The 7th Annual POP Montreal festival wrapped up on Sunday, and, as has been the habit over the past few years, the biggest star of the festival ended up being the city. POP Montreal is known for juxtaposing pop shows with unconventional urban spaces, and as a result it’s a great way of discovering new parts of the city. As part of the effort to limit the ground festivalgoers need to cover to go from show to show, each year festival organizers dig deeper into unexpected locations to maximize venue use. In the past, places like the Ukrainian Federation and l’Eglise St. Jean Baptiste have been introduced to a whole new audience through POP. Here are my top spaces discovered this year at POP Montreal:
This gorgeous former Yiddish theater on St. Laurent and Duluth is now a Porn cinema, and two separate shows in this year’s POP utilized the space, although only one used the…ahem…functionality of the space as it currently exists (I’ll give you a hint: it was called PornPop). If you’re not squeamish, this theatre is definitely worth a look.
Pop’s administrative and ticket sale headquarters were housed at this old mansion on Sherbrooke and Clark. I honestly don’t know what this space is used for, although it seems to be semi-abandoned. A bonus for all you urban explorers is a hidden passageway that allegedly leads to an abandoned dormitory
A POP afterparty on Friday night introduced me to this cozy little theatre space on St. Laurent. There is nothing overwhelming about its aesthetics, but it was a pleasant surprise to find an innocuous second floor theatre space tucked in amongst the nightlife on the Main. Word is that the theatre company puts on some interesting pieces.
Though I didn’t actually make it to the Masonic Temple, apparently Montrealers The Dears put on a spellbounding if somewhat creepy show at the home of the Free Masons, at 2295 Rue St-Marc.
Again, not an architectural masterpiece, but the late night shows stuffed into this tiny community space in the middle of St. Urbain had an intimacy that most music venues would kill for.
Post your favourite POP spots in the comments below.
photo from www.hippocampe.org