The Dollar Cinema
, located in Montreal
, is a twin screen movie theater
that offers a less expensive alternative to multiplex
cinemas in the city. Originally inspired by the Dollar store
concept, the theater once offered admission and concessions at the cost of one dollar
(plus taxes)--however admission cost has since increased, making the name and theme superfluous in nature. At present ticket admission is $2.30 (taxes included). Films presented are second-run.
Location and theatre
The theatre is housed within the Decarie Square Mall
, what can be categorized as a dead mall
, on the outskirts of Montreal's English-speaking Cote-Des-Neiges
. Major nearby landmarks are the Décarie Expressway
and the Hippodrome de Montréal
. It is within walking distance of the Namur metro
The theater's Cinema-1 has 350 seats, and Cinema-2 has 650 seats and a small stage. While the theater is of a classic style of same level row seating, flat screens and early 1980s decor, the sound system in both cinemas has been upgraded to DTS surround with newer more comfortable seating installed (staff attribute the price increase to the costs associated with improving the seating).
Mainstream Hollywood films are played seven days a week. Attempts at showing repertory
films were made, but proved unpopular and have since been dropped in favour of recent second-run films for the most part. The stage in Cinema-2 has been used on occasion for amateur live-performances using audience participation, usually during special fund raising events.
An amateur run food concession
stand--from the same counter tickets are sold--is available to movie patrons, mostly consisting of vending machine types of food and beverages (e.g. pre-packaged chocolate bars, candy, canned juice). Popcorn
however is made the same day and served in small paper brown-bags. All concessions are still currently priced at $1.00 plus tax--the only sales item currently preserving the "dollar" theme.
The theater, originally opened in 1977, was owned and operated by the Cineplex Odeon
chain, until it closed in 1997. Since that time, three independent businesses have made attempts to reopen the theatre as an alternative cinema--two have failed. At present Bernie Gurberg, the current owner, operates it under the name "Dollar Cinema".
- 1977 - Opens as "Odeon Decarie Square", under ownership of Odeon
- 1984 - Renamed "Cinema Decarie Square", after Cineplex Odeon merger
- 1997 - Cineplex-Odeon ceases operation/shuts-down location; sold off to independent owner and becomes second-run theatre
- 1998 - Closed down
- 2000 - New owner reopens theatre for Hindi films
- 2002 - Closed down, again
- 2004 - Reopened as "Dollar Cinema", film admission being only $1.00 after tax (shortly after raised to $1.15)
- 2007 - Dollar theme abolished (now $2.30 ticket admission)