An Adventure Into The Cinema of L’Amour


JESSICA: (in a sultry, low voice) Stephanie’s coming over tonight to work on our article on Cinema L’Amour. Thinking about it is getting me a little excited.   The pizza’s in the oven, the salad’s made… ding dong… oops! I forgot to put on a shirt! I hope she likes black lace, wink wink.

While it’s never hard to come up with topics every week   for Friday Film Review, I’ve often made the vow that I would go out more on the town to cover things like the other writers for the site do. After a few failed attempts, this past week I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to experience a night out with Sex Columnist Jess Klein to go to the historic Montreal porn theater Cinema L’Amour.

The woman at the ticket counter seemed perplexed when a “lesbian couple” (Tuesday night was free for couples) entered the theater. “There’s no women here” she said with her head slightly cocked.

“But there’s women in the movie right?” Jess giggled as she leaned her head into my shoulder.

We were then ushered into the empty couples only section, a roped off portion directly in the middle of the theater. As a couple it seems, you are also part of the show.

The sparsely populated theater was already dark when we walked in. There was a countdown on the screen set to operatic music, and it immediately set the tone for the weird evening that was to come.

At first, you can’t help but look around. From outside it really doesn’t look like anything special. You’ve probably walked passed Cinema L’Amour a thousand times yourself on St-Laurent and not thought twice about it.   Once you pass the florescent lights of the lobby the theater, which was built in 1914, is absolutely gorgeous. The gilded detailing, the balcony (which we debated the entire evening about attempting to sneak up to) makes you dream of what it was like to see movies there in the twenties.

Our  gaze immediately became glued to the screen the moment we started noticing the other patrons. In the age of internet porn, it’s not surprising that the majority of the audience was older men of the balding variety. It felt like every creepy mailman and janitor you’ve ever met in your entire life decided to get together and have a party.

Four minutes before the end of the countdown, the movie started. The movie was a parody of Seinfeld,  a television show from the nineties you may have heard of. This is the film review section of the article after all, and so it must be noted that the production value of the movie was surprisingly excellent.

The sex was so uninteresting that I kept thinking to myself wow, this really looks like Jerry’s apartment. Wow, that guy does a really good soup Nazi impression. I was so bored with the sex honestly that the actors had me more engaged when they were making fun of Seinfeld then when they were having sex with each other.

About half an hour into the movie, our tenure as the sole residents of the couples only section ended. A man lifted the velvet rope, and ushered his girlfriend in. They sat at the end of the same row as us. And that’s when the night really started to get weird.

Intrigued? For part two of Steph and Jess’s Cinema L’Amour adventure, read The Morning After with Jessica Klein.

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