There’s no denying that the pandemic has been difficult on movie theatres across the country. Even before the pandemic, subscription streaming services such as Netflix took a big bite out of movie theater profits. That said, there are efforts across America to bring moviegoers out of their living rooms and back to local theaters.
Now, a new New York State law is giving moviegoers a bit more of an incentive to head to the theater, at least for those who are beer and wine fans. The New York State Liquor Authority has unanimously approved of the sale of beer and wine available at movie theaters throughout the state.
Moviegoers will be able to purchase beer and wine at concession stands and bring them into the theater for consumption. Before, some movie theaters were allowed to serve alcohol, but it was a complicated situation, where the theater would have to be considered a restaurant, with other regulations.
“The SLA’s Full Board voted to issue a Declaratory Ruling that under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, businesses operating movie theaters are eligible to apply for a tavern-wine or restaurant-wine license, without the need for a restaurant menu and table service, provided that alcoholic beverage sales are incidental to their operations as a movie theater,” the New York State Liquor Authority said in a statement.
The ruling is effective immediately. However, movie theaters will still have to go through the full process of liquor licensing through the NYSLA. Theaters may apply for a new license or an “alteration application,” which would amend their license to include theater auditoriums.