Peacefully, on March 23, 2022 with his son Rick by his side, Aime Deleau passed away at the Portage General Hospital at the age of 90 years.
Aime was born in Souris Manitoba on Oct. 29 1931 to Alice and Emile Deleau. Aime was raised in the village of Deleau, Manitoba along with one older brother (deceased) and one younger sister (deceased). The family later moved to the town of Souris, Manitoba. Aime married his wife Louise on November 19, 1952. Aime was predeceased by his wife. They had 2 children, son Rick (Natalie) Deleau and daughter Joyce Deleau, 2 grandchildren, and 5 great grandchildren. During his first few years of marriage Aime worked in Souris, Manitoba as a car inspector for the Canadian Pacific Rail Road. During the 1960’s Aime was employed as a lumber yard manager, which involved being transferred to various communities. In Ste. Rose du Lac he played goalie for the Dauphin Kings, this was during the time when a goalie didn’t wear a mask and he bore a number of facial scars from high flying pucks. It was when he was transferred to Davidson, Saskatchewan that he was promoted to supervise 6 lumberyards and was put in charge of debt collection. During this time Aime developed his carpentry skills and built many houses. He and his wife Louise purchased the Capri Theatre in Birtle, Manitoba on April 1, 1969 and they began a career in the Motion picture industry as Exhibitor’s. They soon expanded their business to include a Drive Inn theatre in Virden, Manitoba. In 1977 the Cinema Centre in Portage la Prairie was purchased, and the City would soon become their new home. Their son moved to Portage in 1982 to operate the newly built Continental Cinema and between the three of them, Aime, Louise and Rick operated the theatres as a family business under the Company name of Towering Enterprises Ltd. Aime shared his knowledge of construction with his son Rick and the two of them constructed new homes in their spare time, all the time answering to the direction of Aime’s wife Louise. Aime and Louise purchased a Park model trailer at Venture Out in Arizona where they enjoyed 19 winters as Snow birds during the 80’s and 90’s.
With the advent of Home Video, Satellite T.V., and Pirated Movies accessible on the computer, the entertainment industry was evolving and it was during these uncertain times Aime, Louise, and son Rick sold the Continental Cinema and focused their energy on building up the Cinema Centre, which eventually become the most successful independently owned 5 plex movie theatre in Manitoba.
The theatre was sold in 2017, which brought Aime’s career in the motion picture industry to an end. During the Covid lockdowns he would reminisce about the theatre, but between being locked down, the new streaming wars and the early release dates he would say with a smile “we got out at the right time”.
Aime was very proud that he had drawn the plans, and was involved in much of the hands on work to construct the additions to the Cinema Centre. At the theatre there was a 3 car garage, which housed Aime’s workshop for his love of carpentry. In this shop he would make many pieces of furniture which were handed out to his children and grandchildren. Aime had a special relationship with his son, and will be forever deeply missed by his son. The two of them were inseparable in business and family, through good times and bad they would always support each other with a bond of father and son and of a trusted friend.
It saddens me to remember we took from our parents all their kindness and giving for granted. As dad aged, he was losing his sight and needed more help. It would clear my conscience when he gave a from the heart “thank you”. On the last Christmas we shared together he gave Natalie a hand written note saying he was very thankful for all she had done and wished he could repay her in some way. I appreciate the sacrifices he made for his family; it was very gratifying being his son.
I would like to thank all the people who helped dad during the latter part of his life, from the grocery clerks, and delivery people, Home care staff, the doctors, nurses and the hospital staff, to the guys at the Keesh poker room, and the many kind people and friends who kept an eye out for his wellbeing.
At Aime’s request there will be no formal funeral.
A tree will be planted in memory and cared for by McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel. www.mckenziesportagefuneralchapel.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Aime Wilfred Deleau, please visit our floral store.