Monday, September 10, 2007

Princess Theater closes its doors

Canadian blog coolopolis reports that the legendary Princess Theater building in Montreal has finally shut its doors.

Of course, Houdini buffs know the Princess as the theater where Houdini was punched in the stomach by McGill University student J. Gordon Whitehead. That punch played a role in the great magician’s death.

The Princess building is located on St. Catherine Street, just east of Phillips Square. It operated under several different names. In its later days it hosted the first Montreal Film Festival and then became a discount cinema that showed non-English language movies.

The site also also posted this photo of the long gone Prince of Wales Hotel where Houdini is said to have been struck a second time in the lobby while reading a paper.

Plans posted on the now shuttered Princess building show that it will be converted into a food court. Frankly, I'm amazed the original building lasted as long as it did!

Site of the Princess Theater today

Thanks to Jim Keegan for alerting me to the photo of Houdini's correct Princess Theater. The photo on Coolopolis appears to be an early incarnation that burned down in 1915.

1 comment:

  1. The address of the site in the photos (presumably the site of the Princess) looks to be 480 Saint-Catherine St W. Next to what appears in some photos as a Futureshop, and is now a Best Buy. It has been for lease for quite some time, and appears still to be.

    Judging from satellite photos, there may be a short building back there, but most of the lofty facade is strictly a facade. Which is to say, it doesn't look like a lot of redevelopment has taken place there.