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City, Film

Death Of Another Cheap Cinema

Posted by John / October 5, 2005

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Many of us knew Cinéma Centre Eaton, and those of us who didn't know it at least knew of it, or, at the very least, maybe walked by the Centre Eaton and wondered if there was a theatre inside that horrible mall. Well, of course, there was, and now that theatre is lying next to me in a strange, theatre-shaped coffin, and we'll never have it back.

I recall many happy afternoons and evenings spent there, my man purse loaded with smuggled candy, a large popcorn purchased with the money saved by waiting for the film to end up there, where the ticket prices were $6 instead of $12. Once upon a time the films cost $5, but even when they went up to $6.50, I wasn't upset. Sure, the movies screened there were for the most part terrible, but I like terrible movies.

This represents the true end of an era. In my time in Montreal there has almost always been a cheap downtown cinema where I was able to watch bad teen movies, bad action movies, and bad dramas without feeling as guilty about spending the money. Less than a decade ago the shabby Palace Theatre welcomed junk-film connoiseurs to its broken seats just across the street from the Centre Eaton, whose theatre, at that time, was one of the expensive ones. A bit west of there was Loews, which wasn't cheap but was beginning to decay, and so felt cheap. In between the two was Cinéma de Paris, the predecessor of the Cinéma du Parc, where a ten film pass included two bonus films and several free popcorns, such that the price of a film worked out to something ridiculous like $3.50.

What caused the death of our poor dear friend? Some point to the theatre owners, who said recently that they had decided not to renew the lease. But I point to you, and to me. To us. Did we do our part? Cinéma Centre Eaton was there for us, but were we there for it?

We once cared about atrocious films, but we now give our attention to other things. Staying fit. Reading. The information superhighway. Good films. For each of us it may be something different, but we have all felt that hard sharp pain that comes when you betray someone.

The final new Star Wars episode was playing there for weeks, if not months, and I never made it. Once upon a time I would have insisted. I couldn't even name the summer's teen blockbusters -- once, I could have recounted the plot and named the characters. Was there another slice added to the American Pie franchise? I don't even know.

I failed you, Cinema Centre Eaton. I failed you, old friend, and I'm sorry.

Discussion

2 Comments

Alex / October 7, 2005 at 08:27 am
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Oh yes, I will miss it too. <br><br>I don't remember cinema de paris par contre. Where was that?<br><br>Loes had this totally smashed car, part of a promo for some movie.
Alex / October 7, 2005 at 08:27 am
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Oh yes, I will miss it too.

I don't remember cinema de paris par contre. Where was that?

Loes had this totally smashed car, part of a promo for some movie.

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