La Sala Rossa, or “The Red Room,” has been a Montreal landmark for almost 80 years, starting as a left-wing Jewish gathering place and now playing host to a hip music scene.
Located in the Plateau, just north of the historic neighborhood called “The Main” in Montreal, La Sala Rossa was built in 1932. It was constructed by the city’s Jewish community and served as a political, cultural and recreational center. Including the worker’s circle in the ’40s and ’50s, the original incarnation of the room hosted events by such historical names as Eleanor Roosevelt and Paul Robeson. For decades La Sala Rossa has been the place to go in Montreal for progressive dialogue and activism. In recent years, the space was transferred over to Montreal’s Spanish community and for the past 30 years the Centro Espagnol uses the room as its community center.
La Sala Rossa is an intimate second-floor room that holds around 250 people, and it really is red. It serves as an ideal spot for concerts, talks, and fundraisers. The space hosts an array of affairs from poetry readings to live DJs, indie-rock shows, and dance nights. Every Thursday there’s live flamenco music and most other nights La Sala Rossa attracts many of the most popular music acts that come to the city.
From Jewish activist roots to Spanish cultural hotspot, La Sala Rossa is just a simple red room that has managed to maintain a relevance over almost a century of existence that most places can’t achieve for even an instant.
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