In a bold, precedent-breaking step, the Province of British Columbia has announced that all movie theatres can now apply for a liquor license, and multi-use live theatre venues have much more flexibility with their licenses.
While this is one of many liquor law changes we like to see, it is evidence that the tide is finally changing and hopefully a sign of more change to come.
The press release in full:
VICTORIA – Movie theatres and live-event theatres in B.C. can now apply for a licence to serve alcohol during the screening of a film, announced Minister Rich Coleman.
The changes include:
This new approach provides flexibility for movie and live-event theatres to operate while keeping public safety a priority, ensuring that no alcohol is permitted while a movie is shown or a broadcast is aired when minors are present. At these times, theatres are generally darkened and it may be difficult to determine whether minors are consuming alcohol, so the theatre must be closed to minors during screenings.
Local governments will continue to have input on all new liquor primary licence applications.
Minister Rich Coleman -
“These changes give movie theatres and live-event theatres much more flexibility to operate while allowing adults to responsibly enjoy a drink while watching a movie. These changes strike an appropriate balance between allowing liquor service at theatres and limiting minors’ access to alcohol.”
Jeremy Bator, president, Motion Picture Theatre Association of British Columbia -
“On behalf of all of the members of the Motion Picture Theatre Association of British Columbia, we commend the provincial government for taking this positive and responsible approach to updating the liquor laws in the Province. These changes will have a positive impact on so many levels including increased jobs, a better guest experience and a more level playing field in the increasingly competitive landscape of entertainment in Canada.”
Matthew Gibbons, president of Vogue Operations Ltd.
“The Vogue Theatre welcomes this change in liquor licensing. We are primarily a live performance venue, and this change will allow us to better support events such as the Vancouver International Film Festival and other similar productions, which are important to the community and to the continuing viability of the historic Vogue Theatre.”
Nuria Bronfman, executive director of the Motion Picture Theatre Association of Canada -
“We applaud the B.C. government’s decision to modernize the liquor laws allowing cinema owners the opportunity to provide their adult customers an enhanced concessions offering. The association is pleased with the leadership shown on this file.”