Friday, February 19, 2010

Raphael Motel (Knights Inn) Feb 2010

Ever since the Motel Raphael was built over 50 years ago it was known as being a sketchy locale where riff raff and jailbirds frequented. With 75 rooms and a large road side deck and pool, the motel was a popular spot being located in between downtown and the airport next to the highway 20. Over the years the motel was the site of a number of shady and criminal occurrences, drugs and prostitution were common as well. A man was found in his rooms bath tub stabbed multiple times in 1993, another man was sentenced to 7 years in prison for raping and beating his former girlfriend over the course of 5 days, and in 2006 a man died in a room fire (And that's just what the Gazette reported). The Motel was also a popular site for film makers looking for an atmospheric scene for shoots.  Before its closure it was acquired by new owners and changed into a Knights Inn (although signs for Raphael Motel were still present) with rooms running at hourly rates. After it closed the remaining room furniture was either auctioned off or donated to charity.

In late 2009 the city condemned a section of the property and demolition began. What was left was boarded up and fenced off. Since then local writers have been hitting it up. There were plans to build a large hotel and strip mall but apparently the MTQ has other plans and the new property owners will be having talks to figure all that out in the near future. I stopped by recently to check it out and get me some flics. Although fenced off it was not hard to get in. All the boarded windows have been hit up with various graffiti and a number of doors have been kicked in displaying the remains of the rooms interiors. All the beds and furniture remain in the rooms with various beer bottles and other refuse strung about. I didn't venture into any of the rooms but instead peeked in and snapped some shots.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Seville Theatre Feb 7th 2010

The Seville Theater located on the corner of Chomedey and St. Catherine's Street has been abandoned since 1985.  Built in 1929, the Seville held 1148 seats and had a single screen. In the 1940s it was a live theater hosting a number of performances. From the 1960s until its close in 1985 it reverted back to showing movies. Since then it has laid in ruin slowly eroding away... In 1990 it was deemed an historic site and in 1997 there was hope that the entire section of area up until the Forum would be redeveloped, however, those plans fell through. In 1998 the interior was gutted and it has remained since a hollowed out husk. Although Heritage Montreal has pressured the property owner to do something with this area there have been no improvements or redevelopment announcements.  In 2009 it was declared that the Seville Theatre and the adjacent structure would be completely demolished to make room for a 100 million dollar real-estate project -which will no doubt be another condominium tower.

I got in on the 7th and got some pics of the hollowed out interior filled with various refuse and some graffiti. It's probably not going to be around for much longer which is a shame since it could have been preserved.