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Vogue Theatre still going strong after 100 years

Kumi Yamamoto and Mike Harrison, managers at the Vogue Theatre, changing up the marquee.  - N. Liebermann
Kumi Yamamoto and Mike Harrison, managers at the Vogue Theatre, changing up the marquee.
— image credit: N. Liebermann

Originally built back in 1908 as a live entertainment venue, the Vogue Theatre is one of Fernie’s oldest businesses and now serves as the Elk Valley’s only movie theatre.

The theatre has had a few ownership changes over the years, but husband and wife Dennis and Roxana Djonlich have just celebrated their fifth year as owners.

Based in Calgary, the couple started visiting Fernie 12 years ago.  “We started coming here first on a skiing basis, then more on a full time basis,” said Dennis Djonlich. “Like many do, we fell in love with the town and our time here.”

Shortly after purchasing a home in town eight years ago, the Djonlich’s decided to take over ownership of the Vogue and help bring the place back to life. “I just thought there could have been a lot more done than with it. There was a tremendous amount of potential we’d like to realize,” Djonlich commented. “It’s a fairly integral part of the town and what better way to get your feet wet than become involved with a place that everyone goes to and participates in.”

The theatre has since received an indoor renovation, brand new wood siding and windows to the outside courtesy of RiverCity Woodworks, and the latest addition is new movie screens and updated projectors. Djonlich remarked, “What always bugged me as a movie-goer was the rips and tears. It’s nice to finally be able to compete and stand side by side with some of the larger movie theatres.”

Under the couple’s ownership, the Vogue has also opened a full service arcade and games room on the building’s second floor.

The brand new projectors allow 3D movies to be played and offers the ability to hook up video games and blue-ray DVD’s. The updated technology gave the Vogue the chance to hold a special screening of ‘Halloween’ recently, and Djonlich is hoping to plan a number of other special events in the future.

“There’s a myriad of things we can do,” he explained. “We look forward to coming up with ideas and being creative, and offering cool stuff like concerts, plays, and whatever it is that we like we’ll put on and hope that others like it too.”

Next up on the Djonlich’s to-do list is creating a new marquee for the front of the building and sprucing up the theatre seats and the basement. To check out what flicks are coming to the Vogue Theatre, visit www.ferniemovies.com.

 

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