Del. Bill Would Allow Alcohol in Movie Theaters - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Bill Would Allow Alcohol in Movie Theaters

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REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. - A Delaware House Bill that is currently in committee would legalize the sale of liquor, wine and beer in movies theaters in the state. 

The bill defines a movie theater as one with at least 500 seats and is open 5 days a week. To get a liquor license, a theater would have to apply and pay $1,500 every two years.

According to the Office of the Delaware Alcoholic Beverage Control Commissioner John H. Cordrey, the specifics of how the bill would work are still unclear. If the bill passes, there would be hearings to develop regulations.

Some issues include concerns of people passing drinks to minors in the dark theater and whether or not the concessions stand would be separate from liquor sales.

Some Delaware residents, like Debbie Bonifant, think allowing alcohol would help movie theaters compete with other entertainment venues.

"I feel like it's a good idea because I think currently movies [are] sort of a one-dimensional experience," she said. "It adds some dimension to it because at this point movies come out so quickly on video, our televisions are so fantastic with high-definition, why go the the theaters?"

Others however, are worried about people drinking too much and ruining the movie-going experience.

"I think movies are family oriented... the movie theater should be a place of safety and a home feeling," Joann Jones said. "I just think everything would go downhill, everything would be rowdy, just breed a lot more problems."

Some employees at the Movies at Midway in Rehoboth beach felt the same way and said they don't think the theater would end up applying for a license.

There is also some concern from restaurants near movie theaters, like Saketumi in Rehoboth Beach, that they could potentially lose customers.

"I think the restaurant industry would see a little difference for early night crowds and even happy hour crowds," Albert Lambert, an employee, said.

Currently 30 other states, including Maryland and Virginia, allow the sale and consumption of alcohol in movie theaters.
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