The Old Montreal Forum – Before The Renovations

There’s no Canadiens crests at centre ice for some reason, but the pillars that were there blocking people’s views can be seen just at the top of the blues. And is that Rene Lecavalier and Danny Gallivan up there in the booth telling us in French and English how the boys are doing?

This is a 1960’s artist’s rendition of the old Montreal Forum before its 1968 restoration. I think it’s quite beautiful, in a whimsical kind of way.

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13 thoughts on “The Old Montreal Forum – Before The Renovations”

  1. Of course, no rendition of the Forum is complete without being packed to the rafters.
    I keep staring at the scoreboard trying to figure a more realistic interpretation of the score than Montreal winning 11-5 but that’s good too.

  2. It’s just as you say, Dennis. Beautiful in a whimsical way.

    Thanks for posting it. It’s not as dark as my memories of the Forum but that is the whimsy you refer to. The colour is very nice, too. Do you own this piece?

    HDS

  3. Hi. This is a piece of work. Most people don’t remember the Forum, period. It took 6 months in may 68 to do the modifications. Incredebile, but not so if you think that the Expo 67, Bonaventure, Décarie, Ville-Marie, Metro, Champlain bridge, Louis-Hippolyte were all constructed in the 60’s. The Chum, extra metro stations, 25 and 30 highway prolongement are taking forever to be started or completed.

    I was remembering at an early age going to the old forum to see the Shriner Circus. We were seating in the last section on the side of Atwater. The seats were orange, but I was not sure. Now with this picture, I think I was right. Those seats were painted blue after 1968.

    Daniel

  4. Hi Daniel, thanks. I was at the early Forum twice before the renovations, around 1964, and I also remember orange-type seats. Plus steel beams on both sides blocking some vision. I was around 14 at the time. I also remember going down to the corridor leading to the dressing room and it’s in my memory bank like it was yesterday because the trainers had the big duffel bags on wagons. And going down to the boards at centre ice and looking at the crests before the ushers told us we had to leave. Very magical for a young boy who was and still is a huge Habs fan. People can build quickly when they want to. Maple Leaf Gardens was completed in just five months. Thanks a lot for this. I appreciate it very much.

  5. Hi Dennis. Also there was blue seats just behind the expensive reds. They painted the blue one red after the restauration. The red and blue seats were the only one where you could watch the game without those columns bloacking partially the view except if you were seating behind the goals.

    On St-Catherine side, there was a little scoreboard showing what was going on elsewhere. Only 2 games, maximum. WoW !

    I have a photo of the 1937 Forum that had Frost type fences seperating at the angle on both St-Luc and Ste-Catherine the Millionaire section (50cents) from
    the expensive seats. This section was created to allow kids during the 30’s depression to see hockey game.

  6. Daniel, I had a chance once to buy an original Millionaires club crest that I passed on and don’t know why. I can also picture vividly the British Consols cigarette sign on the scoreboard.

  7. Dennis, there was definitively orange seats. They were added in 1949.

    My first game : Toronto Vs Montreal. The Habs won 6-3. Jean Beliveau
    was injured at that time because of a serious eye injury. He almost lost
    sight. This was December, 7th 1966.

    Gary Smith was the goaler for Toronto. Without a mask, he was cut on the right ear by the puck. Went to the clubhouse and came back a few minutes later. He was bleeding, I was sitting in the red section behind him.

    Also a major fight involving Ralph Backstrom, Claude Larose and… John Ferguson. All of three had the edge on Toronto’s player including Eddie Shack.

    It would be nice to have a real color photo of the forum before 1968 ???

  8. Daniel, for me, like I said before, it was about 1964 at the Forum, but my dad took me a couple of times to Maple Leaf Gardens in the late 1950’s to see the Habs. I’m really proud to say I saw the Rocket play, although the memory is quite slim. And would it ever be nice to see a colour photo of the Forum before 1968. I’m going to concentrate on trying to see if I can find one.

  9. Hi Dennis. I have a beautuful book about the Forum. It’s called: Le Forum de Montreal, la fierté pour toujours (1924-1996) by Chrystian Goyens. Maybe you’ve already read it.

    Forgot to tell you that I had the chance to see games from everywhere in the stand. I once had Gump Worsley sitting beside me behind the corner of the rink. The habs won that game against Pittsburg.. 12-0. I remember only one player from Pittsburg: Randy Carlyle. No better seat to hear the contact between players.

    I’ve also had the chance to see a game from the catwalk located on Atwater street (west). Great view, no column. The catwalk was hanging over the rear part of the orange seats. I don’t know what was the price of such ticket ??? and the number appearing on the ticket. Do you ? I know that we were standing on a stool with such individual number as 75, 76… Those tickets don’t appear on the seating chart, isn’t it !

    Finally, there was place for 1700 standing room tickets. Do you know where we could stand and what was the best one. I know that it was a race for getting the best one when they were opening the gates. The only time i bought one was against Chicago in 1967 and I did not know the trick then to get the best place. I was standing, seating should I say on the last step of the orange section, near the corner of Atwater and Ste-Catherine…

    Cheers

  10. Daniel, I’d like to find this book. I’m going to make a point of it. I have some old ticket stubs, two from the teo times I was there in the early sixties, and apiar from the 1940’s I got from a lady in Montreal. There’s no price on them but I have a stub from Maple Leaf Gardens for a seat in the greens, which were halfway up, nice seats, from the mid-60’s, and the price on it is three dollars. I also have an old ad from the Gardens for tickets starting at 75 cents. I remember people at the Forum raciing for standing room later on, and in the seventies there was a guy in standing room with a bugle named Dutchy who got the crowd going. But this was after the renovations. And the thing I remember most of all, from when I saw the Canadiens that very first time in the early sixties, was that their red sweaters were slightly orange and slightly different from the ones we bought in stores. I remember coming back to Orillia and telling my parents and friends about the different redness to the sweaters. Such memories. You’ve really got me going here.

  11. Dear Mr. Kane,

    I was wondering if your painting of ” The Old Montreal Forum – Before the Renovations ” is available as a print?

    Thank you,
    Brian Clavette

  12. Hi Brian, it’s a two page spread from an old magazine. So I doubt that it’s in print form. I don’t think I could help you because it’s glued into my scrapbook.

  13. Anybody know where you can purchase that classic whimsical print of the Forum before renovations? The colors and expressions on the fans faces are amazing. The game is against Detroit who wore those uniforms for just a few years.

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