NY theaters excited for possibilities that come with selling wine and beer

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Soon you will be able to enjoy a beer or wine while sitting at your favorite movie theater. Sales of alcohol were unanimously approved this week by the State Liquor Authority.

News10NBC heard how this could be a big boost for theaters, and the local economy. The news is so good, the Executive Vice President of The Business Council of New York State told us that the days of sneaking beer, and wine into the movie theater are now over.

Gov. Kathy Hochul is working to drop several laws, still being enforced by the State Liquor Authority that she says have long prevented some theaters from selling alcohol on their premises.

Scott Pukos is the Director of Communications for The Little. He said this announcement is a big help for art-house theaters.

"Here at The Little, we do have our cafe. So people can get beer and wine with their dinner, or dessert right now and watch live music, and then go see a movie," Pukos said.

Once it starts, Pukos said sales of alcohol will help add to moviegoers’ experience at the theater. The pairing of beer, and wine with a specific movie.

"You can pair a glass of wine with a black and white film, The Tragedy of Macbeth playing right now. Has Denzel Washington, has Francis McDormand, Cohen’s brother. It’s Shakespeare. Maybe you want a glass of wine with that," Pukos said.

Business-wise, Pukos said this opens a lot of opportunities.

"One thing I’m excited for about this is the chance of a collaboration with some of the breweries and wineries in the area," Pukos said.

Executive Vice President of The Business Council of New York State Paul Zuber said modernizing the Alcohol Beverage Control Law will help create more economic development for businesses throughout the state.

"There are literally laws on the books that have not been changed since prohibition ended, and it’s amazing to think there would be any laws on the books in New York State that would be so resistant to change as the ABC Law," Zuber said.

Movie theaters that plan to sell alcohol must first apply for a liquor license which can take several weeks for approval. Governor Hochul is also trying to bring back "drinks to go," to help businesses stay afloat during the pandemic.