By: John Symon – mtltimes.ca
The Snowdon Theatre caught fire Saturday afternoon and it was arson reports CTV. An online video, shared on Snapchat, shows what appears to be someone setting fire to a pile of foam cubes inside the building. Snapchat is an app that allows sharing of photos and videos which are then deleted after 10 seconds. Two youths are being questioned and police are seeking a third in connection with the fire said police spokesman Jean-Pierre Brabant.
Some more recent news reports now claim that two youths have been arrested.
Numerous workers were busy at the Theatre on Tuesday when The Times visited and parts of the sidewalk were closed off. Among other things, workers were using a boom truck to reach up to broken windows and cover them with plywood or particle board. The Times did not go inside, but one worker told us that damage there “was extensive.”
The pit of foam cubes was presumably used by the Flex-Art gymnastics club which was evicted from the Theatre in 2013 due to safety concerns with the roof. Dating from 1932, the streamlined moderne-style movie house was a major cultural attraction for decades, but the building fell into disrepair in recent decades and has been boarded up since 2013.
The building, situated at 5225 Decarie Blvd, belongs to the City of Montreal, and is for sale. It is unclear how much the building might be worth, but two months ago some $3.8 million in repairs were deemed necessary for the roof. The recent fire has presumably further reduced the value of the building. In January, the local borough Mayor Russell Copeman said that even a $1 bid would be considered, but a $10,000 deposit is also required.