WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Should Delaware movie theaters serve alcohol?

You might have heard the story on WDEL last week, and The NEWS JOURNAL has a Page One follow-up this Monday: A bill sponsored by state Representative Quinn Johnson (D-Middletown) - but enjoying some measure of bipartisan support - would allow movie theaters in Delaware to sell beer, wine, and liquor.

Theaters would likely have to establish a zone physically separate from the general concessions area. Underaged theater employees would not handle alcohol.

This legislation is not exactly revolutionary. Maryland and New Jersey are among the at least thirty states which allow theaters to dispense booze.

What do you think? Have you ever seen a movie at a theater selling booze?

Considering the theater-goers who use their cellphones, talk and giggle, and loudly smack their snacks, I can't imagine adding alcohol to the mix would be a good thing.

Personally, the prices for soft drinks and snacks are grossly inflated (I often don't buy anything!); I can only imagine how much it would cost for a bottle of beer. Any decent craft beers? The prices would only be higher; I could image the price for a bottle going for half to two-thirds the price of a six-pack or elite four-pack from a liquor store. Then, there's the DUI factor.

For all these reasons, I really wonder how many adult movie goers would even avail themselves of the opportunity. If state legislators - in their infinite wisdom - pass such legislation, it'll be interesting to see what happens. One could imagine some "community" movie theaters NOT selling alcohol because of the added hassles.

Posted at 8:22am on April 21, 2014 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Mon, Apr 21, 2014 11:24am
I am against the idea. Problem number one is carding for legal identification. Bowling allies have the same issue, but why add it to the movies?

It is just a bad idea.

Cathy Johnston
Mon, Apr 21, 2014 11:38am
Against this. Could we in Delaware come up with more positive ideas? There are no good outcomes from serving alcohol in theaters. What are we teaching our children? There is a time and place for alcohol. IF you need a beer to enjoy a movie, skip the movie theater and watch something on TV.

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Apr 21, 2014 12:27pm
JimH and Cathy Johnston: Well said.

Mon, Apr 21, 2014 1:24pm
I wonder if this is more geared towards getting some of those dine-in theaters into our area. I've heard of theaters that have a full menu with table service... call it a dinner theater for movies. In that situation, I understand the desire to serve a beer with your burger, especially since the servers can better police who's drinking the booze. But for general run-of-the-mill theaters like we currently have here... nah, I don't see the point.

Mon, Apr 21, 2014 2:05pm
Once upon a time, there was a dine-in theater in Newark at the Chestnut Hill Plaza...it was a fun spot that ran "cult classics" like the Princess Bride and Rocky Horror. It was a cool spot to take a date for dinner and a movie at the same time...

I would have no problem with a place like that serving brews/wine, but think it's a terrible idea if they want to serve "adult beverages" at theaters for the general public.

Mon, Apr 21, 2014 2:41pm
I saw "The Big Lebowski" at Theater N a few years ago and enjoyed several beers from their cooler ($3). I think they had wine, also. They have a different demographic than the usual movie houses, though.

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Apr 21, 2014 3:26pm
I never knew there were such things as a Dinner/Theatre for movies, not a bad idea. In that case sure, as that is a restaurant and theatre much like a dinner/theatre were you'd see a play/musical with dinner like the Candle Light Dinner Theatre or what used to be the 3 Little Bakers Dinner Theatre.

But NO to a "regular" movie theatre.

Mon, Apr 21, 2014 8:38pm
What are these politicians thinking? You've already had shootings in theaters in Colorado and Florida in just the past year. The Florida shooting was the result of the victim throwing popcorn, and that in response to the shooter unnecessarily harassing him. Another case in point: sporting events. If alcohol is served at your typical movie theater, you could easily end up with the disorderly conduct that happens at baseball and football games.

I hope they kill the bill.

Wed, Apr 23, 2014 1:39pm
Why go to the movies at all? Wait a few months and watch the movie on demand or on DVD. HD is great. Nobody is sitting behind you talking. And you have a pause button. Some movies are really good with weed - much better than with booze. I recommend Alice In Wonderland and 2001 stoned.

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