Delaware senate passes bill to allow alcohol sales in movie theaters

 (<a href=A glass of beer with popcorn via ShutterStock) " title="beer16x9" width="640" height="360"/>

(A glass of beer with popcorn via ShutterStock)

Movie-goers in Delaware will soon be able to order a beer with their popcorn and candy at some movie theaters in the First State.

State lawmakers passed House Bill 299 Wednesday, which will allow theaters in the First State to serve beer, wine and liquor beverages.

In order to receive the license, the theater must have at least 500 seats, be open at least 5 days a week and show at least 250 movies a year.

Beverages will be sold in a separate bar area, away from other concessions, similar to the way alcohol is sold at sporting events and concerts.

Those who are 21 and older will be allowed to have a maximum of two drinks for the duration of the evening.

“The way it would work is when they buy their first drink, they’d get a wrist band,” explained Rick Roman, of Westown Movies in Middletown. “When they come back to buy another drink their wristband would indicate they bought their two drinks. So if they stay for two movies, they’re only going to get two drinks.”

Roman added that ushers and video cameras in the theaters would monitor any underage drinking.  They would also be in place to watch for anyone who wanted to get around the 2 drink minimum by ripping off their wrist band.

The Division of Alcohol and Drug Enforcement would be responsible for overseeing the regulations.

More than 800 theaters in 30 states already serve alcoholic beverages during shows and supporters of the bill said it would help the businesses stay competitive among other entertainment venues.

The liquor license would cost venues $1,500 every two years.

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