Yesterday, a building burned down in Montreal's Chinatown, but this wasn't just any building.
It actually has a long and fascinating history which makes you wonder why the hell it was left to rot before being consumed by flames.
We tried to find as much info as we could regarding this piece of Montreal's history and it turns out it that it was even more interesting that we initially thought.
1. It was called the Robillard Building, it was 4 storey's high and it was located 974 St-Laurent Blvd
2. The building stopped being used in 2008, so it was vacant and boarded up when the fire broke out. It took 50 vehicles and over 120 firefighters to put out the 100 meter flames. No one was hurt.
3. The building dates back all the way to the late 1800's. It existed even before Chinatown was called Chinatown.
4. The first ever motion-picture projection in Canada was presented in the Robillard Building on June 27, 1896.
5. That screening actually happened 2 days before the first ever film screening in the United States (And only 6 months after Paris), that means it was actually the first film screening in all of North America.
6. Before the screenings, it housed, the Gaiety Museum and the Theatorium (A 300 seat theater), in 1891.
7. Although the building was boarded up in 2008, it was inspected in 2014 and it was actually receiving repairs. Unfortunately work was halted when asbestos was found in the building.
8. Somehow, it was not actually classified as a heritage building.
9. The building was designed by the Daoust and Gendron architect firm.
10. In addition to serving as a theater, the building also housed a cabinet of curiosities, a venue used by travelling artists, and it once housed a mini wax museum
11. When maintaining the screening room became impossible, the place was turned back into a theater. Later it housed one of the oldest phone operator centers in Montreal and after that it was converted into stores.