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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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