ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Customers at movie theaters have a new concession to pair with popcorn and candy. Cinemas in New York are now allowed to sell individual servings of beer and wine for consumption while watching a movie.
“So, the next time we get a big movie like Spiderman, our bar sales will certainly help our revenue very much,” said Joe Masher, COO of Bow Tie Cinemas.
On Wednesday, the board of the State Liquor Authority approved all movie theaters to serve beer, wine, and cider to customers during a movie.
Before today, a movie theater was only allowed to serve alcohol to patrons if they consumed it within a lobby cafe area or if the theater functions as a restaurant.
New York State was among the last places in the country where this was still restricted.
Joe Masher, the President of the NY National Association of Theatre Owners says it’s one piece of the puzzle to bringing people back to the big screen.
“We’re just looking for other ways to bring in revenue after our attendance being suppressed so much post-pandemic.”
This ruling will go into effect immediately, but theaters can not start selling alcohol without getting an approved liquor license.
“Any theater can now apply; they do have to give a 30-day notice to their municipalities and let them know that they are planning to apply,” said Masher.
Bow Tie Cinemas says they are hoping to bring beer and wine to theaters within 90 days.
“We hope this helps the theater industry as a whole and the state of New York rebounds a little bit,” said Kris Keisling.
Kris Keisling the General Manager of Madison Theatre says they are different from a traditional movie theater. Along with a bar and restaurant, they have trivia, karaoke, and comedy.
“We have been able to roll with the punches if we didn’t have that we would have to shut down just like 95% of the theaters.”