For 50 years, Yvon Myner and Danielle Lacasse welcomed movie goers to Cinémas Laurentiens in Grenville. As of September 30, the building on rue Principale has a new owner and the CinéStarz chain of Montréal has taken over operations of the theatre itself. On Wednesday, September 29, Myner and Lacasse held a reception at the theatre to thank longtime customers, business clients, friends, and family for their support.
“No worries, free,” was how Lacasse said it felt to be retiring. She and Myner had been trying to sell the building and business for a year.
“We want to say thank you to all of the customers for all of the years. Because of you, that’s why we’ve been here for 51 years,” said Lacasse.
“Finally, we’re going to relax, actually, we enjoyed the cinéma,” said Myner.
Reception attendees shared their memories of being customers at Cinémas Laurentiens and enjoying movies over the decades. Some visitors were also family members who have helped at the theatre at various times.
Helen Timbers said Lacasse and Myner always showed friendship and love to their customers. She also joked the theatre served “the best supper in the world, popcorn, a chocolate bar, and a Coke.”
Anne Rochon spent a lot of time at the theatre in Grenville when she was growing up. Her father was Philippe Pharand who was Myner’s partner in the business for many years.
“I was living upstairs, we worked at the theatre for many, many years,” she said.
Myner’s sister Micheline Giroux remembered helping her brother with major renovations at the theatre which included replacing all of the seats.
“My husband and I came here and helped so much.”
Carole and Roberto Menard were longtime customers at Cinémas Laurentiens. They said they always enjoyed the friendly, family-like hospitality Lacasse and Myner offered.
“I wish them all the best and may they have many, many years of retirement,” said Roberto.
A movie theatre has a way of being a significant place at different stages in a person’s life.
“The first movie I saw with my girlfriend was here in 2011, it was Larry Crowne with Tom Hanks,” said Stéphane Lajoie, who now enjoys bringing his children to Cinémas Laurentiens to see Disney movies.
Daniel Gauthier said he has been coming to Grenville to see movies since he was 20 and has good memories of going to the theatre with friends when he was younger.
“Friends of mine used to come here every Wednesday night, five-dollar night, I think it was.”