The New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) just unanimously approved a measure allowing movie theaters to serve wine and beer at their concession stands and movie goers to carry the drinks inside the screening rooms. Until now, cinemas were only allowed to serve drinks if they had a restaurant license alongside a full kitchen and waiters to serve the offerings to patrons already seated.

Will this help lagging ticket sales? I don’t know. I’m not a big drinker. I’ve never passed on going to the movies because I couldn’t have an alcoholic beverage. The reality is with the speed new releases in movies come to our home screens and the increasing quality and affordability of our home theater experience going out seems less desirable. What don’t I like going to the movies? Strangers. Noisy strangers. Covid. infected strangers. And now making their debut…strangers who are noisy, infected with Covid, and now drunk!

We have all been to movie theaters where people do not use restraint and judgement. People are noisy. They talk on their cell phone. I don’t see how alcohol is going to make this better. The shhh from the annoyed patron will now be replaced with you wanna fight? C’mon like a guy who is drinking and watching a movie starring the Rock isn’t going to beau up to impress his girl?  The tough guys on the screen will be competing with the tough guys who are drunk on Bud Light.

But it is possible I am missing the boat and this is appealing to a lot of people. Maybe going to a movie is a bit more relaxing with a glass of red wine or a cold brew. How about we compromise? Say all showings after a start time of 9 PM you may have an alcoholic drink but before that you can’t. This way families and people who don’t want to be around people drinking still have an option and as the evening grows later drinks are on the menu.

What about day drinking? If you need to day drink and see a movie do it at home. Families should be able to see a movie without the presence of alcohol.

You do know a can of beer will be like $10 and a kidney. You will pay ballpark prices but that is your choice. To me this reeks of a last ditch effort to make going to the movies an experience. If it keeps them around a bit longer then so be it but soon enough people will not go to the movies and once again public day drinking where go where it belongs in a bar or on a park bench.

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