Signs of Monty’s live on in new homes


Anyone looking to relive the heady glory days of Monty’s Showroom Pub can visit Stefano Pasta’s apartment.

After parting with a cool $2,700, Pasta is the new owner of the unmistakable Girls Girls Girls neon sign, one of the many pieces of Monty’s memorabilia that were auctioned off at Kilshaw’s Auctioneers Ltd. last week.

The sign was first used as a prop in the 2004 film The Keeper, starring Dennis Hopper. After filming wrapped up in Victoria, the production company gave the sign to the exotic dance club for a song.

“I went to Monty’s. I had bandmates that worked in Monty’s. I played in Monty’s,” said Pasta, whose purchase came in just under his $3,000 budget. “It’s definitely a piece of history for me.”

The 42-year-old musician lives alone, so he doesn’t have to clear permission from anyone before hanging the sign in his Victoria home, which doubles as a man cave and recording studio.

“I’ll probably just illuminate the room with it. I won’t use regular lighting anymore,” he said.

Monty’s, located in the Victoria Plaza Hotel at the corner of Government Street and Pandora Avenue, closed in 2013. The space has been empty since then, but the building was recently purchased with plans to redevelop.

Kilshaw’s owner Alison Ross had fun auctioning off the unusual items, assuring everyone that the furry, heart-shaped pillow mounted on a swing had, in fact, been reupholstered. The swing sold for $140.

When announcing the 3.3-metre brass dancing poles, Ross quipped: “The buyer of the first has the option of taking the second, so you can have tandem performances.”

Alas, the poles went to different homes. One buyer was too shy to be identified, but did reveal that the pole was a gift for his girlfriend, who does pole dancing as a workout.

“Here, it hasn’t caught on just yet, but down in Seattle it’s as popular as hot yoga,” he said.

He said he’ll have fun incorporating the brass pole into his new home.

Wayne (Chicken) Kalnciems, who spent about 20 years in the strip-club business and booked many dancers at Monty’s, had put in an early bid on the Showroom Hall of Fame Trophy as it brought him back to halcyon days of announcing the winner of Miss Nude Monty’s and Miss Hot Body Universe.

“I worked there on and off since 1996, so I have handled and used and repaired every piece of everything in there,” Kalnciems said. He went into Kilshaw’s a few days before the auction. “Oh jeez, it was like memory lane.”

Unfortunately, the trophy’s final bid of $240 was too dear for Kalnciems.

Frank Morgan spent almost $1,000 on stacks of posters of dancers, including some from the 1990s.

“I started drinking in Monty’s — my dad took me there when I was 16,” Morgan said.

He is also friends with several dancers, many of whom requested that he buy their posters. “So I decided to purchase as many posters as I could, just to get the nostalgia back, get their history back.”

© Copyright Times Colonist

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