Charles Farhood arrived in Québec with his father George in 1895, following the death of his mother. Charles soon found work as a peddler and over many years he and his father sold their wares wherever they could. In 1912, they founded the Chanteclerc Theatre. They presented Francophone films and plays, rarities in Montréal at the time.
By 1918, the Chanteclerc was a big success. Charles sold it and went in search of new adventures. In 1928, however, he returned to his passion of theatre. He opened a number of cinemas in Québec but came up against several obstacles -- the technical difficulty of no electricity and a clergy that did not welcome the arrival of a theatre in their villages. Farhood was forced to close down.
By 1935, the Farhood family was bankrupt. Charles worked nights as a concierge and security guard at the Empress Theatre, proud and determined to survive through difficult times. Charles Farhood's Chanteclerc Theatre -- where the Théâtre du Rideau Vert now stands -- was the first in a succession of theatres that became the cultural pillars of Québec history.