Opinion
3 min

Montreal’s Video Erotica

Sometimes a grungy cinema is just a grungy cinema

Montreal's Rue Sainte-Catherine is like a sleazy take on the Magnificent Mile with smoke shops and strip joints until it finally leads into the gay village. Credit: Jeangagnon/Wikicommons

While we were still in Montreal, Ernan kept asking me when were going to visit the sex cinema. There was an excitement in him that reminded me of how I feel when I’m going to a new place. Also, I had promised to give him a blow job while we were in the theatre. I liked the idea of us doing this together — I’ve always gone to these places solo, and it would be nice to have company. And to corrupt him a bit.

When I tried to find directions to the sex cinema, I kept seeing the name 6 Cinemas — but when I Googled it, it turned out to be called Vidéo Érotica. I enjoyed the confusion of it all.

Vidéo Érotica is on Rue Sainte-Catherine, a little further down from Place des Arts. I always found Sainte-Catherine fascinating. It’s like a sleazy take on the Magnificent Mile with smoke shops and strip joints until it finally leads into the gay village, starting with the famous, after-hours bar Stereo. I want to say it’s like Toronto’s Yonge Street strip, or that the vibe is like the old Times Square, but it so completely unique and Quebecois that neither comparison would do it justice.

We found the place easily enough, and were greeted by a man behind a desk and a turnstile. The sight of those things always got me excited. “How does it work?” I asked him.

“It’s $2,” he said. I put in a toonie and entered, heading in the opposite direction as Ernan. There were a series of booths that were large, but I couldn’t find the cinemas.  Ernan seemed aimless, like he didn’t know what to do or where to go. There was only one other guy there — he was in his 50s, but was wearing a fitted cap and baggy clothes like he was in his 20s. Whenever I’d pass him he would just stop and stare at me with this wanton look. There was also a cleaner mopping the floor — the entire place reeked of disinfectant.

I circled and circled but there were no cinemas, so I went back to the entrance and asked the guy behind the desk where they were. “Downstairs,” he said. “It’s $8.”

I found Ernan, who seemed reluctant when I suggested that we check it out. I realized that from what we’d seen, it wasn’t a huge selling point, but we were already there — we might as well see what we came for.

I went ahead of Ernan — he needed to grab change — and headed down the stairs. At the bottom were two turnstiles. (What’s the significance of this?) I chose one and entered the darkness.

There were two doors. More options. I picked again and entered into a small cinema. There couldn’t have been more than 10 seats in the room, and there was a man sitting in the one closest to the door. He looked back at me — a larger fellow with a bald head. He looked so lonely in there, all by himself in this complex, waiting for someone else to join him in the basement. For what? To jerk off? For sex? For affection, for a human touch, for love? Would he have wanted me to touch him? To suck my cock? He looked so sad. And a part of me wanted to touch him, give him something, but I didn’t. I just left.

I went into the other cinema — it was the same style but completely empty..

I found Ernan standing just outside of the turnstiles, waiting for me. I went close. “Come inside,” I said.

“I wasn’t sure where you were.” He paid his $8 and joined me.

“Go in that door,” I told him, pointing to where the single man was. He entered without question. I turned and went down the hall to the right. There were a few open doors that led into rooms that were pitch black. The whole thing reminded me of a David Lynch film. It was intriguing, but very frightening and very, very sordid. The quiet didn’t help.

I went back and found Ernan looking somewhat bewildered. I concluded that there was nothing interesting happening and no real opportunity to suck him off — unless it was in front of that sad looking fellow. “Are you hungry?” I asked him.

“Yeah. Do you want to go?”

“Let’s go to St Hubert.”

 
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