EAST AURORA, NY (WKBW) — How about a little wine and beer with your movie popcorn and candy?
Small movie theater owners would like to sell alcohol at their concession stands.
One local owner who is hoping state lawmakers pass a bill in the New Year.
You've got your junior mints and popcorn, but maybe you want an adult beverage instead of a sugary soda as you watch the movie.
“Any opportunity to enhance our concessions – the experience and the revenue sources for us is something that we do need to evaluate and look into,” said Lynn Kinsella, owner, Aurora Theatre, East Aurora.
Kinsella owns the Aurora Theatre on Main Street in East Aurora and the Popcorn Shop.
A state Assembly bill, now under review in the state Senate, would expand the menu.
If bill were to pass in the state legislature it would allow small theaters to apply for a liquor license adding wine, beer and cider to their concessions to sell.
“Being in the movie business today is more than just showing movies, you have to remain competitive. You have to offer your customers an experience,” explained Kinsella. “We do believe that it may bring some people into the theater that currently are home watching it on-line.”
Larger theater chains, like the AMC in downtown Buffalo, was granted a temporary liquor license. But it is also required to offer up to five menu items, like a restaurant.
This bill would not require that for the smaller venues, but they would have to follow tough liquor license rules.
“You’d only be able to serve under certain circumstances – you would only be able to serve an hour before, an hour after – you cannot just open up at any time and serve beer and wine, so there would be a lot of controls in the new legislation should it pass,” explained Kinsella.
The bill is also designed to promote the sale of New York State products.
Kinsella, said even though there would be a tremendous among of rules and regulations with a liquor license, she is hoping for passages. Kinsell said it could be a game changer for small theaters.
“The Aurora Theatre and small-town theaters – they’re a dying breed – but they’re such a viable part of a community and of a main street,” declared Kinsella. “Our theater has been in place for 95 years and we are trying to keep it viable for another 95.”