Dunbar Theatre

For the best popcorn in town, movie theatre buff Kristen Hilderman says head to the west side.

Credit: Kristen Hilderman

A big screen experience with the best popcorn in town

Find vintage ambiance, larger than life seats and perhaps the best popcorn you will ever have at Dunbar Theatre


Want the big-screen experience without trekking downtown or fighting the crowds? Look no further than the Dunbar Theatre on the west side of Vancouver. With one screen and a rotation of first-run titles, it gives its loyal audience the modern movie experience with a little bit of old school charm.

Dunbar Theatre

4555 Dunbar St, Vancouver



Tuesday, January 25, 2011 only: Get 4 tix for $20 through Team Buy Vancouver!

The prodigious “Dunbar” sign out front is indicative of the vintage feel that one finds inside. The staircase at the entrance is delightfully retro, opening up to a small but well stocked concession area, and inside there’s even balcony seating.

Dunbar Theatre Vancouver

Dunbar Theatre Vancouver

Dunbar, I love you

The Dunbar holds a special place in my heart. It’s my favourite theatre—and surely number one for many other Vancouverites—for many reasons. The most compelling among them earning the Dunbar several prestigious titles; I’ve crowned the theatre as having the “most comfortable seats,” “best street-parking availability” and, most importantly for any serious movie-goer, “best popcorn.”

I don’t know what kind of magic they’re using when popping those kernels, but the taste is unparalleled. It’s the little aspects like these that give the Dunbar character and set it apart.


And keeping with traditions of the past, the Dunbar still has “cheap Tuesday” and the good old student rate.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the show

The seats at the Dunbar are one inch wider than your average seat, packed with more cozy foam for added comfort, and feature movable armrests to make a love seat for two. They recline slightly and the headrests have leather covers, making them more sanitary.


For the pint-sized theatre attendees, the Dunbar recycled their old movie seats into cushy booster seats. For the best view though, whether you’re small or tall, I recommend front-row centre in the balcony section.


The Dunbar is also one of the few theatres whose front row seats aren’t neck-breakingly close to the screen.

Ever since the Dunbar renovated its seating, the theatre seems to be growing in popularity. But even on a busy night it still feels like a hideout compared to the multiple-screen theatres, and you can always find a good spot.