It is under the name of The Underground Film Centre that Dimitri Eipides and Dimitri Spentzos established a theatre dedicated to independent cinema for Montreal in 1967. Claude Chamberlan, then a rock’n’roll singer, joined both Dimitris as projectionist and MC and in 1970 founded the Cinéma Parallèle to pursue the same goals as the Centre. “Everything started in a loft at the corner of Bordeaux and Ontario, close to the clubhouse of the Rock Machine, I was 17-years-old. The idea of joining cinema with events was already there. I added the madness….” It was only in 1978 that the organization was officially established on St. Laurent Boulevard, where it remains today.
For more than 20 years, the theatre located at 3682 Saint-Laurent boulevard (today the sports barChez Serge) brought cinéphiles of all denominations previously unreleased works by filmmakers from all over the world. In the spring of 1999, the Cinéma Parallèle moved to Ex-Centris where it continued to defend a certain vision of cinema and video marked by daring and original experiences. The Cinéma Parallèle continues to offer the only alternative to Montreal’s network of commercial distribution.
After more than 44 years of existence, the Cinéma Parallèle –now the proud new owner of Excentris– is stronger than ever. A leader on the independent film scene, it is as essential to the filmmakers, creators, distributors, and producers that it hosts, as it is to the public that it serves. Its mandate and expertise are unequalled and it responds to a very real demand within the industry. An essential resource to the filmmakers, creators, distributors, producers and general public that are its loyal followers, it is a fundamental part of Montreal’s cultural scene and the films it presents can later be found at theatres all over Quebec.