Monday, 5 July 2010

A New Tivoli For Chesterton Road...

A bull, a bear and a globe formed the logo for The Exchange in the late 1980s, the Tivoli building's return to the Cambridge limelight after years as a warehouse and a spell of being unoccupied.

From an advertising feature in the Cambridge Evening News, 1988:

There's no mistaking the inspiration behind The Exchange - Cambridge's new and ambitious bar and brasserie.

Quite apart from the name, there are plenty of hints in the menu which offers such delights as Opening Bids and the Big Bang while the cocktail list includes The Predator and USM (Unlisted Securities Market): the Stock Exchange cannot be far away...

An old name is about to return to Chesterton Road with the opening of a new public house: the Tivoli Cinema building has been used as a warehouse and several licenced entertainment venues since the cinema closed in 1956, and is now embarking on yet another new era as a public house - under its original name.

A spokesman for pub chain JD Wetherspoon, which is behind the initiative, and which also runs The Regal in St Andrew’s Street, said the new pub would have two floors and a large beer garden.

Local residents have voiced concerns, but here at Cambridge Back Chat we hope the new venture is a success and manages to slot happily into the district. It will be good to see the "Tivoli" name back in circulation in Cambridge, and the building again being cared for as a going concern.

The opening date for the Tivoli public house is 26 July. We'll certainly be popping in for a nice glass of lemonade!

The interior of The Tivoli in its heyday as a cinema (Cambridgeshire Collection). Note the ceiling decorations, which were "returned to their former glory" at the time of the building's revamp into The Exchange in 1988 (see below).

Read some more Cambridge Back Chat Tivoli information here.


  1. Some local residents are apparently expressing concern, but why on earth do they live in such a location if they want Sunnyfields Gardens? There are few local characters left, and most of the new residents have no real feel for or links to the area's history. They would prefer to see the Tivoli building demolished rather than become a success. It's an important landmark, many of us locals either remember it as a cinema or have been told tales of it by our elders, and it would be a shame if it disappeared. Some residents insist on calling the whole area "Mitcham's Corner" - but few gave a damn when a report a few years back suggested demolishing the real corner building - and nobody gave a damn when Milton Road School was demolished - not one single building waa preserved, although it was an important part of the area's folk history. Good luck to The Tivoli. I'd hate to see the entire neighbourhood become a ghetto for the well-off chattering classes and ageing hippies, filled with horribly gentrified old houses, bland blocks of modern flats and people quaffing back the real ale whilst wittering on endlessly about Jethro Tull.

  2. I am pleased to see the Tivoli open again and under it's old name. It was good to have an enjoyable pint of Deuchar's on Tuesday evening in the very building as a child I paid something like 10d (about 4p) to see whatever the films of the day were. To see the place alive again with people of all ages enjoying a good evening is most gratifying.