Different owners

Different owners

Théâtre St-Denis' owners and tenants over the years


Théâtre St-Denis' original owner was an English Montreal investment company created under the name of St. Denis Theatre Corporation. In 1915, it bought the land on which the Théâtre St-Denis was built. in July 1917 -sixteen months after its inauguration- the theatre was sold to Atlas Securities.


In October 1917, the theatre was acquired by a Toronto company renamed the St. Denis Corporation. The company was headed by J.P. Bickell, a wealthy and influencial businessman who also happened to be the Vice-President of Paramount Canada.


In 1924, the theatre was leased for $180 a week to Charles Lalumière and Télesphore Latourelle -who founded Films De Luxe. At the time, the theatre's manager was Raoul Rickner. During his eleven-year stint, Rickner would play a decisive role in shaping the theatre's future.


In September 1924, the lease was transferred to Jos Cardinal, who rented the theatre for eight years. The weekly rent was $575.


Then, on August 5, 1933 -and with the help of Raoul Rickner - J.A. DeSève took over the lease for a period of one year. He immediately set to work on the acoustics, marquee, seats and carpets. DeSève managed the theatre and started to make plans to show double features.


On February 6 1935, Alban Janin, a wealthy building contractor and majority shareholder of Compagnie France Film, purchased Théâtre St-Denis for $250,000. For the first time, Théâtre St-Denis was owned by a French-speaking entity. Alban Janin remained owner until his death in 1948.


The Theatre then passed into the hands of Lionel Leroux, who in turn sold it to Compagnie France Film for a sum on one million dollars. Compagnie France Film remains owner and operator of Théâtre St-Denis to this day.