In Montreal, vintage cigarette machines sell indie art

This battered, 50-year-old cigarette machine sells works in English and French by Montreal writers.

(Credit: Tim Hornyak/CNET)

MONTREAL–For the first time in maybe 20 years, I got a new cassette tape.

It’s a bitchin’ mix of 1970s funk tunes and it sounds delicious on my car stereo, which fortunately is old enough to be able to play it. But the best thing about this tape is that it came out of a vending machine.

Distroboto is a nonprofit network of machines in Montreal that have been retrofitted to sell works by independent artists. They spit out music, literature, and accessories, all for $2 a pop.

The network launched its 12th machine this week in a bar called Notre Dame des Quilles, a retro-hipster joint that features a mini bowling alley. The latest Distroboto is a vintage cigarette machine from the 1960s that mainly carries zines, which are self-published, small-circulation anthologies or magazines.

I plop in a toonie in the vending machine and out come two pins with designs based on the Montreal subway. They’re wrapped in newspaper and an old cigarette pack so the machine can handle them easily.

Related stories

Our Packages


LifeSaver - You need a custom site to get your message out there!
Learn More...



LightHouse - Advanced SEO, a custom website and content designed for you!
Learn More...



CruiseShip - Our full feature custom website package! Learn More...

*Monthly fee with one year contract
**$250 Initial Setup Fee
$5 Additional Monthly Fee without AutoPay

Contact Us

e-Anchor is a Portland Oregon based website, blog, hosting, design and marketing company.  We have three packages to suite your needs and budget.   Contact us to find out more