Built in 1924, the Tivoli was one of DC’s most elegant movie palaces until 1976 when it closed doors. For nearly 25 years, the theater remained neglected. Then in 1999 the building was renovated as part of a revitalization effort of the Columbia Heights neighborhood. All of its original exterior design was retained and inside was renovated to match.
Today, the theater is mixed-use but its focal occupant is the GALA (Grupo de Artistas Latino Americanos) Hispanic Theatre, a local non-profit committed to sharing Hispanic culture through the arts. GALA currently uses only the former balcony of the Tivoli and therefore, it’s a very small venue—it feels incredibly intimate and there is no such thing as a bad seat. More importantly, you are up close to the performers—you can see every facial expression, every dance move. Performances are in Spanish, and although my knowledge of Spanish is not good enough to survive a play, I love coming to the GALA to see the flamenco performances that take place at least twice a year. Dance knows all languages!
Check the website for event schedules and to purchase tickets. The GALA is located in a neighborhood full of restaurants that are perfect for catching a pre or post performance meal.