Snowdon Theatre

5225 Boulevard Decarie,
Montreal, QC H3W

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Snowdon Theatre

An attractive neighborhood theatre for about forty-five years. The Snowdon Theatre was opened by United Theatres in February 27, 1937. The opening programme featured Sonje Henie in “One in a Million” and Claire Trevor in “15 Maiden Lane” plus vaudeville on the stage including Billy Munro and His Orchestra. It had an interior decorated by interior designer Emmanuel Biffra. In 1950 the entrance facade was modified and a new marquee was added.

In 1968 it went over to screening X-Rated movies. In 1972 it played Charlie Chaplin movies for a year before switching back to adult movies. It closed in 1982 and was converted into retail stores. Last used for retail use and also a gymnasium, there were closed down due to the condition of the building, and it now sits empty and boarded up.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

rob2018 on September 25, 2005 at 5:11 am

In 1988-89 the building was gutted and restrucutred into a large space which occupies the now 2nd floor, and several smaller units on ground level. The building was owned privately and rented out the lower units to several different retailers including a hair salon, a photocopy store, a bar and a trading card store in the basement. The larger upper space (which is the only part to retain any remnants of the old Snowdon Theatre) was rented by the City of Montreal for a semi-private gymnastics club for kids. Tired of renting, in 2003 or 2004 the city finally bought the entire building from its private owners. The establishments still remain, and children from 3 to 16 years old still practice gymanstics below a gorgeous art deco ceiling. The walls are lined with angelic sculptures which indicate where the exits once lied beneath, the area where the screen was is still clearly visible and beatifully bordered, and the projection room is now an office which overlooks the entire space from high above. Flexart Gymnastics Club still operates in the old theatre and continues to command a “wow” from visitors upon entering. You can visit their website at for a current picture that gives you a good look from the balcony area (under the “birthday parties” link).

colros on June 18, 2008 at 4:39 pm

Three photos of the original interior:

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A recent one of the exterior:

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johnnyk on June 27, 2009 at 10:51 pm

Does anybody know what happened to Nello’s Pizza located a block down from the Snowdon Theatre??? ( approx. 1972 )


CSWalczak on September 16, 2010 at 9:57 am

Three pictures of the former Snowdon appear on this blog page: View link

IIgs on June 17, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Update as of June 2014: All tenants of the building have been permanently evicted due to unsound roof conditions (leaking and rapidly deteriorating). The city of Montreal has bordered it up and refusing to carry out any repairs.

Likely it will suffer the same fate as other Montreal theaters bordered up and left to the elements. Disturbing as there is a literal treasure of art-deco on the walls and ceiling of the original theater still intact (for now).

rivest266 on August 18, 2017 at 3:42 pm

French language grand opening ad in the photo section. It opened on February 27th, 1937.

IIgs on September 1, 2017 at 12:03 pm

Update for 2016-17: In late March 2016, vandals started a serious fire that caused major damage to the roof. The theater has been completely boarded and abandoned since.

In May 2017, the city tentatively sold the building to a condo developer, with a request they preserve the theater’s marquee sign and building facade. Nothing about saving the interior or art-deco was said (i.e. the part worth saving!). Of course there’s no guarantee any of it will be saved, it could just be outright demolished.

As of September 2017, the Snowdon theater still sits abandoned and deteriorating.

rivest266 on August 4, 2018 at 8:27 am

I, a Woman reopened a week later at the Fairview cinemas in Pointe Claire. another article Snowdon theatreSnowdon theatre Thu, Aug 15, 1968 – 3 · The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) ·

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