Sylvain Raymond plans to revitalize the commercial offer of his neighbourhood, Little Italy, by establishing a cinematographic hub in a building that no one knows what to do with. Here’s how.

“I want to build something for my community, for my neighbourhood, something that can outlast me and help future generations.” That’s Sylvain Raymond’s big idea behind his will to build a movie theater in a building that has been for sale for no less than three years, in the heart of Montreal’s own Little Italy, on famously renowned The Main.

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Raymond, strolling down The Main with a friend. Photo courtesy of David Curleigh.

The three floors building, approximately 4,000 square foot per floor, is currently on the market for 1,700,000$ and needs approximately another 2 million dollars in retouching and renovation to change it from what it used to be into something that fits the needs of the immediate residents and surroundings.

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The Vision

Named Théâtre de la Petite-Italie, the project wishes to revamp the existing building and turn it into one of these new film venues that keep on popping around the world in cities like Austin, Brooklyn, Portland, San Francisco, Amsterdam, London etc. The idea is to propose something different from what the existing film venues already have to offer, like a bistro where you can have a drink, bring your laptop, write or create something more meaningful than just an in-and-out experience where the movie is the only actual interesting thing. This venue wants to be as interactive as it can be, bringing back the fun in going to the movies, making it special again.

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The Foreign Cinema in Mission District, San Francisco. www.foreigncinema.com

And it’s not just about showing movies, or giving customers an alternative to the usual pop-corn and soda combo with its bistro type offer; Sylvain Raymond wants his venue to help Little Italy and its creators in their creative process.

“I believe that investing in the cultural offer of a community is the best investment one can make since it will always give you back something. It’s the best win/win situation an investor can hope for. Money is money, you can have less or more but it’s still money. Culture is where the true added value resides.”

The Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn

The Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn

The Next Step
Even if Raymond’s Théâtre de la Petite-Italie is a non-profit organization, he’s currently looking for investors interested in buying shares and obligations based on the building’s value. He’s also looking for a vast array of subsidies that will help transform the abandoned building into a cinematographic hub, wishing to rise the initial value of the building and thus making the investment a sure shot.

“As a non-profit organization, we won’t be able to generate capital, but we can guaranty a maximum and minimum value for the shares and obligations, no matter what happens with the performance of the venture.”

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Mobile pictures from inside the building.

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The place has obviously a lot of potential.

Looking for investment 

A few investors have already showed some interest, but what is Raymond’s next step? Finding that special investor that will fit his organization’s values. The project is ambitious and the payoff might not be the best available on the market, but in a world where added value is often the deal breaker, Raymond’s Théâtre de la Petite-Italie may very well be the best opportunity for someone looking for an affordable no risk investment in an historical neighbourhood inhabited by a young and hip community looking forward to give back what it can, in any way possible.

For any inquiry regarding the project and more details on the investment opportunities, please feel free to email Sylvain Raymond.

Jeff Lee
Editor-in-chief & Broker

Jeff loves to discover and explore the best real estate with those who dream big and make it happen. He hopes to bring his marketing and content production expertise to the real estate world. He is also a Real Estate Broker operating in Montréal.