Open Forum Friday: Should Movie Theatres Be Allowed to Serve Alcohol?

Let me tell you, there’s nothing better than catching a flick on a Saturday night and kicking back with a nice cold one… in the privacy of your own home, of course. To be honest I generally don’t drink cold ones at all, but I can certainly understand how people would enjoy such a thing. After all, certain movies can only truly be appreciated while under the influence of alcohol. But is there really a place for alcoholic beverages at a public movie theatre?

It was announced this week that two Cineplex Odeon theatres in Toronto are going to start selling booze to customers and also allow them to bring it into their screenings. This was made possible because of a new law that was passed on October 23rd making it legal to drink in a theatre in Canada. If the venture is successful, we can only assume that other theatres will follow suit. Now I know there are already a few specialty theatres out there that allow this kind thing (ie. the Alamo Drafthouse), but usually these theatres have some sort of age restriction as well. Certainly there are plenty of people who would drink responsibly in this situation, and according to the law, I think there must also be a separate seating area for the people who want to drink. That said, it is a little weird to think that you could go see Bolt with your kids and have some guy downing a couple beers on the other side of the theatre. Do we really want our movie theatres to become like sports arenas? Would you like to have the option of drinking alcohol while watching a movie? Give us your thoughts here on Open Forum Friday.



  • Josh D

    Do I think movie theatres will turn into sports arenas? Well, it’s too late for that. We’ve already got the jumbotron up front that shows us ads,we have people eating nachos, pizza, drinking 64oz sodas and leaving all of this stuff behind after their screening, I don’t think alcohol is going to negatively affect theatres more so than anything else that’s come along including cell phones and text messaging.

    My advice? Get sauced at lunch and then catch an early matinee.

  • Whole chains in the US sell beer and wine at the theater. Hell, my theater would clean up in we ever sold wine, and we have a perfect setup if we ever decide to go in that direction.

    Hell, we have a theater in town where you can have a margarita. Which country is the conservative fuddy duddy now Canada?

  • cuebert

    I can’t see the selling of alcohol at the movies to be a positive thing. Besides the fact I’m sure they would horribly overcharge for a drink (think strip club!), but people are jerks as it is, why would I want some chatty bastard behind me, who is now drunk when I tell him to shut his mouth?

    Then I’d have to deal with drinky McDrinkerton.. too much trouble for the rest of us who wouldn’t drink at the movies. Save it for home.. or a friends house.

  • Liz

    I saw that the Varsity had applied for a liquor license but for some reason I had decided they already had one (I think I thought booze went hand in hand with the V.I.P. theatres). I find it kind of bizarre, to be completely honest, and probably won’t be partaking in this particular feature. I wonder if they’d put some sort of restriction on it where you can’t bring booze into certain screenings (e.g. Rated G movies), the way they’ve got those “dry” zones at stadiums and arenas.

  • valencia

    there is a theatre here in atlanta that is like restaurant and they serve alcoholic drinks. wine. beer. etc

  • Goon

    The only time I’ve been aware of people drinking in a theater is when they’ve been exceptionally drunk. And they were awful. I can name around a dozen movies harmed directly by people who snuck in drinks.

  • People bring their own alcohol to theatres all the goddamn time.

    Having worked at a few theatres; I think it’d be really smart for them to sell coffee. I’d like that. So many people want it. I’d let people walk in with their coffee when the managers weren’t around.

  • Of course they probably have coffee at theatres outside my beach-ess state.

  • Derek

    I agree with cuebert.

  • Nathan

    I live in Austin and what makes the Alamo Drafthouse so great is its answer to these stated concerns. No one under 18 is allowed, so the majority of obnoxious teens are not an issue. If there’s someone talking you simply put an order sheet on the edge of you table, and a waiter will kick them out. The pricing is fair as well to as they mostly serve local brews and domestic by the bucket/pitcher. The audience for such a niche venue polices itself, booze is just a bonus.

  • cronenfly

    Drunk people in public in front of a big screen…i would rather to sit back and smoke a jane while enjoying my movie.

  • mits777

    I live down in Austin and go to the Alamo Drafthouse all the time and Ive never seen any incident with anyone being drunk. I take my nephew to see some kid movies and I always have a beer along with a bunch of other dads/moms/guardians and its never a weird situation. Maybe the first time but you get used to it soon.

  • Nothing wrong with being drunk, only something wrong with being annoying. Bring on the booze, it tastes awesome.

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  • Mirza

    No