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One screen remains standing. Someone on Facebook wants to re-open. Hope it works out, Montreal only has one drive-in left.
What stores now occupy the space where the cinemas used to be?
Thanks for posting this. Screen 1, a strange double bill, “For the love of Benji” with “Assault on Precinct 13”. No wonder it is rated 14 years!
I recall going once to this drive-in. I saw “Terminator 2” with “Hudson Hawk” in 1991. Unfortunately it rained throughout “Terminator 2”. It is sad that Cineplex had no hope for this drive-in and pulled the plug.
In the summer of 1988, my sister had to see a live production for a CEGEP class. I went and the performance was in cinema one. I recall seeing a long staircase with arrows saying “Cinema 2”, and there was a lot of old clothing on the stairs. The place was not well kept. When it reopened as the Festival in 1992, I am sure the European version of the “Twin Peaks” pilot was shown here. Unfortunately I did not go.
I passed in August 2015. The screens were still standing. Tried to go in to take photos, but all entrances are blocked.
Burger restaurant in the front, the back is now offices. I asked if there was anything left of the cinema, was told no, completely re-modelled. When the Lowes was converted to five screens in 1976, the designer did his best to keep the original look. Sadly for the Palace, it was completely gutted in 1980. I never went when it was one screen, only when it was a six plex.
What year is this photo from? Thanks for posting.
I never went to the Bonaventure cinema. So this is screen 2? What year is the photo from? Love the 1970s design.
Last movie I saw there was “Boogie Nights” on October 31st, 1997. Cinema 3. Loved going to the Loews as it was part of Montreal cinema history. When split into 5 screens, the designer did his best to keep the original look. Unlike the Palace, when gutted into 6 screens, all of it’s former glory was gone. I read that the Capitol, torn down in 1973, was Montreal’s grandest movie palace.
English movies returned in 2014. One screen shows English movies on Thursday nights. I went this summer, 2015. I saw “Fantastic Four” and “Agent 47” one week, and the following week, “No Escape” and “Selfless”. It was fun to be back at a drive-in, and all the screens are digital projection. I sort of missed the look of 35 mm film, but digital projection is brighter. I hope they continue to show English movies on Thursdays, or have one screen show English films for the entire summer.
I saw “The Black Hole” here in December 1979, and “Song of the South”, October 1980. I now live close to the building, too bad it did not stay open as a rep house or as a first run cinema.
My second favorite drive-in cine-parc after the Dollard Drive-In. Saw “Star Wars” here in 1977, when it was only one screen. In 1980, two screens were added.
Here is a list of what I saw, if memory serves correct
1980 – Screen 2 – Smokey and the Bandit 2 with Little Miss Marker
1981 – Screen 3 – Heavy Metal with Used Cars
1982 – Screen 1 – Best Little Whorehouse in Texas with The Border
1984 – Screen 1 – Ghostbusters with Where the Boys are 84
1985 – Screen 3 – Back to the Future with Brewster’s Millions
1987 – Screen 2 – La Bamba with Roxanne
1987 – Screen 2 – Full Metal Jacket with The Mosquito Coast
By the early 1990s, it was mostly French films.
2004 – Screen 3 – Spiderman 2 with 13 going on 30. By this time, it was run down. Had to leave as we were being eaten alive by mosquitoes. Looks like they had not mowed the grass all summer. One of the few times an English movie was shown during it’s last years. Very sad that there is nothing left but an empty field.
Back in the day, they did not follow the Quebec Censor Board ratings. Most movies I saw in the early 80s were all rated “14 Years”, and even if you were with a parent, indoor cinemas and the Dollard Drive In would not let you in if you were under 14. Chateauguay didn’t care and let anyone in. I was only nine in 1982. I was hoping someone would of purchased it, cleaned it up, and had at least one screen for English movies, but that never happened. Cineplex owned it, and they pulled the plug; they don’t care about drive ins, only making money.
I’ll believe it when it actually happens:
You are right. Remember seeing “Mrs. Doubtfire” during the Christmas holidays 1993, and the soundtrack sounded all scratchy. Was not so bad when seeing “Dolores Clabourne” in 1995, and sound was improved when I saw the re-release of “Heavy Metal” in 1996. They had added the Sony Dynamic Sound System. I did see “Xanadu” in 1980, “The Incredible Shrinking Woman” in 1981, but don’t remember what the sound was like! Thanks for posting the photo.
Front entrance is now a Five Guys Burgers restaurant.
First movie I saw here was “Xanadu” in 1980, on screen one. The last was the re-release of “Heavy Metal” in 1996 on screen one. They had just installed the Sony Dynamic Digital Sound system. The only time I saw a movie when screen three was on the fashion level was “Time Bandits” in 1981. I miss this run of the mill mall cinema.
I seem to recall this is screen 2?
Your information is wrong. I went frequently to the Dorval cinema in the 1980s. Salle Rouge was not twinned in 1977, it was twinned in late 1986. In 1977, they added a third screen upstairs. You had your dates backwards. I remember going to see “Tough Guys” with Burt Lancaster in the fall of 1986 and Salle Rouge, (Cinema 1) was closed for renovations. The last movie I saw in Cinema 1 was “Aliens” in July 1986. It was quite a huge auditorium. My dad liked bringing me to the Dorval Cinema, as there was parking. It was a nice cinema to go to. I passed by the building in summer 2011, and it looks to be abandoned.
I loved this drive-in. I used to go often in the late 70’s and early 80’s with my parents and sister. My earliest memory was a “Charlie Brown” movie with the gangster spoof “Bugsy Malone” in June 1977. Others I saw were “Oh God”, “Moonraker”, “Grease”, “American Hot Wax”, “101 Dalmations” “Hardly Working”, “Bear Island”, “Revenge of the Pink Panther”, “The Outsiders” with “National Lampoon’s Vacation” and the last films I saw there were “Police Academy” with “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” in 1985. I bugged my dad to take me to see “Aliens” in 1986 but he brought me to the Dorval cinema instead. My favourite memories of childhood was being at this drive-in. I really miss it. Does anyone out there have photos, or maybe even video of the drive-in? I went to the site in June 2011, and it is now filled with buildings, a soccer field where screen 2 used to be. Very sad that it is completely erased from the site. It was the best drive-in in Montreal, as it was for the English speaking.
It is too bad this grand cinema was torn down. I read that people tried to save it, but Mayor Jean Drapeau only cared about buildings in Old Montreal. Would be amazing if it was still in operation today. I was 10 months old when it was torn down, so I never went!
After it was split in two, showed porno films. I found the ads in old Montreal Star microfilm. After “Star Wars” it kept playing first run films.
It was not a “porno” cinema in the 1970s. That was the small cinema behind the York, The Guy cinema. I’ve gone through old Montreal Star newspapers on microfilm and regular films were shown. I have a clipping of the 1976 horror film “Burnt Offerings” when it played, and “Alien” premiered at the York in 1979.
There was two screens. It closed in 1985.