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Should cinemas be allowed to serve booze?

February 11, 2012

Oregon and Texas let movie theatres do it. So does Ontario. So why won’t the BC government let movie theatres serve alcohol to regular patrons during film screenings?

Rich Coleman was handed the liquor licensing portfolio two days ago and said that further changes to the province’s liquor laws are also in the works. Coleman told the Vancouver Sun that he will be consulting with municipalities before making any changes. He also suggested that municipalities are opposed to cinemas serving alcohol on public safety grounds.

Seems like an odd stance to take when we let people drink at hockey games.

Even though liquor law is a provincial responsibility, Vancouver’s city council passed a motion last week asking the provincial government to review the Rio theatre case. Perhaps Surrey city council will be moved to speak out as well?

The Rio is trying to reinvent itself as a multi-use venue, preserving some ideas of the single-screen, community theatre. Cloverdale’s Clova Cinemas strikes me as a potential candidate in Surrey; just imagine if it were able to offer wine, cheese and a movie on Friday evenings…


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