Amusement arcades in downtown Montreal, circa 1980s.

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

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

Post by ta0126 »

Dave W. wrote:Some more pictures for the archives.
so glad you shared that photo. mcdonald’s was at 1494 ste catherine ouest near guy. beside it as we can see in your pic was daniel amusement, then the pharmaprix on the corner. eventually the pharmacy expanded to the east into the other spaces. mcdonald’s moved over to the corner of mackay.

i seem to remember that the walls of the arcade were painted in harsh colours, maybe red and yellow. i didn’t play much at this place, maybe because it arrived in the very late 80s or even 90s. or maybe it was because of the selection; if i am not mistaken, they had a preponderance of mortal combat type games, which were not my favourite.

and hey, mcdonald’s pizza… mmm…

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

Post by ta0126 »

complexe desjardins

there was a superb arcade in complexe desjardins. it was on the south side near boul rene levesque. it was in the current iga retail space. it had an entrance from the mall direction, but also a dedicated entrance directly from the street (use of the latter was eventually discontinued).

in this later photo (source: google streetview), the street entrance would have been roughly where the lady in the light blue jacket is looking:
http://oi66.tinypic.com/2ijt7h0.jpg

this arcade was around for a long long time, going back to the 70s, and maybe right to 1976 when the mall opened. it had a rectangular shape. the pins were around the perimeter on three sides, and the middle section was a couple of steps lower. if you visited this place, you would instantly recognize this long time resident:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_i9xWjDR4D-E/S ... 90117b.jpg
(source: http://bispham2.blogspot.com/2009/01/ol ... penny.html)

in the early days, they had to position that puppet machine just inside the doors to the mall to attract the attention of kids because the arcade laws did not permit the young ones to enter.

i remember playing numerous classic em pins here. later they had the infamous widebody future spa. they had many early videos like bally gun fight and exidy circus. i am certain they survived until at least 1986 because i played williams high speed there and there are some pin experiences you just don’t forget. i could be wrong, but i don’t think they operated to the end of the 80s. in retrospect, i admire how this place stayed on top of new releases during those years. many times it was the place where i saw a given machine for the first time.


[edit] adding pic because link died.
desjardins 2b.jpg
Last edited by ta0126 on Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by R.A.B. »

Dave W. wrote:Some more pictures for the archives.
I can't say that I had a favorite downtown arcade... I would often hit 3 or 4 different ones on a Friday night. Loved the choices we were offered.
Thanks for the pics Dave.

The arcade next to rotten ronnie's near Guy and St.Cathy belonged to the Williams Brothers who ran Daniel Amusements, a large Montreal region operator at the time.

Guess who runs Amusements 200 Plus ? Yup, Terry Williams. Kinda cool to see some continuinty in what is left of this industry.
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Re: Amusement arcades in downtown Montreal, circa 1980s.

Post by ta0126 »

JamesSchid wrote: L'arcadium 268
268 Ste-Catherine W.

International
1340 Ste-Catherine W.

Unknown name
Peel metro passage
just wanted to do a quick +1 for these since we might never find pics.

L'arcadium 268: a small place on the south west corner. for a long time had a cockpit (sit-down) racing game in the front window. beside it was a candy store, or maybe a flavoured popcorn place. kind of around where lafleur is now.

International: one day i stepped out of the original kojax souflaki (on the north side at 1389 ste catherine ouest, with the huge sign, before they went multi-location) and saw this arcade almost directly across the street. one floor, nothing fancy. key game/era for me here: galaga.

Peel metro passage: confirming this. it was a mostly blank space, no signs. glass in front was usually dirty and the white walls were dingy, but that didn't deter me from visiting.
Last edited by ta0126 on Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by ta0126 »

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

ok just a bit of added detail about this one. the arcade was below ground level. you could get to the arcade from within les terrasses. but it was also right next to a street entrance:
https://live.staticflickr.com/2378/1573 ... 8834_b.jpg
(source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/73416633@N00/1573418059)

look to the right of kresge’s entrance, but to the left of the ground-level entrance of les terrasses. you will see the some stairs heading down, almost right below the bovet sign. there are also some other stairs heading up towards the magic pan sign. those stairs leading down went to a mall entrance on the metro level. upon entering the doors at the foot of the stairs, immediately to the right, was the arcade. it was only a few steps away on that grey-brown les terrasses rubberized flooring with the raised circular bumps. key game/era for me here: galaxian.

a reminder of how popular these videos were in those years and how they found their way everywhere: the kresge competitor store woolworth’s had a store just on the other side of mcgill college (now place montreal trust). even they kept a couple of video games in the lobby just near the ste catherine doors. for a while one of them was asteroids. anyone else have memories of playing a few games and seeing people at the woolworth lunch counter having their hot chicken sandwiches with gravy and green peas?
https://live.staticflickr.com/5569/1483 ... f7c8_b.jpg
(source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/guil3433/14837527317)


[edit] adding pic in case link dies.
1573418059_73ff258834_b.jpg
Last edited by ta0126 on Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by ta0126 »

R.A.B. wrote:I am sure we are talking about Forum Amusements (don't remember a L-Z amusement arcade, maybe it changed owners later on) with an arch like sign above the small entrance, I thnk it was lit up with blinking lights. The place smelled like an armpit most of the time and the guy giving change had two thumbs. His change counter was to the left as you entered and the place was shaped like a big "L", the older machines being in the back short end of the L shaped space, I would play Volley and Bronco and other Gottliebs that pissed me off.

I bought my first pinball from their basement in 1980 if memory serves, I will have to check. I do remember the Kent Brasserie though. It was accross St.Catherine from that arcade had real cold draft and pickeled tounge and salt crackers when you got hungry - for real. 8-)
lol, i never found it quite that bad. but yes, that mysterious basement. i never knew if it held a secret stash of cool machines, or maybe some dead bodies.

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

Post by ta0126 »

gare centrale

the arcade in central station was tucked away in the basement. there are two main passages between the train station and place ville marie. most people know the larger principal passage that the majority of commuters use, the one that passes through what is today les halles de la gare (second cup, tim horton, premiere moisson bakery, etc).

the second passage is less prominent. if you stand with your back to the mcdonald’s, facing north, the second passage is almost directly in front of you, just a little to the right. it used to have much lower traffic than the main pathway and accordingly it housed more specialized businesses like a tailor, dry cleaner, and print shop. it also had a connection to the banque nationale building. follow that second passage and the arcade was on your left, in the very last retail space, just before you got to the doors to place ville marie.

this arcade was never too busy, possibly due to being tucked away in that hallway. it had a more sedate atmosphere with no loud blasting music or flashing lights. some would miss that, but i also like being able to hear your machine. they stayed up to date with new pins, more so than their videos. they were open at least until 1990, not sure when they closed. key game/era for me here: various williams and gottlieb pins in the years around f-14 tomcat. also one of the few places i could play three of the bally-sente games: gimme a break, mini golf, and power play.

well, i think that’s all i’ve got from the downtown area (for me that’s the strip from st laurent to atwater, along st catherine), unless other posts trigger some buried memories lol.

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

Post by JamesSchid »

Thanks ta0126 for all those memories! Such detail!

I just remember dropping lots of quarters and running late for classes at McGill due to playing (or rather, watching my friend play, who was way better than I.

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

Post by hothand »

Alors je me permets d'ajouter une photo de salle jeux d'autrefois.
Je suis parvenu à dénicher celle-là sur le site d'archive de la ville de Québec.
Je crois qu'elle mérite d'être vu, septembre 65, excusez pas de Montréal, mais je crois que ce doit être Expo Québec. Pas de gène pour deleté ce post si c'est une entorse trop grande au sujet, mais je préfèrais partager.
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Re: Amusement arcades in downtown Montreal, circa 1980s.

Post by ta0126 »

JamesSchid wrote:Thanks ta0126 for all those memories! Such detail!
it was fun to stroll down memory lane and go looking for old photos. in the process i came across your blog and enjoyed your movie screen captures. i guess the nostalgia means we’re officially old, lol. i have no doubt that during those years the people in this thread were in some of these places at the same time at least once in a while.

i’m also thinking about the wide range of places to play that were not officially arcades. i don’t mean the random laundromat with one lonely machine. i mean places might have been say a restaurant or pizza shop, but they realized games were huge and a profitable way to use their retail space, and they had maybe 7-12 games. some old timers might remember a place called champion (ave du parc near fairmont). but that’s a different topic for another day.

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

Post by ta0126 »

some easter eggs from this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BhGwBk9tTk

1. starting at 2:40, you can see three still shots of the street that happen to catch the sign at casino royale (378 ste catherine ouest).
the video is faded but i think the sign had purple/orange horizontal bands and white text.
casino_royale_1 421.png
casino_royale_2 468.png
casino_royale_3 890.png
2. (for JamesSchid) in the same video at 14:45 you can spot two machines in the intro for cbc late night. no idea if that image is taken from a film.
cbc_1 656.png
there is a better view at 00:47 in this full version of the intro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEjMUe-YkHE
cbc_2 437.png
my best guesses would be: williams flash 1979, clearly a bally night rider 1976, possibly a gottlieb atlantis 1975, and a bally playboy 1978 at the far right. an expert might be able to identify the obscured fourth machine from the tiny visible portion.

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

Post by Sparky »

hothand wrote:Alors je me permets d'ajouter une photo de salle jeux d'autrefois.
Je suis parvenu à dénicher celle-là sur le site d'archive de la ville de Québec.
Je crois qu'elle mérite d'être vu, septembre 65, excusez pas de Montréal, mais je crois que ce doit être Expo Québec. Pas de gène pour deleté ce post si c'est une entorse trop grande au sujet, mais je préfèrais partager.
Pourquoi? C'est cool autant!!! Who cares which town. Any classic arcade is cool.
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Re: Amusement arcades in downtown Montreal, circa 1980s.

Post by R.A.B. »

ta0126 wrote :

1. starting at 2:40, you can see three still shots of the street that happen to catch the sign at casino royale (378 ste catherine ouest).

Van Morrison wrote :

"Cast my memory back there Lord, sometimes I`m overwhelmed just thinkin`about it."

Casino Royale meant alot to me. Got kicked out of there when I was 18 (so 1981) for arguing with the cranky change guy, then with the cop he called because I pushed around a Bally Kiss machine which I thought tilted too easily. Hence, I refused to leave until I got a refund. Almost got arrested when I began loudly arguing with the cop who wanted to get me out of there because of the under 18 reason to kick me out and then refused to look at my id cards when I showed them to him. I was fuming as he looked me striaght in the eyes and loudly said, "Get out !". So I did realizing that it was best even if I knew I was right. I do remember being completely furious and boiling inside totally shocked and thinking that I was being kicked out under the age pretext even though I was of age.

A year or so later, the age law changed and there were alot more kids in the arcades. I was now the guy telling players not to hit the machines after I pushed quarters on them at Casino Royale. Worked there one or two shifts a week or when Abe Kaufmann called me to work, ended up with a regular 15 hour shift on Sundays in the summer of 82 or 83 I believe.

This is a great thread to spark memories, especially with the pics that help to bring on the specifics of the youthful details many of us hold in our minds and especially how we saw the world.

Sidenote memory :

A.Gold & Sons up the street from Casino Royale solds suits. My buddy Raymond Walsh worked on the delivery trucks with his father around that same time.
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Re: Amusement arcades in downtown Montreal, circa 1980s.

Post by ta0126 »

R.A.B. wrote: Casino Royale meant alot to me. Got kicked out of there when I was 18 (so 1981) for arguing with the cranky change guy, then with the cop he called because I pushed around a Bally Kiss machine which I thought tilted too easily.
guess you were a bit of a sh!t disturber. i was usually well behaved. but once in another city i was playing a williams no fear. did a slide save on what would have been a middle drain. don't think i even got a tilt warning :) attendant almost ejected me on the spot, but i said i wouldn't do it again and he let me stay.

agreed, casino royale was one of the good ones. it was part of my "east downtown" joints: casino royale, complexe desjardins, frites dorees / st laurent, and if i felt like the extra walk, going down to amusements vieux montreal on st paul. i remember st paul for some games i never saw anywhere else downtown: bally space invaders (not a great playing pin but great looking and sounding) and robby roto. they had that space invaders so loud the whole place could hear when you got the whoo whoo "saucer" noise.

anyone here old enough to remember once upon a time when there were a few em pins in the voyageur bus terminal at berri? if i recall correctly, they were a few steps just below ground level in a stairway leading to the washrooms. now that's a deep cut hehe.

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

Post by ta0126 »

JamesSchid wrote: L'arcadium 268
268 Ste-Catherine W.
(South side, between Bleury & Jeanne-Mance)
this is a recent pic from google streetview:
arcadium g2 0480x0320.jpg
l'arcadium occupied the space where you see dq/lafleur.

here is what it looked like in 1982:
arcadium photocatvan 480x320.jpg
l'arcadium is in the dark storefront with no sign, almost directly above the ryder truck. the visibility is poor, but i believe the curved thing you see in the window is the side of a cockpit racing game, maybe pole position.

side notes: in 1982 the business on the left was p’tites douceurs, an ice cream parlour. on the right was bazaar continental, a clothing store.

sorry the pic is so miniscule, it is a small detail from a larger photo:
arcadium photocatvan 440757338_3d6d62433e_k 1000x0659.jpg
source:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/photocat6 ... 027232645/

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

Post by JamesSchid »

I've been away from here for a while.

Thanks again ta0126 for your unearthing of these various gems.

Despite having watched a ton of CBC Late Night movies and seen that intro so many times, I did not remember that there were pins in it. I might even have it on VHS tape somewhere, having taped a few movies back in the day, although I did a major cleanup a couple years ago.

James.

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

Post by ta0126 »

came across this photo, the notes say it was from 1984.
considering how much st laurent has changed, it has so much nostaglia for more than just silver amusements...

szilasi-frites-dorees-bellemare-lambert.jpg

source: http://www.bellemarelambert.com/en/oeuvre/frites-dorees

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

Post by HPR Pinball »

Thanks for this picture. I used to play at 'Le palais du video' every week-ends just at the left side.
Frite dorée has the best fries and hot dogs. I'm very sad both place doesn't exist anymore.
The video game i want to play is always the one i don't have :FP:
Les arcades, j'suis tombé d'dans quand j'tait pti !! :-)

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

Post by Sparky »

Ouf... l'OLFQ aurait pété une coche... LOL
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Re: Amusement arcades in downtown Montreal, circa 1980s.

Post by ta0126 »

HPR Pinball wrote:
Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:11 pm
Thanks for this picture. I used to play at 'Le palais du video' every week-ends just at the left side.
Frite dorée has the best fries and hot dogs. I'm very sad both place doesn't exist anymore.
same here, i might have been there around about this time on a saturday. it was the only place i got to play atari paperboy and the first place i saw the laserdisc game dragon's lair which i never got good at but could watch others play it for hours.

if i recall, palais had a tinted glass storefront. if the weather was good, they would open the sliding doors. you enter into the big open first floor with machines on both sides and a third row up the middle. pins were usually on the right (north) wall. then there were stairs in the back that go up to a smaller second floor area (where the office was and maybe the bathrooms) with a billiards table and a few more machines, including a sit-down nintendo vs.tennis.

if instead of going upstairs you turn left, it connected with the store space to the south. that store was split in two with a moveable divider. in the back half was a room with the slightly older machines. in the front half, closer to the street with its own sidewalk entrance, was a counter that sold pizza by the slice. food was terrible, much prefer frites dorees or montreal pool room.

in palais for years it was always the same senior gentleman making change and fixing the machines himself, he must have worked there 24-7.

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

Post by HPR Pinball »

ta0126 wrote:
Sat Dec 05, 2020 2:14 pm
HPR Pinball wrote:
Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:11 pm
Thanks for this picture. I used to play at 'Le palais du video' every week-ends just at the left side.
Frite dorée has the best fries and hot dogs. I'm very sad both place doesn't exist anymore.
same here, i might have been there around about this time on a saturday. it was the only place i got to play atari paperboy and the first place i saw the laserdisc game dragon's lair which i never got good at but could watch others play it for hours.

if i recall, palais had a tinted glass storefront. if the weather was good, they would open the sliding doors. you enter into the big open first floor with machines on both sides and a third row up the middle. pins were usually on the right (north) wall. then there were stairs in the back that go up to a smaller second floor area (where the office was and maybe the bathrooms) with a billiards table and a few more machines, including a sit-down nintendo vs.tennis.

if instead of going upstairs you turn left, it connected with the store space to the south. that store was split in two with a moveable divider. in the back half was a room with the slightly older machines. in the front half, closer to the street with its own sidewalk entrance, was a counter that sold pizza by the slice. food was terrible, much prefer frites dorees or montreal pool room.

in palais for years it was always the same senior gentleman making change and fixing the machines himself, he must have worked there 24-7.
Very exact description! The coins changer name is Jean, he was already very old in the begining of the 80's.

There was a lot of regular players. Also a small group of '' professionnel players'' called "Le club des six pros" they put this title in every Williams game because the high score allow 20 letters.
The video game i want to play is always the one i don't have :FP:
Les arcades, j'suis tombé d'dans quand j'tait pti !! :-)

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

Post by harvey144 »

Crustal Palace and Harvey's around the corner

Crystal Palace 1984
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Re: Amusement arcades in downtown Montreal, circa 1980s.

Post by HPR Pinball »

J'adorais le Crystal Palace !!
L'Arcadium aussi, j'en ai joué des parties de Ms Pac-Man de 2Hrs la-bas :lol: :lol:
The video game i want to play is always the one i don't have :FP:
Les arcades, j'suis tombé d'dans quand j'tait pti !! :-)

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

Post by AaronD »

Fantastic thread. Actually helped me out when trying to find the old Bonaventure arcades.

Attached is a map of the Bonaventure shopping area from 1982.

- I believe the arcade closest to La Gauchetiere was store #409.
- Bel Gaufre is store 268, which is pretty much where the 2nd arcade was.

The La Gauchetiere arcade is now a Box Office. That's me standing out front disappointed.

The "Bel Gaufre" arcade is not accessible to the public.
Attachments
Bonaventure 1982.png
Bonaventure 2021.png
Bonaventure 2021A.JPG

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