In 2004, Bernie Gurberg decided to open a theatre aimed at creating an inexpensive movie-going experience for the whole family. The Dollar Cinema, located in Côte-des-Neiges, offers just this; admission per person is just $2 and snacks are priced at only a dollar apiece. The films are "second-runs," meaning films which have left other theatres, such as the AMC, which specialize in new releases, or, first-run films.
After hearing of this theatre through a friend, I had to visit. I checked online to see show times and decided on Inception, which I hadn't yet seen and wanted to watch on the big screen. I took the metro to Namur station on the orange line and walked about 10 minutes to the Decarie Square Mall. Upon visiting the concession stand, I bought two tickets and a variety of snacks spending only about $11.50 for my friend and I, the price of one regular movie ticket at any cinema.
I met with Bernie and asked him a few questions about his place. He told us the cinema has three screening rooms; two of the biggest in Montreal and the third, the smallest. He invited us to go look at the largest two; the first is able to seat 350 people, the other 650. I was impressed; he said that he sometimes rents these theatres, the larger of which has a small stage, for charity events and the like. Then he showed us the third theatre, where our movie, Inception was being shown. It was tiny, able to seat maybe 25 people. It was intimate, but totally worth the money spent; you couldn't rent it at Blockbuster for the amount we paid.
Bernie spends most of his time at the theatre, working the snack bar or enjoying movies or just talking to his happy and satisfied customers. He says that his friends and family have all tried- and failed- to tempt him away, but he says, "What better is there to do?" His passion for films and people creates a quaint atmosphere and provides all the comforts of home, while enjoying a nice evening out all for a low, low price.
Snacks include soft drinks, fresh popcorn, chocolate bars, candy, Pogo sticks, ice cream sandwiches and popsicles; enough treats to satisfy any sweet tooth. It houses eight to ten films at a time and the schedule changes frequently, with new films showing every week.
Other theatre locations:
AMC Forum Located on Atwater and DeMaisoneuve
IMAX Telus Theatre Located in the Old Port
Scotiabank Theatre Located on St. Catherine Ouest
Star Cite Located near Pix- IX Metro station
Cinema du Parc located on Avenue du Parc
Dix30 Located in Brossard
Photo credit: David