morgan, and Mark and Lynne O’Connell.

“Barnett and I are very excited to be a part of bringing this cinematic concept to life,” said Shirley Bush Helzberg, former Chair of the Nelson-Atkins Board of Trustees. “This project expands the fine arts offerings in Kansas City, and we are delighted to imagine the great possibilities for future film programming at the museum.”

The 500 seats in Atkins Auditorium are surrounded by Thomas Hart Benton’s American Epic murals. Films will be shown on the following days: Monday, 11:15 a.m.; Wednesday, 1 p.m.; Friday, 7 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. Tickets may be purchased online at nelson-atkins.org or at the box office in the museum, located near the Info Desk in Bloch Lobby. Tickets are $10 each; museum members will pay $7.

A change in Rozzelle Court restaurant coincides with the debut of Tivoli at the Nelson-Atkins. Friday night dinners will morph into Tapas and Tunes, fast-casual dining featuring shareable small plates, starting Oct. 18. Live music will complete the experience every Friday from 5–9 p.m.

“After every matinee, movie lovers will have the opportunity to connect in Rozzelle Court,” said Casey Claps, Manager, Strategic Initiatives, and the Tivoli at the Nelson-Atkins project lead. “A community table will be set up and everyone is welcome to join in the conversation, where we hope they will be enriched by one another and deepen their appreciation for the many art forms.”

Movie lovers are encouraged to meet in the salon-like setting of Rozzelle Court to partake in film conversation over a meal, drinks, or dessert. Special guests will join the group when possible to facilitate conversation.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City is recognized nationally and internationally as one of America’s finest art museums. The museum, which strives to be the place where the power of art engages the spirit of community, opens its doors free of charge to people of all backgrounds. The museum is an institution that both challenges and comforts, that both inspires and soothes, and it is a destination for inspiration, reflection and connecting with others.

The Nelson-Atkins serves the community by providing access to its renowned collection of more than 41,000 art objects and is best known for its Asian art, European and American paintings, photography, modern sculpture, and Native American and Egyptian galleries. Housing a major art research library and the Ford Learning Center, the Museum is a key educational resource for the region. In 2017, the Nelson-Atkins celebrates the 10-year anniversary of the Bloch Building, a critically acclaimed addition to the original 1933 Nelson-Atkins Building.

The Nelson-Atkins is located at 45th and Oak Streets, Kansas City, MO. Hours are Monday, Wednesday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thursday/Friday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. The museum is closed Tuesday. Admission to the museum is free to everyone. For museum information, phone 816.751.1ART (1278) or visit nelson-atkins.org.

For media interested in receiving further information, please contact:

Kathleen Leighton, Manager, Media Relations and Video Production

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art