The Tivoli Theatre is owned and operated by Owen County Preservations, Inc. a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 corporation governed by a seven member Board of Directors. OCP is dedicated to preserving and increasing the awareness of Owen County’s rich architectural and historical heritage. The organization’s motto, Linking the Past With the Future, refers to our county’s history as seen in the architectural style, craftsmanship, and material used in earlier times by those who settled the county.

Formed in 1991, OCP strives to save and maintain these important and often endangered structures in Owen County by encouraging the preservation of our heritage while planning for the future growth of the communities in Owen County. We value the older buildings and items of historical significance throughout the county and have made it our endeavor to promote their preservation and restoration. We also see the importance of planning for the future through educating and involving the entire community.

The restoration of the Tivoli Theatre embodies the spirit of OCP and has become our largest undertaking to date. Through the presentation of films, performing arts and entertainment events, the Tivoli Theatre’s mission is to provide quality, affordable programming and serve as a gathering place for residents of Spencer and the surrounding area. As a celebrated historic landmark working toward a sustainable future, the Tivoli aims to inspire downtown revitalization and enhance pride in the community.

How SCORE Helped: 
Very early in the Tivoli Project, OCP began developing a business plan that would ensure the successful operation of the theater after the renovation was complete. While it was recognized that the theater would be the primary source of revenue, it would be necessary to augment that revenue from other sources. A key factor in doing so would be to maximize the utility of the building by incorporating spaces that could be rented independently from the theater, per se, or used to bolster the functionality of the theater.  It was also recognized that we would require an experienced theater director since none of the OCP directors nor it's membership had such experience.  The theater director would need to be a paid employee of OCP with a staff of volunteers under his or her direction.  A business plan was developed accordingly and reviewed by SCORE members Mike Spinks and Tad Wilson.  They provided several essential recommendations that were incorporated into the plan along with a few other changes that resulted from additional research suggested by the SCORE members.  A revised version of the plan was put together and again reviewed by Mike and Tad.  They recommended a few more minor changes that were incorporated into the third version, which they reviewed and "blessed".  They advised that the business plan is a "living document" and will need to be changed as situations develop, but provided us with the confidence that we needed to proceed.  As they predicted, two more minor changes were made before the business plan was "published".  Owen County Preservations is very grateful for the invaluable assistance provided by SCORE, and in particular Mike Spinks and Tad Wilson.  The Tivoli business plan allowed us to attain the confidence of the Cook Group as a viable custodian of their investment, capable of operating the Tivoli Theatre as a successful business.   It also provided the confidence needed by Owen County State Bank to provide us with an unsecured line of credit to use for start-up capital that was required to hire a director, purchase supplies, and meet other financial requirements necessary to start the operation. Our business plan was key to our success, and SCORE participation in its development was key to the success of the business plan.
Les Jordan
Owen County Preservations, Inc.
Tivoli Theater Spencer, IN