Former Chabanel textile importer Bernie Gurberg opened Dollar Cinema in 2004, sensing an opportunity at Décarie Mall where Cineplex Odeon had failed ten years before. Inspired by Dollarama, Bernie’s philosophy was that movie-going shouldn’t be an expensive outing, and that paying 15$ to catch Hollywood’s latest blockbuster is a waste of money, especially when you can wait for its second run a few weeks later and see it for a fraction of the cost. Dollar Cinema remain true to its promise to this day. The secret of Bernie’s success? Volume, volume, volume, and spending all his time on the premises, personally greeting and serving his customers.
Bernie explains his philosophy in this short documentary by Victor Villafuerte: “I actually serve and talk with all the customers. I’m here from morning till night, every day… I don’t see anything better. This is fun.”
Thanks to Bernie’s dedication, Dollar Cinema is Montreal’s movie theatre that gives you the most bang for your buck. Everything on the menu (including samosas from Pushap’s and Jamaican beef patties!) is 1$, so don’t even bother going to the discount store to stock up on chocolates and candy. What passes off as a theatre might be a vestibule equipped with a DVD player, a misaligned projector, and a DIY screen, you might hear the movie playing in the next room, and there might be kids running around during an obviously inappropriate R-rated film, but none of that matters because admission is only 2.50$.
Open 7 days a week
6900, Décarie Square
Côte-Des-Neiges: one of Canada’s most ethnically diverse neighborhoods, and one of the few places in Montreal where neither the French nor English language dominates. To get there you’ll need to take the metro to Namur and walk a few minutes alongside Highway 15, which is kind of a drag, but Bengali, Philipino, Jewish, and African immigrants do it every day so stop complaining.