Amusement arcades in downtown Montreal, circa 1980s.

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

Post by HPR Pinball »

Je me rappelle très bien de l'arcade place bonaventure, une petite place tranquille et peu connu eclairer au neon, murs blancs et tapis commercial brun, bien caché dans ce monde souterrain!
J'y ai joué des parties de tetris mémorable!
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 »

Looks like a ghost town. Barely any stores left.

The decline of the shopping mall...
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Re: Amusement arcades in downtown Montreal, circa 1980s.

Post by ta0126 »

AaronD wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 5:43 pm
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.

i enjoyed looking at the 1982 map. some recollections: arcade location #1 (the earlier one) was in units 266 and 267. around this time on a saturday afternoon i might have visited compucentre. they had a kiosque at 172A with calculators and games like atari 2600 and coleco intellivision. you could stand there and play a few games. some of the salespeople would even change the game cartridge for you if you asked nicely. in the compucentre corporate store (175) they were marketing the apple ii as a business machine because it ran visicalc. when you exit 175 and look down the stairs, you could see the red sign of bel gaufre (268). the arcade occupied two spaces 266+267 which made it an L-shape. the two parts of the L had separate sliding doors. the arcade and bel gaufre had longer operating hours than the retail stores. in those days most retail closed at 5 pm on saturdays (and there was a no-sunday-shopping law). so saturday after 5pm, bonaventure staff would close a sliding divider that blocked the hallway between 253 and 254 (and presumably a second divider somewhere on the other side of 268) so people had access only to the arcade and waffle place. that arcade was brightly lit like an office (unlike places like crystal palace which had a darker disco-like ambience with loud music). after retail hours, if there was no trade show in the exhibition hall that weekend, the area would be deserted except for the occasional arcade customer or guest from hotel bonaventure wandering around the hallways of the mall.

things moved around. this 1982 map says radio shack was in 263. before 1982 i remember radio shack in one of 145/146/147 near the bmo at 149. didn't anyone else go with their punchcard for the free battery-of-the-month? always got the 9V which costed more than any of AAA/AA/C/D, lol.

arcade location #2 (the later one) was indeed in 409, diagonally opposite the dq (420) as you indicate. it was a lit a bit dimmer. i do not remember many pinballs there. mostly videos and a large table, it was either billiards or air hockey. maybe also the canada vs usa chexx bubble hockey game. i think i visited in 1986, possibly as late as 1987. i don't think it was there for much longer after that.

thank you for finding and posting a floor plan and store index from 1982!

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