Last Sunday, in the middle of being hit by a bus of awkward during Music by Prudence’s Oscar acceptance speech , I realized….I have never talked to you about cinema theatres in Montreal!
I have never mentioned film in this blog. *gasp*
I wish I could tell you I’m pulling an Oprah and giving you all free ticks to see Alice in Wonderland to forgive me, but that’s not happening. For now.
What I can do however, is provide you with a very useful list of places where you can watch a movie in Montreal. Aaaaaand, I’m also adding a bunch of personal suggestions of things to do near every cinema, so you can have the perfect movie date in Montreal!
Scotia Bank Cinema
Scotia Bank Cinema, formerly Paramount Theatre, is Montreal’s most popular movie theatre in the blockbuster category. Located right in the middle of downtown, on busy Ste-Catherine Street, the mega complex is home to 13 screens and an IMAX theatre (hello Avatar!). Now you might have heard that Montreal is this mysterious city where people live in underground tunnels during winter…As I’ve told you already, that’s not exactly true. There’s just a lot of underground shopping. Incidentally, the Scotia Bank Cinema is connected to kilometres of underground shopping, including Simons, a contemporary store with the latest fashions, which is right next door. If you want do squeeze in a bit of shopping before your movie, take note that stores in Montreal are open until 9pm every Thursday and Friday.
Another possible scenario is to grab a bite at popular M: brgr, located steps away on Drummond, corner de Maisonneuve. The comfort-food resto made quite a reputation for itself thanks to its Kobe burgers and extensive list of burger toppings (you can top your burger with pretty much anything, including grilled peppers, pineapples, white truffles and blue cheese). Insider tip: try the sweet potato fries and get your hands on a milkshake. Delish.
AMC Forum 22
Blame it on my childhood memories, the former home arena of the Montreal Canadians, earned itself another very special place in my heart when it became my favourite Montreal movie complex. What can I say? It feels like home. Located at the western edge of downtown, AMC Forum 22 also feels less crowded than Scotia (perhaps because it’s bigger), so if you’re in a more low-key mood, this is your spot. Considering the bowling alley and arcade complex, it’s also a winner if you’re travelling with kids. Love the selection of films, from blockbusters to documentaries and independent films. Also, this might be an irrelevant detail to many, but it’s an irrelevant detail that I love. You can lift the armrests in between seats, which means better cuddling, or, in my case, a comfy bed for my legs. And just in case you’re wondering, yes, I take off my shoes.
If you want to have dinner before your film, you can conveniently eat at the AMC. There’s a Guido and Angelina in there, which you might have guessed, is an Italian restaurant. Or, walk down a few blocks on Ste-Catherine and have dinner at a true Montreal institution, Restaurant Le Paris. Over the years, a lot of celebrities have been seen indulging in Le Paris’ traditional French cuisine, including Mick Jagger and Charles Aznavour. Surprisingly, the small eatery succeeds to remain friendly and unpretentious. Deserts are YUMMY.
Quartier Latin Cinema
Speak French? St-Denis Street’s Quartier Latin Cinema might be the perfect place to brush up on the language of Molière. This cinéma is where you’ll be able to watch prestigious Quebec flicks, as well as Hollywood and international films dubbed or subtitled. There are TONS of cafés on St-Denis Street, so why not include a little stroll in your movie night plans.
Le St-Sulpice Bar is known for being THE hang spot of young French Canadians. The humongous outdoor garden/patio is very popular with beer aficionados. You have more chances of finding me lounging on couches and pillows smoking green apple shisha and drinking Moroccan mint tea at Café Hooka or Café Gitana, both located on St-Denis street, steps away from the theatre.
Cinema du Parc
To satisfy your thirst for repertory cinema and films hot off the festival circuit, I suggest you head to Cinema du Parc, a Montreal institution dedicated to the artistic dimension of film. Cinema du Parc almost shut down about a year ago, but was eventually saved, to my biggest joy. Here, you’ll always be able to catch a solid line-up of films for a very affordable price. Plus you’ll get to enjoy movies that you probably wouldn’t see back home. Many films are one-night onlys, so you’ll want to check their website beforehand. The theatre is located at the heart of the McGill Ghetto, a brisk walk away from popular St-Laurent Boulevard.
Now just in case you have a sudden envy to swim, Cinema du Parc is nestled in the popular La Cité building which is also home to La Cité Gym. Their heated outdoor pool is very popular with locals and open all year long from 9am to 9pm. No need for a membership. For a fee that ranges between $5 and $20 (depending on the time and day) you can access the facilities, go for a swim, and steam in the sauna before heading downstairs for some of that 7th art.
Place-des-Arts Metro (10 minute walk or hop on the 80 or 129 bus)
Sherbrooke Metro (12 minute walk)
There are so many theatres in Montreal, but more options worth mentioning are the Cinématèque Québécoise who present rare national and international films, as well as the National Film Board’s Cinérobothèque. Also note that there is an IMAX theatre at the Montreal Science Centre, and they have great educational films for the entire family.
For all addresses, please click on the theatres that interest you. I’ve linked them to their websites with all the info concerning location and price.
~ The End ~