By: Liz Brown, Chetwynd Echo
CHETWYND – When Chetwynd’s Red Rock Cinema owners Glenda and Henry Garbanewski heard that movie theatres were eligible for liquor licenses, they wanted to learn more about the particulars.
“Sounds like a good idea and a good way to make ends meet,” said Glenda Garbanewski.
On April 11, Energy and Mines minister Rich Coleman announced that movie theatres and live-event theatres in B.C. could now apply for a license to serve alcohol during the screening of a film.
“These changes strike an appropriate balance between allowing liquor service at theatres and limiting minors’ access to alcohol,” said Coleman.
Garbanewski thought this could provide another way to pay bills, but was unsure of the restrictions. The government release approves alcohol for single-screen theatres in any theatre lobby and for adult-only shows.
“18A means accompanied with an adult on the side,” said Garbanewski, adding it may be difficult to patrol minors since they are allowed to view adult movies if accompanied by an adult.
While Garbanewski’s not opposed, she’ll have to do further research on how to integrate such rules into a one-room theatre without excluding a large portion of the population for being underage.
“We’re also on our own here.”
Red Rock Cinema lacks the support and knowledge sharing that larger chains such as Cineplex or Famous Players, said Garbanewski.
When Henry ran the cinema in Dawson Creek, they allowed alcohol for private clubs. While it may take a while to take shape, she will look into it. Until then, the Garbanewskis will wait and see how the rest of the province takes to it.
In the lower mainland, the new liquor license has had a positive reaction from theatre owners and associations.
“We applaud the B.C. government’s decision to modernize the liquor laws allowing cinema owners the opportunity to provide their adult customers an enhanced concessions offering,” Nuria Bronfman said, executive director of the Motion Picture Theatre Association of Canada.
For now, Garbanewski says it will take some time to better understand how to infiltrate the new law in Chetwynd, but she and Henry are certainly not opposed to another sales venture.