Entertainment

Montreal hall Le Medley closes

Montreal nightclub and concert hall Le Medley closed its doors Friday.

Montreal nightclub and concert hall Le Medley closed its doors Friday.

The 100-year-old building, at René Lévesque Boulevard and St. Denis Street, will be demolished to make way for condominiums.

The owners, including the singer Garou, said the need for expensive renovations and the poor profitability of the concert hall made it necessary to sell the land.

"We were looking at $10 million in renovations to bring the building up to modern mechanical codes," Paul Matte, co-owner of Le Medley, told Radio-Canada.

Heavy metal groups are mourning the loss of the club, as it was a familiar venue for their music.

"It was a place that everybody knew," said Alex Erian, singer for Despised Icon. "Everyone was used to coming here. It was a familiar venue, so it is a little bit sad."

Lique Nationale d'Improvisation, a group of comedians who had held events at Le Medley for the past 12 years, also regarded it as a home.

Inspired by Paris store

The group has appealed to the Quebec culture minister to help establish a permanent venue for standup competition. In 2010, the group will operate out of Club Soda.

Charles Desjardins drew up plans to build the original three-storey structure in 1908. He was inspired by the LaFayette Galleries store in Paris with its wooden balustrades. The Montreal store initially sold and stored fur coats.

In 1969, the place changed vocation, becoming a Bavarian restaurant called Vieux Munich. In the 1990s, it changed hands again and became the concert hall, renamed Le Medley.  

Dinu Bumbaru of Heritage Montreal recalled the loss of concert hall The Spectrum in 2008 and said the city is losing part of its cultural fabric.

"We are not losing just a cultural venue where people can express themselves, but also a place of fun," he said, speaking in French.

Developer Samcon plans to build a 10-storey condominium and commercial building on the site.

With files from Stéphane Leclair, Radio-Canada

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