Cinéma l’Amour. Photo by Eric Tschaeppeler
St-Laurent Boulevard’s porn palace Cinéma l’Amour has teamed up with POP Montreal to mark the centennial anniversary of the building — and the 10th anniversary of live-karaoke band uRockaoke, who’ll be backing the amateurs for the occasion — with what promises to be a sick holiday party this Thursday.
The theatre’s proprietor, Steve Koltai, is always looking for ways to draw new clientele, and it’s not easy these days. But he says that the Cinéma l’Amour experience is not about the films, though the porn screens all the time. He says it’s a social experience. The regular clientele, from retirees who populate the place during business hours to the younger crowd that shows up at night and on weekends, frequent the space to hang out, and get up to all kinds of shit.
“I used to be really careful with what I said about what goes on at Cinéma l’Amour,” Koltai says, “but you what? If people don’t know, they won’t come by to check it out.”
In this documentary about the theatre, Koltai says, “Everything you can imagine has happened at Cinéma l’Amour.” In our conversation last week, he elaborated: “It’s not just the Pee-Wee Hermans, there are couples, there are voyeurs, there are exhibitionists. People have died! What can I say, we have an elderly clientele during the day. It actually amazes me how old some of them are, but how young they look. It must be the films.”
HOW IT WORKS
The theatre is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day.
Admission costs $10.50 no matter what time you arrive, or what time you leave. You could hang out for 12 hours on one ticket.
Admission is free for couples on Mondays and Tuesdays, and on Thursdays after 6 p.m.
There’s a couples’ area in the balcony, and (for $35 per couple) two curtained booths for ultimate privacy, all with a full view of the big screen.
Admission is free for women all day and night on Fridays.
Saturday nights are “wild swinging nights.”
Wednesdays are TTT: free for transvestites, transsexuals and transgendered people, with à propos programming on the screen.
Call 514-849-6227 to have all this information repeated to you, in French, in a gravelly sexy voice, with more descriptive language.
The space now known as Cinéma l’Amour, at 4015 St-Laurent, opened as a vaudeville hall called the Globe on Oct. 15, 1914. In the 1920s it became a cinema, and was renamed the Hollywood in 1932. It became a porn theatre in 1969, changing its name to the Pussycat, and was bought by Koltai’s father in 1981 — he renamed it Cinéma l’Amour after a theatre he’d previously run in Hull, an adult cinema beacon by the border of Ontario, where porn screenings were outlawed at the time. Along with projecting porn, Cinéma l’Amour has occasionally hosted grindhouse film screenings, POP Montreal festival shows and other concerts. ■
Check out Cinéma l’Amour (4015 St-Laurent) for yourself at the POP Montreal/uRockaoke holiday party this Thursday, Dec. 18, 10:30 p.m., $10/$12