Beer being served at movie theaters isn’t exactly a new thing. AMC has had their Dine-In Theatres (complete with waitstaff that deliver beer or wine to your seat) for a while now, and most metro areas have one or two independent movie houses that offer a selection of tasty craft beers to enjoy while watching the show. And, of course, enterprising hooligans have been sneaking beer into theaters since before a whooshing subway car was lifting Marilyn Monroe’s skirt.
Although I’ve never visited a theater that mixes beer and movies, I’ve always thought it was a good idea – I enjoy the two together at home all the time, why not do the same in the theater? That said, recent news reports out of Pittsburgh have me rethinking where I stand on beer in theaters, more specifically family friendly multiplex theaters.
Big Phoenix Cinemas, a theater chain that has locations across the country, has started offering beer and wine at the concession stand in some of their theaters in the Steel City’s metro area, and the local news is all over it. While some people think it’s a fine idea to sell macro-lagers at the multiplex, others balk at the notion.
“I don’t really like the idea,” said April Crawford when interviewed by KDKA CBS Pittsburgh, “it’s supposed to be a family oriented thing.” Sonya James echoed these remarks, saying “It’s a family place. You don’t want to sell alcohol there.”
I was surprised when I found myself agreeing with these two teetotaling theater goers. I have little kids, and while it’s cool to see craft beer being sold at adult-oriented indie cinema houses, it’s a little unsettling to think that people might be getting sloppy at a matinée of The LEGO Movie.
Compounding my anxiety is the recent incident in Florida, where a retired police captain shot and killed a man who was texting the babysitter to check in on his sick daughter before a showing of Lone Survivor. Some people are barely able to control themselves in public when they are stone sober, adding alcohol into the mix will surely only make things worse.
Now you might be thinking I’m a snob, saying it’s okay if craft beers are served to adult hipsters at fancy theaters, while it’s not alright to serve Coors Light to the unwashed masses down at the strip mall multiplex. And you may be right, but the difference is my kids aren’t going to be at the fancy adult-oriented theater.
I know beer is served at family restaurants and amusement parks, but those aren’t places where folks are locked into having a shared experience. If someone’s drunk at dinner, they’re mostly terrifying their poor family – people two booths over are unaffected. If someone is disruptive or lulled into a heightened state of selfishness in a movie theater, most everyone suffers. I don’t want my family to be part of that.
So those are my thoughts – what about you? Please check out the poll below and let us know where you stand on the idea of beer being served in theaters. You can also hit up the comment section and let us know the reasons behind your vote. Am I being a big baby, or just a smart dad?