20 May, 2024 @ 13:08
1 min read

Tivoli World workers hold demonstration on the Benalmadena theme park’s 52nd anniversary demanding the iconic site be reopened

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Tivoli World has been open in Benalmadena since 1972

TODAY will mark 52 years since the iconic theme park, Tivoli World, first opened its doors to the general public. But rather than being a happy anniversary, the staff from the Benalmadena attraction will be blowing out candles as part of one of their regular protests to demand the site be reopened. 

For years Tivoli World was an essential stop for any visitor to Spain’s Costa del Sol. But the coronavirus pandemic forced it to close in 2020, and since then the site has languished in a bizarre kind of limbo, with staff still coming to work there despite not getting paid, and no solution to the situation on the horizon.

The attraction opened back in May 1972, complete with a theatre that attracted artists of the calibre of Julio Iglesias, Alejandro Sanz and even James Brown. 

But massive debts with both the Spanish Tax Agency and the Social Security system spelt trouble for the business, contributing to its closure and later bankruptcy proceedings. 

Read more: Mayor of Spain’s Benalmadena insists he is ‘working to reopen’ the theme park

tivoli world e
Tivoli World has been open in Benalmadena since 1972

What’s more, a legal row broke out over the ownership of the park, between the former owner, Cipasa, and the current owner, real estate group Tremon.

The employees of the park, meanwhile, have suffered another recent blow after Spain’s Supreme Court rejected appeals filed by the CCOO labour union and the company’s works committee over their collective dismissal. 

The workers and the local council in Benalmadena insist that Tivoli World is still viable and profitable, according to a report in Malaga Hoy.

There has been a wall of silence, however, from the current owners about the future of the park. 

In April 2023, the local council agreed to limit the allowed use of the land where the park is located. The only permitted activity there is for a theme park, thus protecting the real estate from future development – something that is attractive to promoters given that the land measures 65,000 square metres and is located in the heart of the Arroyo de la Miel tourist area. 

Also to coincide with the anniversary, today will see a screening in Benalmadena’s Casa de la Cultura or a documentary about the attraction. Produced by Aliquindoc, with the participation of local TV channel Canal Sur, the film premiered at the recent Malaga Cinema Festival out of competition, according to daily Malaga Hoy

Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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