Amusement arcades in downtown Montreal, circa 1980s.

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JamesSchid
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Amusement arcades in downtown Montreal, circa 1980s.

Postby JamesSchid » Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:35 am

OK, as promised, the fruits of some research I did using Lovell's annual* circa 1985, locating amusement arcades in downtown Montreal, specifically on Ste-Catherine West between Jeanne-Mance & Guy. I've also added a few others I remember that weren't on Ste-Catherine. It's mostly just addresses, with a few personal recollections. Some places I frankly don't remember and only surmise are actual arcades based on the business name listed.

At first I did this just to refresh my failing memory of where I spent a whole lot of quarters. I was planning to take pictures of each address to see what became of these places, but never got around to it.

Perhaps this list can be a starting point if anyone wants to continue the research, flesh it out to become something like Mrhide has mentioned, Mike Rivest's "Montreal Movie Theatres And Drive-Ins" history:
https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?cid=88e2e8b0b7cf89d0&id=documents&resid=88E2E8B0B7CF89D0!684&app=Word&authkey=!AKTylRNcPYB1wdQ&
[Note: the link may take some time to load.]

Of course, if anyone remembers other details, other places, etc. please feel free to contribute. I'd rather this not be just my personal recollections.

DOWNTOWN MONTREAL AMUSEMENT ARCADES:

On Ste-Catherine...

L'arcadium 268
268 Ste-Catherine W.
(South side, between Bleury & Jeanne-Mance)

Casino Royale
378 Ste-Catherine W.

Unknown name
680 Ste-Catherine W.
I think there was a small one here, briefly (almost corner of University, South side)

S T Amusements
705 Ste-Catherine W.
(in Les Terrasses minimall -- now Les ailes de la mode?)

Crystal Palace
1196 Ste-Catherine W.
Crystal Palace Centre d'Amusements
(next to Mr. Steer, between Drummond & Stanley, South side)

Video Palace
1197 Ste-Catherine W.
(1985-?)

International
1340 Ste-Catherine W.
International Centre d'Amusements
(between de la Montagne & Crescent)

Le Casino
1381 Ste-Catherine W.
Le Casino Centre d'Amusements
This is the only arcade that still exists these days, but under the name Amusement 2000 Plus.


Off Ste-Catherine ...

Unknown name
Peel metro passage
There was a small one in the Peel metro passage. i.e. From the Stanley street entrance to the metro, there are stairs going down, then a short passageway lined with small stores before getting to the turnstiles. For sure it existed in 1983, since I remember playing Galaga there right after seeing "WarGames" which came out that summer. Probably it only had video games, no pins.

Silver Amusements / Palais du vidéo
1206 St-Laurent
Formerly sharing the same space as Frites Dorées (1212 St-Laurent), then split at some point a few doors down to 1206, changing name to "Palais du vidéo" but still owned by Silver Amusements Ltd.
There's a scene in the movie Montreal Main (1974) by Frank Vitale where the gang go into Frites Dorées and play some games. No pinball machines are seen, but there are a bunch of bat / baseball and rifle games. In the closing credits, one can see the front of Frites Dorées with the Silver Amusements signs in the window.

Unknown name
Place Bonaventure
A bit of a strange, out-of-the-way location in a lower level. I remember playing video games here a few times. It was pretty spacious, but I don't remember many people in it ever.

-- end --

* Lovell's: this was an annual directory for Montreal and environs wherein you can look up a street address and find out who was living there or what business occupied it. They are available online here:
http://bibnum2.banq.qc.ca/bna/lovell/index.html.
[N.B. the interface is in French only].

James.

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Re: Amusement arcades in downtown Montreal, circa 1980s.

Postby P1AG Montréal - pièces/parts » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:49 am

JamesSchid wrote:Unknown name
Place Bonaventure
A bit of a strange, out-of-the-way location in a lower level. I remember playing video games here a few times. It was pretty spacious, but I don't remember many people in it ever.

James.


I worked at both arcades in Place Bonaventure in the early 90's pushing quarters. They were both owned by Abe Kaufmann (same guy who opened Casino Royale and the gameroom behind Reggie's pub at Concordia University) All the equipment came from the now Amusments Classique in N.D.G., which was the other Alouette back in the day.

The one near Bel Gauffre is the one I think you are referring to here James, or was it the one near the Rossy at the end of the metro tunnel.
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Re: Amusement arcades in downtown Montreal, circa 1980s.

Postby Mrhide » Tue Dec 08, 2015 11:11 am

great resource and Great thread!

The Collège (Notre Dame) years:
Centre d'amusement Place Jack, ran by Alouette Amusement
5155 Boulevard Décarie

there was another one on cote-des-neiges and I can't remember where damn it ! ... that same guy then move to St-Laurent, near fairmount ( hmmm ...Bagells!)


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Re: Amusement arcades in downtown Montreal, circa 1980s.

Postby JamesSchid » Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:20 pm

Starburst_Pieces_Parts wrote:I worked at both arcades in Place Bonaventure in the early 90's pushing quarters. [...]
The one near Bel Gauffre is the one I think you are referring to here James, or was it the one near the Rossy at the end of the metro tunnel.

Hmmm, I haven't been in that part of Place Bonaventure in years, and don't know where Bel Gaufre is. First of all, I went to this arcade circa 1985-86. As for where it was, let me explain in a laborious way, as best I can remember: say we're standing on de la Gauchetière near the corner of Mansfield... we go up the stairs and enter Place Bonaventure. We head East along the corridor until we get to a large space, then we take some stairs in the center of that space down a level, where it seemed badly lit. Then we head Eastward along a corridor on the North side... near the end of it is the arcade on our left. I always imagined this arcade being under de la Gauchetière street, closer to University.

James.


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Re: Amusement arcades in downtown Montreal, circa 1980s.

Postby P1AG Montréal - pièces/parts » Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:59 am

JamesSchid wrote:
Starburst_Pieces_Parts wrote:I worked at both arcades in Place Bonaventure in the early 90's pushing quarters. [...]
The one near Bel Gauffre is the one I think you are referring to here James, or was it the one near the Rossy at the end of the metro tunnel.

Hmmm, I haven't been in that part of Place Bonaventure in years, and don't know where Bel Gaufre is. First of all, I went to this arcade circa 1985-86. As for where it was, let me explain in a laborious way, as best I can remember: say we're standing on de la Gauchetière near the corner of Mansfield... we go up the stairs and enter Place Bonaventure. We head East along the corridor until we get to a large space, then we take some stairs in the center of that space down a level, where it seemed badly lit. Then we head Eastward along a corridor on the North side... near the end of it is the arcade on our left. I always imagined this arcade being under de la Gauchetière street, closer to University.

James.


The tragectory you described so well would have put you at the arcade near Rossy's, (which became a dollorama in the 90's). Those two businesses "made" a corner of Place Bonaventure on the lower level. Worked there for a while part time and then asked Abe if I could work at the other one he had opened near the waffle counter. That second arcade was smaller and less noisy (more pool tables) and the girls at the Bel Gauffre counter would give me free coffee. The noise at the other busier arcade was getting to me as I neared 30.

Now I will attempt to outline a different tragectory in the same building, and try to be as clear as yours was in order to mentally get you to the Bel Gauffre counter and meet Nancy, Anik, Martine, and others I can not remember by name anymore.

Entering Place Bonaventure on the corner of La Gauchetiere and Mansfield and you would walk south past the Hilton entrance, turn left near the end of the passage, and soon after that turn on your right there were a few steps that went down and straight to the Bel Gauffre counter. Turning your head to the left when standing at the cash was the "L" shaped arcade with a small back office where I would give change from while talking about all sorts of things with the more interesting teenagers of that period who had often run out of money just before midnight and which I would let sit in the office and tell me their woes.

Lee Ann - "Rob, - I got male problems."

Rob - "You know, they have a pretty good post office here in the building."

That arcade in Place Bonaventure always smelled like waffles, and so did my cloths at the end of a shift. So after midnight, some of the girls from Bel Gauffre who were game would casually wander over to the arcade and along with some of the regular arcade dwellers and yours truely, we would head off to the John Bull pub under the Drummond tunnel until the wee hours. Quite the times.
Last edited by P1AG Montréal - pièces/parts on Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:21 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Amusement arcades in downtown Montreal, circa 1980s.

Postby eh97ac » Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:18 am

Friends and I walking through a tunnel and a small sign appears above a conspicuous looking door...."yeah we should grab a beer here!". Good times in the John Bull Pub and all by accidentally finding it.

The tunnel before and after.

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Re: Amusement arcades in downtown Montreal, circa 1980s.

Postby harvey144 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:41 am

Picture of Crystal Palace 70 (Pinball Era), Video Palace -86, all around the corner of St-Catherine and Drummond

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Re: Amusement arcades in downtown Montreal, circa 1980s.

Postby JamesSchid » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:58 pm

OK, on behalf of harvey144, I'll post the images he mentioned here. He did finally manage to post them in the "Where were you in 82? here viewtopic.php?f=5&t=19144&p=215504#p215504 thread , but I'll duplicate them anyway.

Video Palais Amusement, circa 1980s...
Video palace amusement 80s.png


Crystal Palace, in the 70s...
Crystal Palace in the 70's - Pinball era copy.jpg

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Re: Amusement arcades in downtown Montreal, circa 1980s.

Postby JamesSchid » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:05 pm

OK, this thread was originally about downtown arcades, but rather than start a new thread, I hereby expand the area a bit... to Avenue du Parc.

I found a scene in the film "L'homme de papier" (Quebec, 1987) [English title : "Moving Picture"], directed by Jacques Giraldeau that takes place in an arcade. We see some video games, someone playing Galaga, and then a bit later Harlem Globetrotters.

During the pinball scene, we can see the street and I managed to figure out that it was on Avenue du Parc, specifically 3464 du Parc, between Sherbrooke and Milton.

In 1987 when the film was released, this arcade was listed in Lovell's annuals as Centre d'amusements Palais. It possibly opened around 1984.

I had forgotten that there was an arcade on Parc, having mostly frequented the ones on Ste-Catherine where they were concentrated, but now I think I probably played here a few times.

It seemed to have disappeared in the 90s, but popped up under various names as an arcade in 1999 to 2010, which is as far as I can look up listings in Lovell's. The building was recently demolished (in 2017?), along with its neighbor at 3462 du Parc.

Across the street was something called Le patinoire, which today appears to be the parking lot for the Boni-Soir. And diagonally, we can see the Taverne Henri-Richard, which by 1990 was a branch of the Peel Pub, then Annies until about 2000, and finally replaced by two buildings, one of which is now the Parc Suites hotel.

pinballspotting - L'homme de papier (1987) 1.jpg


pinballspotting - L'homme de papier (1987) 2.png

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Re: Amusement arcades in downtown Montreal, circa 1980s.

Postby HPR Pinball » Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:15 pm

Thanks for those great pictures
Inventory
Pins: http://www.pinballowners.com/hal-9ooo
Vids: http://www.arcade-museum.com/members/me ... _id=454505
Les arcades, j'suis tombé d'dans quand j'tait pti !! :-)

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Re: Amusement arcades in downtown Montreal, circa 1980s.

Postby nostalgiaqc » Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:04 pm

Yeah cool ,awesome history to see ,thx



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