Cine 539

539 Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest,
Montreal, QC H3B 1A6

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Additional Info

Architects: Daniel John Crighton, Joseph Raoul Gariepy, Charles A. Mitchell

Functions: Retail

Previous Names: Gaiety Theatre, London Theatre, Holman Theatre, System Theatre

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Cine 539

Built in 1869 as the Montreal Auxilliary Bible Society, it was converted into the Gaiety Theatre in 1909 to the plans of architectural firm Mitchell & Crighton (Charles A. Mitchell & Daniel John Crighton). In 1917 it was remodeled to the plans of architect Joseph Raoul Gariepy and reopened on May 17, 1917 as the Holman Theatre. On January 7, 1922 it was renamed System Theatre. A smallish cinema in the center of Montreal that ended its days, and years, as a porno house, but that had a varied history during its near-century of life between 1909 and 2000.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 26, 2007 at 11:32 am

The building was erected in 1869 as the house of John Reddy. It was converted into the Gaiety Theater in 1909. In 1917 the facade was was rebuilt to the design which remains today.

The 1943 edition of Film Daily Yearbook lists it as the System Theatre with a seating capacity of 924.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 29, 2011 at 8:58 am

The Holman Theatre becomes the System Theatre: this ad in The Canadian Jewish Chronicle from January 13, 1922 gives the owner’s promise and pledge. NEWSPAPER AD

rivest266 on July 11, 2012 at 6:39 pm

The same ad ran in the Montreal Star.

This week, there was an construction crew demolishing the old balcony of the theatre to create an 2-level store. Picture in photo section.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 8, 2012 at 6:36 pm

The architect for the 1917 remodeling of the Holman Theatre was Joseph Raoul Gariepy. He is already listed at Cinema Treasures as architect of the Rialto Theatre on Avenue du Parc. According to this page of the Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada he also designed the Cartier Theatre on Rue Notre-Dame Ouest in 1929 and, in 1917-18, a neighborhood house called the Maisonneuve Theatre, which was located on Avenue la Salle at Rue Ontario. The Cartier is listed at Cinema Treasures, but I can’t find the Maisonneuve, which would have been about a block from the modern Complexe Desjardins 4 Cinemas.

CSWalczak on September 8, 2012 at 10:40 pm

The Rivest List puts the Maisonneuve Theatre at 4219 Ontario St., two blocks east of Pie-IX.

rivest266 on December 2, 2012 at 6:10 pm

There was two theatres called “Maisonneuve” One was built by Confederated AMusements and the other was built by Michel Custom.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 6, 2018 at 6:43 pm

According to this page at the Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada, the conversion of the building that had been the Montreal Auxilliary Bible Society into the Gaiety Theatre in 1909 was designed by architects Charles A. Mitchell and Daniel J. Crighton. The short-lived firm of Mitchell & Crighton lasted from 1907 to 1909, but produced two theaters, the other being the Idealograph Motion Picture Theatre, on Notre Dame Street West near Guy Street, also a 1909 project.

rivest266 on February 23, 2019 at 6:49 pm

This opened as Holman on May 17th, 1917 and the correct date for the opening as System is January 7th, 1922. Grand opening ads posted.

rivest266 on February 23, 2019 at 6:54 pm

Également consulté les archives de LaPresse, aucune annonce trouvée.

Also checked the LaPresse archives, no ads found.

rivest266 on February 23, 2019 at 6:54 pm

Nice finds in the photo section, DallasMovieTheatres.

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