With a bigger stage and capacity than its sister venue Casa del Popolo (boasting 250 to Casa’s 55), La Sala Rossa (The Red Room) is located directly across the street from Casa, on the upper floor of the building. The room’s gleaming chandeliers illuminate a wide wooden floor that offers lots of room for dancing. On any given night, the room may play host to a cabaret, free-jazz performers, breakdance competitions, reggae tunes, DJs, folk or indie-rock performers, film screenings or a flamenco show. Since 2018, another venue in the Casa del Popolo family opened underneath La Sala Rossa. This cozy space, which features couches and a pool table in the bar room and a floor-level stage in an adjacent room, hosts emerging local bands and touring acts.
Some artists who have rocked the stage are Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr., post-punk pioneer Chandra, Sebadoh, Jessy Lanza, Seoul, Lydia Ainsworth, Little Scream, Mozart’s Sister, Islands and Nacomi. Majical Cloudz played their final show there in 2016.
This historic Montreal building was built by the left-wing Jewish community in 1932 and acted as a cultural/recreational/political centre throughout the 1940s and ’50s (once hosting guest Eleanor Roosevelt). For the past 30 years, the Centro Social Español has occupied the building and continues to use it as a Spanish cultural centre.