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Booze to be allowed in movie theatres

Apr 12 2012
Move-goers will soon be able to enjoy alcohol with their popcorn. 

Move-goers will soon be able to enjoy alcohol with their popcorn.

Photograph by: Bruce Stotesbury , timescolonist.com

British Columbians will soon be able to enjoy an alcoholic drink with their popcorn and snacks at the movie theatre, under changes announced by the B.C. government Wednesday.

Movie theatres and live-event theatres can now apply for liquor licences, said Energy Minister Rich Coleman, who is also responsible for alcohol regulation.

The changes mean a multiplex cinema can serve alcoholic drinks in an age-controlled theatre, where minors are not allowed entry, the government said.

Booze can also be served in lounges at the cineplex, the government said.

A live-event theatre hosting a play or other performance can also apply to serve alcohol, both in a lobby where minors are present and in an auditorium where minors are barred, the government said.

A single-screen movie theatre can also apply to serve alcohol in its lobby, with minors present, or in the theatre if minors are barred, the government said.

“These changes give movie theatres and live-event theatres much more flexibility to operate, while allowing adults to responsibly enjoy a drink while watching a movie,” Coleman said in a new release.

“These changes strike an appropriate balance between allowing liquor service at theatres and limiting minors’ access to alcohol.”

Under-age patrons must be barred from the theatre if alcohol is served in the lobby, because it will be dark during the performance and difficult to check if any minors are consuming alcohol, the government said.

Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta already permit alcohol in movie theatres. B.C.’s motion picture industry said it welcomed the move, in a government press release.

Local governments will continue to have input on liquor-licence applications under the changes, the government said.

Approximately 30 live-event theatres and 100 movie theatres are eligible to apply for liquor licenses in B.C.

rshaw@timescolonist.com

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