NYC Movie Theaters Can Apply for Liquor Licenses, State Authority Rules – Deadline
Currently, theaters are required to have a full kitchen with staff serving drinks to seated patrons, i.e. Alamo Drafthouse. Alternatively, patrons can purchase an alcoholic drink from the concession stands, but then must line up in the lobby.
The decision takes effect immediately to include auditoriums as licensed premises. Theater operators still have to go through the usual liquor licensing process through the NYSLA — either apply for a new license or an “amendment request” to change their license to include auditoriums.
“This decision will allow historic theaters, independent cinemas and theater circuits to responsibly sell and serve alcoholic beverages to patrons of the concession stand. Before today, a movie theater was only allowed to serve alcohol to patrons if they consumed it in a lobby cafe or in a restaurant-dining room. New York State was one of the last places in the country where it was still restricted,” MAsher said.
“As moviegoers continue to return to the big screen and given the incredible economic disruption caused by the pandemic, this will help keep many local theaters independent, especially in downtown areas and northern shopping corridors. state, in business and employing local people. Well done,” he said.
Theaters in New York State and City have been slammed by Covid and among the last public venues allowed to reopen by former Governor Andrew Cuomo. As in most countries, ticket sales have since been selective – booming for big franchise titles like Spider-Man: No Coming Home but slow to recover for adult films and arthouse fare.