Back in the 1930s, Montreal’s cultural scene was very lively. Cabarets, movie houses and vaudeville theaters abounded and the nightlife was so renowned that people boarded trains every weekend from nearby provinces and states in order to join in on the fun. As the years passed, many of these beautiful venues closed down and they were either destroyed or they changed purposes. A few of these places have remained open and are being actively restored by owners who want to keep these architectural gems a part of Montreal’s past and present. Here are 5 beautiful Montreal cultural venues that will take you back to the 1930s.
Located in the Mile End neighborhood, the Théâtre Rialto was inaugurated in 1924, long before this area of Montreal became the cultural hotspot that it is today. The neighborhood cinema and vaudeville theater was nearly destroyed but locals successfully pressured against this. In 2010 it was sold to new owners who have turned the Theatre Rialto into a multipurpose cultural venue. The building has undergone restoration and both the Beaux-Arts facade and the impressive interior, designed by famous movie theater decorator Emmanuel Briffa have retrieved their past beauty.