The Snowdon Theatre on Decarie Blvd. opened in 1937, but has been abandoned in contempo years. It was accepted for its architectonics and art deco interior.
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Montreal has begin a client for the Snowdon Theatre, a once-stylish area that became a sad antique — a allurement for vandals and arsonists.
The auction — for $1.6 million, $200,000 beneath than the burghal paid for it in 2004 — is codicillary on the new buyer attention the celebrated bluff of the building, on Décarie Blvd., aloof arctic of Queen-Mary Rd. The interior, however, has been too abominably damaged by a 2016 blaze to be salvaged, the burghal said.
Known for its art-deco design, affected autogenous and characteristic assurance over Décarie Blvd., the battleground opened in 1937, hailed in one bi-weekly at the time as “the aboriginal absolutely air-conditioned theatre in Canada.” It became acclaimed for presenting British films, with assemblage reserving seats in advance.
By the time it bankrupt in 1982, business had dwindled. The administrator at the time complained “kids would rather see a account downtown,” area “they can get calm afterwards the appearance for a bendable drink, comedy the video amateur in the arcades on Ste-Catherine St.”
In the mid-1980s, the autogenous was subdivided and adapted into bartering amplitude in a $2.5-million renovation. In 1989, the burghal of Montreal started renting allotment of the architecture for a non-profit gymnastics club.
In 2004, the burghal bought the architecture for $1.8 million, and connected renting it to gymnasts until they larboard 2013 because the roof was in poor shape.
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The lower windows of the Snowdon Theatre are boarded up, while the additional akin windows were absolute out afterwards a 2016 fire. Allen McInnis / Montreal Gazette
Since then, vandals accept defaced the boarded-up bluff with graffiti, admitting for years some of the adroit autogenous remained intact. That afflicted in 2016, back a fire caused above damage. Three teenagers were answerable with arson.
By that time, Montreal had already put it up for sale. On Wednesday, the city’s controlling board accustomed the auction to a numbered aggregation whose buyer is listed as Viviana Raichman. She could not be accomplished for comment.
Under altitude of the sale, the new buyer charge bottle the facade’s atramentous and white stripes, as able-bodied as the iconic Théâtre Snowdon assurance and the awning that projects over the sidewalk on Décarie.
Much of the architecture is accepted to be angry into housing. It is cryptic if the aboriginal attic will be bartering space.
Snowdon burghal councillor Marvin Rotrand said the auction is acceptable news.
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“It’ll animate and assure the architecture and advance the ambiance on that allotment of Décarie,” he said. “We absolutely charge residential architecture abreast abundant alteration infrastructure. Snowdon métro is bristles account airing from there.”
Teens were arrested in affiliation with a 2016 blaze at the Snowdon Theatre. ctvnews.ca
Rotrand said he “didn’t want to end up with a bearings like on Sherbrooke St. area the above Cinema-V has been bankrupt for over 25 years.”
That aged architecture — opened as the Empress Theatre in 1927 — was gutted by a 1992 fire. It is endemic by the burghal of Montreal. In October, above Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce ambassador Russell Copeman said he still had hopes for a plan to animate the theatre but he acclaimed the architecture was deteriorating.
“I anticipate we’ve got apparently one added winter larboard and afterwards that the structural candor of the architecture gets to a point area if article doesn’t get done, article affecting will accept to happen,” Copeman said at the time.
The Snowdon Theatre was congenital by the United Amusement Corp. cine abode chain, founded in 1908 by Greek immigrant George Nicholas Ganetakos. The aggregation congenital several theatres, including the Rivoli on St-Denis St. and the Seville on Ste-Catherine St.
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The Snowdon was the assignment of Scottish-born artist Daniel John Crighton and Maltese decorator Emmanuel Briffa, both of whom formed on several added Montreal theatres.
Crighton’s theatres included the Monkland and the Regent on Parc Ave. Briffa formed on dozens of theatres beyond Canada, including the Empress, and the Rialto on Parc. and Outremont on Bernard Ave.
The Snowdon Theatre, apparent in an undated photo, has been abandoned in contempo years. Montreal Gazette files
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