Snowdon Theatre (Montreal)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Snowdon Theatre marquee.

The Snowdon Theatre is an abandoned Streamline Moderne style cinema in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, located on Décarie Boulevard in the neighbourhood of Snowdon. It was re-purposed as a mini-shopping center but is currently boarded up.


The theater opened in February 1937 with a lavish art deco interior by designer Emmanuel Briffa, designer of the interior of the Rialto Theatre and 60 other cinemas in Canada.[1]

In 1950 the entrance facade was modified and a new marquee was added. In 1968 it showed X-rated movies. In 1972 it screened Charlie Chaplin films for approximately an entire year.[2] The cinema closed in 1982 and was vacant.[3] In 1990 it was re-purposed as a small shopping center.[4] The 25,000 square foot interior was rebuilt by Rafid Louis and Emile Fattal, splitting the theater into two floors and sub-dividing the remaining space. As of 2013 most of the theater's original wall and ceiling art deco was intact on the second floor, where a gymnastics center operated for a number of years.

Uncertain future[edit]

The building was not a success with its retail shopping and offices and by the late 1990s was mostly vacant.[5] Flexart Gymnastics, the last tenant, was evicted in late 2013 due to safety concerns with the building's roof.[6] The city of Montreal owned the building and had no plans to repair the roof or any do renovations, which put its future into question.

In January 2016, the city put the building up for sale. On March 26, 2016 a fire on the second floor caused heavy damage to the roof.[7] On May 4, 2017, it was reported the city found a buyer for the building that plans to demolish it for either a commercial or residential building project (likely condominiums).[8] The sale went through on February 3, 2018 for $1.6 million dollars, with the only condition that the building's exterior front facade and sign be preserved.[9]


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "Montreal Movie Theatre History". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Snowdon Theatre in Montreal, CA - Cinema Treasures". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  4. ^ "City seeks to sell Snowdon Theatre". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  5. ^ Noakes, Taylor C. (27 March 2016). "Three-Alarm Fire Nearly Destroys Historic Snowdon Theatre". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Accueil". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Snowdon Theatre heavily damaged by afternoon fire". CBC News. 26 March 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  8. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: City of Montreal finds a buyer for Snowdon Theatre - Montreal -". 4 May 2017. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  9. ^ Claire Loewen. "Montreal sells Snowdon Theatre to private company for $1.6M". Retrieved 18 December 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°29′06″N 73°37′52″W / 45.48499°N 73.63112°W / 45.48499; -73.63112