GROOVY MOVIES: INDIE CINEMAS IN MONTRÉAL
Bigger, louder, in IMAX 3D: there's no denying some Hollywood blockbusters are best viewed in stadium-sized theatres as your chair lurches and rumbles along with the action onscreen. But while the gargantuan entertainment multiplexes have their time and place, there is nothing like the quiet charm of an independent cinema. While many repertory theatres have gone the way of the dodo as our access to lesser-known film has grown with the Internet, a few beloved brick-and-mortar art house institutions remain committed to the craft. We invite you to discover these Montréal indie cinemas that will put a local spin on your night at the movies.
CINÉMA DU MUSÉE
The Montréal Museum of Fine Arts' newest addition, Cinéma du Musée, is a thing of joy to culture enthusiasts of all stripes. In partnership with the crack team behind Cinéma Beaubien and Cinéma du Parc, the MMFA will be a home to a range of both local and international films in their newly-renovated auditorium. In bringing the Seventh Art to the MMFA, the museum's film offerings seek to be diverse in genre, theme, and language. Along with its beautiful permanent collection and exciting seasonal exhibitions, this cinematic addition makes the MMFA a must for your next date night.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts: 1380 Sherbrooke Street West
New to the iconic Saint-Laurent Boulevard landscape is intimate café-bar-movie house Cinéma Moderne. Montréal's tiniest theatre—a cozy 54 seats—opened its doors in September 2018 and seeks to foster a more festive, community-oriented moviegoing experience with its patrons. Don't let its size fool you: this little theatre is as high-tech as it gets, boasting a 4K laser phosphor projector and a 32-speaker, 3D sound system. With a huge lineup of films on offer, this Mile End cinema is sure to accrue faithful regulars in no time. Another seemingly cheeky benefit? The ability to take your cocktail straight into the theatre.
Cinéma Moderne: 5150 Saint-Laurent Boulevard
CINÉMA DU PARC
Running since 1976 in the basement of Les galeries du Parc, this cozy cinema in the McGill Ghetto is a city favourite. Screening films both local and international that range from award-winning blockbusters to cult classics, there will always be something of interest to everyone on Cinéma du Parc's marquee. With weeklong film festivals, special event screenings, and PG matinees geared towards the newest generation of film buffs, this Montréal movie mainstay is as iconic as the mountain itself.
Cinéma du Parc: 3575 Parc Avenue
When is the last time you saw a movie for under three dollars? Take a short trip up the metro's Orange line and find yourself at the Dollar Cinema, a sweet little mall cinema that screens current films that have often just left the big, downtown theatres. With 1$ snacks, a wisecracking owner, and plenty of variety on the marquee, we guarantee you'll be referencing the Dollar Cinema in future "back in my day" tirades to bored grandkids. In a variation of visual entertainment, the Dollar Cinema's upgraded sound system and stage in its second theatre, hosts a diverse range of live performances.
Dollar Cinema: 6900 Décarie Boulevard
Cinéma Beaubien, Cinéma du Parc's sexy French sister, offers up les versions françaises of an eclectic mix of local and international independent film. This charming corner theatre first opened its doors in 1937 and has been a beloved staple in the northeastern neighbourhood ever since. When the cinema's existence was threatened by financial problems in 2000, citizens, merchants, and politicians rallied together special interest groups to save it. Decades later, it's more successful than ever!
Cinéma Beaubien: 2396 Beaubien Street East
Since its founding in 1963, the Cinémathèque québécoise has been a Montréal institution. An incredible film conservatory, the Cinémathèque is committed to preserving and documenting cinema, television, video, and other new media from all eras and countries, currently boasting a film collection over 40,000 strong! Check its calendar to see what's screening each day and choose between either two back-to-back shorts or a single feature-length film.
Cinémathèque Québécoise: 335 Maisonneuve Boulevard East
CINÉCLUB FILM SOCIETY
Housed between Concordia University's four cinemas, the Cinéclub Film Society has been serving all manner of film aficionados since 1992. Generally airing a screening every second Sunday, the Cinéclub offers perhaps Montréal's most eclectic moviegoing experiences, screening works dating from 1890s to today. With an emphasis on the conservation and preservation of celluloid film reels and frequent special events and guest speakers, movie-watching along with the Cinéclub is anything but a passive experience.
Concordia University JW McConnell Building: 1400 Maisonneuve Boulevard West
Alexandra Gauthier is a young Montrealer who loves to eat, drink and be merry with friends in neighbourhoods all over the city.