La Sala Rossa - Historic Places Days

La Sala Rossa

Montréal, Québec
Historic Building
La Sala Rossa, Saint Laurent Boulevard, Montreal, QC, Canada
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La Sala Rossa was a popular venue for events for Queer women in the 90s-2010s. In the early 1930s, Mile End was a neighbourhood of Jewish immigrants. 4848 St-Laurent was bought and owned in 1932 by the left-wing Jewish mutual aid organization called the Arberter Ring (Worker’s Circle). The building was designed by Max Kalman, one of the first Jewish graduates of the McGill School of Architecture and finished in 1936. It was a known as a space of solidarity, political activism, and support for Montréal’s Jewish community. However, the Jewish community slowly emigrated away from Mile End around the 1950s and as a result, the Arbeter Ring’s membership dropped. To maintain the space, Arberter Ring leased the space to Ludmilla Chiriaeff, a Holocaust survivor, and her dance troupe Le Grands Ballets Canadiens. Ludmilla was awarded the Order of Canada in 1972 is considered the Godmother of Ballet in Québec. Although no longer occupying the space, the ballet troupe is still active today in Québec as well as Ludmilla’s world École supérieure de ballet du Québec. In 1973, the building was sold to Spanish newcomers.  

Today, the Centro Social Español occupies the building and is a community center for those of Spanish descent in Montréal. Current President Isabelle Rodriguez’ remembered how her father operated the club in the basement of their home until they decided that they needed more space. The location is a hub for first- and second- generation Spanish immigrants to eat Spanish cuisine, dance to traditional folklore songs, and listen to Spanish guitar.  

In the late 90s and early 2000s, La Sala Rossa became a prominent location for Queer events and gatherings. They have hosted events such as Kiss My Cabaret, the Meow Mix, The Goods night, and balls. The Meow Mix is an annual party created by Director of La Flor de la Canela and Le Boudoir, Miriam Genestier and her then-girlfriend Irene for “bent girls and their buddies.” The event has been a staple at La Sala Rossa for the past ten years. Other LGBTQ+ performances commonly hosted at La Sala Rossa include drag shows, burlesque, theater, dance parties, balls, and stand-up acts. The location still has strong connections with Montréal’s LGBTQ+ community. 

Queen & Queer evenings are dance parties for those who identify as women, non-binary people, or trans people. The event has taken place in La Sala Rossa last year, and was founded by DJ Sam and Maryline Thomas in 2019 as a response to the lack of authentic representation in LGBTQ+ community-centered parties. Maison Barbara hosts Ayibobo™ QT Dollhouse Factory II: Back in four acts debuted at the Sala Rossa in 2019 and is described as “an experimental show highlighting Afro, queer and trans identities.” In November 2021, Queer Cinema for Palestine held a 10-day festival featuring Queer shorts from Palestine and Lebanon and had their live debut at La Sala Rossa. In October 2022, the cultural carnival Phenomenon 2022 hosted “Cabaret Dalida without Dalida”, a tribute party to French singer and gay icon Dalida who died in 1987. 


This listing was created by Ana Villegas on July 13, 2023.  Please confirm details at the site’s own website before planning your visit. Are you the owner/operator of this historic place? Would you like to make changes to this listing? Please contact us at



La Sala Rossa, Saint Laurent Boulevard, Montreal, QC, Canada
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