VICTORIA – Movie theatres and live-event theatres in B.C. are now eligible to apply for a licence to serve alcoholic drinks during the screening of a film.
The changes include:
- Multiplex theatres will be permitted to obtain a liquor license and serve alcohol in adult-only auditoriums and adjacent lobbies.
- Single screen movie and live-event theatres can apply to serve alcohol in a lobby where minors are present and to serve liquor in the auditorium for adult-only screenings or events.
- Without getting prior approval from the Province, live-event theatres may now show films, broadcasts, or host events for people of all ages at any time of the day if no alcohol is served.
“These changes provide movie and live-event theatre operators with much more flexibility when screening films. Adults can enjoy an alcoholic beverage while watching a movie and operators can provide an enhanced experience for their patrons—particularly during important community events like film festivals.”
Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Ida Chong
“I’m pleased the provincial government listened to the concerns of theatre owners and came up with changes that reduce red tape and allow us to continue to build our businesses while maintaining public safety. These changes create a need and fill a void. There aren’t many mid-size venues in Victoria, and being able to responsibly sell liquor during a show will allow The Roxy to start bringing more varied events to the community.”
The Roxy Theatre owner Mike Sharpe
- 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 license applications.