Boozing At The Movies: Opinions Vary On AMC’s Dine-In Theaters

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Dinner and a movie can now include a cocktail thanks to a new law allowing alcohol to be served in theaters. But does movie giant AMC think serving beer and wine is the ticket to increased sales?

AMC is already serving liquor in theaters in West Orange, Edison and Bridgewater, New Jersey. They offer recliners along with a menu and cocktails for those over 21. Guests must be 18 or accompanied by an adult and movie goers can press a call button for service at their seat.

Some of the theaters even have a bar and lounge for after-movie drinks. The concept is certainly a hit with some.

1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon With Reaction From New Yorkers

“We go there and it’s perfect. You sit there, you could have a beer, you can watch a movie, you can have diner if we want. We really like it,” Carla Schumidt told CBS 2’s John Slattery.

Since prohibition, legitimate theaters like those on Broadway, and the opera have allowed liquor sales, but not at movies in New York. Some customers expressed concern.

“I mean, I don’t appreciate them serving any liquor in a movie theater,” Madeline Rodriguez said. “You would have teenagers that go in there.”

AMC says that wristbands are required in some areas to show that a patron is of drinking age.

“At every location where we sell alcohol, we work closely with local officials to ensure local laws and regulations are stringently followed,” AMC said in a statement.

Two independent theatres in Brooklyn that serve food are hoping to add booze to their menus.

“We’re excited that they’ve passed this new law, so we’ve just applied so that very soon we’ll be able to do the same thing,” Susan Mackell, of the IndieScreen Theatre, said.

AMC has several theaters in New York City, including the Angelika on Houston Street. A spokesman says the chain has no imminent plans to open its dine-in theaters with liquor in New York.

The Viragh’s Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg currently serves alcohol.

It was on August 17th when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the law allowing drinks to be served in movie theaters that are also restaurants and have tables at each theater seat.

What do you think about serving booze at the movie theater?  Good idea or bad idea?  Share your thoughts below…

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  • Erica

    Seriously, movies in the South have served alcohol forever. It’s not like its a huge deal, it’s awesome. I bet if you looked on <a<Citymaps you would probably find something similar.

  • Ck

    Oh…… You are SO right! Guns and beer are EXACTLY the same thing!

  • Greg Schmidt

    This is a great idea and we love it. A concern that alcohol is being served where teenagers are going?? Teenagers go to restaurants where alcohol is served, don’t they? This is no different, and we have found the wait staff and service to not be disruptive at all.

  • Glenn

    Does this mean it will be harder to sneak my own flask in?

  • Mustapha Akbar

    While this is fine in theory, it seems like a totally disruptive idea in practice. People already complain when others merely use their cellphones in theaters and disturb those who want to watch the movies. What kind of environment is condusive to this with waiters walking back and forth, plus there has to be brighter lights for being able to see the food properly, and then you always have the drinkers who have no idea when to stop until they turn into total idiots. You have angred Allah, nothing but Will Farrell flicks for you!!!

    • Ck

      While I remain undecided on this topic, you blew it with your last sentence. First of all, this has Nothing to do with religion and second, it’s Ferrell!

  • mj

    OMG !!!! people enjoying alcohol while watching a movie …. this could be the end of civilzation as we know it. next thing you know there will be laws oking gay sex .. . i used to tend bar at a movie theater in fla that served food and booze there was NEVER any problem.. WHY are people in this country so hung up ?

  • Amber

    The dine in theater might be nice for the occasional date night but it’s completely useless if you want to actually watch the movie. Alcohol and reclaining seats yes but also lights at the table where your food is, waiters constantly walking back and forth and talking to people through the entire movie and assigned seating (good luck if the person next to you is annoying – we tried to move to other seats when the theater was only half full and you’d have thought we were trying to sit in the cockpit while the plane was in the air!). If you like it have fun but if you want to hear the movie and not the crowd go to a regular theater.

  • Palm Trees & Bare Feet

    I’m surprised this hasn’t happened sooner! In Spain, and I’m sure more of Europe, beer is served at the movies AND at fast food places such as McDonalds, Burger King…etc. I’m just surprised on how long it took the US to catch on.

    • Mustapha Akbar

      Perhaps they could hand out automatic weapons as well, they would go so well with action movies! Picture two Buds in one hand, an Uzi in the other on full auto, spitting hellfires of bullets into the bloodied darkness, or for those who are safety conscious, splattering into hundreds of Kevlar vests. We hope. Maybe they could use just paintballs. :D Just in time for Die Hard Twelve, when Bruce Willis yells, “Yippee-kai-yay, mother (et cetera) !!! I am liking this idea very much, Allah be praised!!!

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