Located on a bustling stretch of Montreal's Boulevard Saint-Laurent, La Sala Rossa ("The Red Room") is situated on the top floor of a historic Montreal building. 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.
Boasting a capacity of 250, La Sala Rossa has hosted hundreds of artists including Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr., post-punk pioneer Chandra and a pre-fame Fleet Foxes, not to mention the likes of Sebadoh, Jessy Lanza, Seoul, Lydia Ainsworth, Little Scream, Mozart’s Sister, Islands and many more. The room has also been the site of notable moments in Montreal music history, including Majical Cloudz's final show in 2016 and venue mainstays Wolf Parade's four-night residency during Pop Montreal 2018.
The venue is owned and operated by printmaker Kiva Stimac and Godspeed You! Black Emperor founding member Mauro Pezzente, who also run nearby sister venues Casa del Popolo and La Vitrola. La Sala Rossa has been a primary venue for Stimac and Pezzente's festivals, Suoni Per Il Popolo and Lux Magna, along with hosting plenty of shows at local fests Pop Montreal and M for Montreal.
In 2018, Pezzente and Stimac opened La Sotterenea, an intimate event space in the building's basement. 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, including Thelma and Moonface.
The building was built by left-wing Jewish organization Workmen's Circle (Der Arbeter Ring) in 1932 and acted as a centre for cultural, recreational and political activity throughout the 1940s and ’50s, once hosting guest Eleanor Roosevelt. Since 1969, the Club Espagnol de Québec has occupied the building's main floor and continues to use it as a Spanish cultural centre.