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“3, 2, 1… Quiet on the set!”

The Auditorium knows these words by heart. It heard them so often. After all, the building has a disconcerting ability to transform itself according to the needs of the moment, a quality very much in demand by film production companies.

Since the Auditorium is the oldest arena in the city of Montréal and the third largest on the entire island of Montréal, most of the filming that was done between its walls revolved around the world of hockey. The Québec movies Les Boys 4 and Pee-Wee 3D?: L’hiver qui a changé ma vie, as well as the Lance et compte 3 series were partially filmed here. Interesting fact: Pee-Wee 3D?: L’hiver qui a changé ma vie is the first 3D movie to be produced in Québec. The Auditorium therefore went down in history, once again! For this filming, the arena was transformed into… the Colisée in Québec City.

Colour photo showing, in front, a skating rink and its boards, on which several company names and logos are marked. In the middle are a number of rows of blue-coloured seating, surrounded by brown and yellow stands.

Construction of film sets for the movie Pee-Wee 3D : L’hiver qui a changé ma vie, filmed at the Verdun Auditorium

 

Colour photo showing a long red bench with several white vertical partitions on top. Each compartment also has a small red locker on top.

Visitors’ locker room at the Verdun Auditorium

At times, the Auditorium’s distinctive characteristics were sought by the movie production companies. Since it had not changed a lot over time, when hockey of the 1950s was involved in a movie, the Auditorium was the best place! With its locker rooms, low ceilings, infirmary and security gates, the arena has a number of features that make it unique in producers’ eyes.

Even Hollywood found what it was looking for at the Verdun Auditorium: the building’s large capacity is ideal for building imposing film sets in it, and its architectural components make it possible to evoke or recreate other eras.

Colour photo showing a big blue podium where one person is standing. Around that podium are people holding signs and movie cameras.

Filming of the Reagans series at the Verdun Auditorium

 

As its temporary shutdown drew near, the Auditorium welcomed one more large-scale television production in the fall of 2016: a biographical series devoted to the “gentleman of hockey”, former captain of the Montréal Canadiens: Jean Béliveau. Listen to what Daniel Belliveau, the Auditorium’s Events Coordinator, has to say about this filming:

View this video with a transcription: “The Filming of the Jean Béliveau Docu-drama”

Thanks to these film shootings, the Verdun Auditorium will never really disappear. It is forever recorded on movie film. How lucky for us!