Fernie’s movie theatre is still in vogue

This Elk Valley movie theatre is a Best of Business award-winner

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Dennis Djonlich is the owner of the Vogue Theatre in Fernie, B.C. (L to R) Junah, Cedar, Roxana, Dennis and Norah Djonlich.

Dennis Djonlich is the owner of the Vogue Theatre in Fernie, B.C. (L to R) Junah, Cedar, Roxana, Dennis and Norah Djonlich. — Photo courtesy Dennis Djonlich

The Vogue Theatre in Fernie, B.C., has been hosting plays and movies since 1908. That’s 110 years of entertainment.

In the 1950s, the Vogue Theatre was converted from a live action theatre to a movie cinema. In the ’90s, the main theatre was split into two theatres. In 2007, Dennis Djonlich bought the building and morphed it into its current manifestation.

Thanks to a loyal following of residents within Fernie and the surrounding communities, the Vogue Theatre is a 2018 winner in Kootenay Business magazine’s Best of Business Awards.

Djonlich discusses the magic that still exists in going out to see a movie at such an iconic location.

What makes your business special?

It's a pretty cool little theatre.

When I bought it, we renovated it completely. I basically took it down to the studs. We kept the old charm of the theatre—lots of wood and craftsmanship. Then we went full digital. We spent a lot of money on that, seats, screen and the sound system.

It's a good movie-going experience.

What’s a recent trend in your business that you’re excited about?

We're getting busier every year. There are more tourists coming to town than there has been in past years. We have a solid base of locals and folks from surrounding neighbourhoods like Sparwood, Elkford, Jaffray and Elko. We're thankful that they're a part of our loyal following. They're the ones that keep our lights on. The tourists and everyone else that comes to town is a bonus.

We're one of the few things in Fernie that you can do inside that doesn't involve drinking. It's a family establishment. It's a place to come and be entertained for a couple hours indoors. We don’t have a lot of options like that in Fernie.

What is your favourite product in your inventory and why?

Popcorn.

We take a lot of pride in the product that we serve. We've got it dialed in pretty good. Most people would agree that it's a delicious little treat for the movie-going public. From what we're told from our patrons, they seem to like ours—a lot!

What is your superpower?

Customer service.

We take a lot of pride in making sure that our customers have the best possible experience that they can possibly have at the theatre. We take a lot of pride in making sure that folks are looked after. They're greeted when they come in and made to feel at home. 

Kyle Born

Kyle Born is a writer for Kootenay Business and his initials match that of the magazine—it must be fate that brought them together. View all of Kyle Born’s articles

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