York Theatre

Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest and Rue MacKay,
Montreal, QC H3G 1Z1

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York Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The York Theatre was opened by United Theatre on 18th November 1938. The opening films were “Algiers” starring Charles Boyer and Don Ameche in “Gateway”.

The York Theatre was closed in 1989, and stood unused until it was demolished in 2002.

Contributed by Mike Rivest

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

edward on November 3, 2003 at 12:36 pm

The York Theatre opened November 18, 1938 in a complex that included stores on street level and the Carlton apartments (later named Lancaster) on the northwest corner of Ste-Catherine and Mackay Streets.
The project was designed by the firm of Luke, Little and Perry and included the 900 seat theatre with decorative murals and a beige colored streamlined interior. Operated by the United chain, it first showed a double bill of Gateway with Don Ameche and Algiers with Charles Boyer and Hedy Lamarr. It eventually became a first run house when the downtown movie palaces disappeared.
The York turned to showing porno films in the 1970’s and was eventually acquired by a Swiss development firm. A Montreal real estate company announced in the 1980’s plans to restore the deteriorating complex with the addition of a new skyscraper on the same block. The plan was never realised after the company cleared the complex of tenants and closed the theatre in 1989. This beautiful and unique theatre was left to deteriorate until Spring 2003. After much debate, the entire complex was demolished for new state of the art buildings for Concordia University. After much pressure from the community and preservation groups, the university chose not to renovate the theater and make it part of its future master plan. (The complex was voted one of the worst eyesore’s of the city in 2000 although the theatre still survived in restorable condition within; the 8 nymph murals still framed by the original deco tubular lights.)

mortonbg on February 29, 2008 at 6:54 pm

I attended this cinema many times when I was a student in Montreal 1986-88

Here be some great period images

View link

HowardBHaas on February 29, 2008 at 7:09 pm

actually demolished January 2002. A few months later, I saw the empty lot.

rivest266 on May 9, 2009 at 9:46 am

beautiful color picture at View link

TLSLOEWS on March 5, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Thanks for all the photos.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Love to have that “Octopussy” Banner.Great shot.

rivest266 on March 7, 2011 at 3:28 pm

I seen Octopussy there.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 7, 2011 at 5:48 pm

70mm at that on “Octopussy” never think of the Bond films in 70mm.

ohserase on August 5, 2011 at 12:20 pm

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.

rivest266 on January 4, 2012 at 10:38 am

I uploaded the grand opening ad here.

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