Dollar Cinema in Décarie Square
By: Elizabeth Tomaras – mtltimes.ca
How far can you get with a single dollar? Even in a world with dollar stores and dollar menus, your options are still limited. Enter Dollar Cinema, a hidden gem where quality family time or even a date night won’t be a pricey excursion.
Owner Bernie Gurberg is a man of the people — he set up shop in an effort to become an economical way to watch your favourite actors on the silver screen. He welcomes new and old face every day (he works an impressive 365 days a year!), and knows his clientele personally.
“That’s worth more than money,” he says, of his experiences at Dollar Cinema.
Gurberg’s story begins in 2004, after finding a vacant rent space that had previously been owned by at least a dozen different proprietors.
“Although it was run-down, I had a feeling about it,” he says.
Gurberg knew he could create something magical and successful, something the space had not seen in a long time. After renovating, and advertising the old-fashioned way — on foot, in person and with flyers — he opened his doors. He looks down at his first flyer ever which lists Secret Window, 50 First Dates, and The Girl Next Door as his first movie screenings.
While the amenities are humble, they are grandiose: two screening rooms with 500 seats. Movies run throughout the day, starting at noon. As soon as one finishes, the following one begins, and one movie can play up to twice in one day so if you can’t make it to one screening, there’s usually one later on. The film choices are the same Hollywood blockbusters, and award-winning films you’d find at other cinemas.
A few things have changed in the 12 years that they’ve been open, but Dollar Cinema remains the only of its kind. They now have anywhere from ten to 12 movies screening at once, and popcorn, chocolate bars, and any other concessions are still priced at $1. The once dollar price tag of a movie has gone up to a measly $2.50, but that’s still quite cheap compared to the steep prices of other theatres. Gurberg adds that he has a special deal: a 20-pack of tickets for $20, with no expiry date, so customers can still benefit from the previous $1 ticket price. A family of four could easily spend the evening at Dollar Cinema for the price of a single ticket elsewhere.
Dollar Cinema boasts the title movie theatre with the best rating in entire city, a 4.6 out of five stars. Gurberg urges people to stop by, see what they’re all about and, of course, take advantage of the promotions he’s always offering, like free popcorn!
Dollar Cinema is located at 6900 Décarie Square.