Toronto Movie Theatre to Serve Alcohol During Shows
While Internet is abuzz with year-end lists of the best movies of 2008 (check NP’s own here), movie theatres have to continue inventing new ways to enhance their customers’ movie-watching experience. A movie theatre in Toronto is running a year-long pilot project to see whether serving alcohol during shows would accomplish that. The alcohol serving option will come at an extra cost of $5 per drink for a maximum of two drinks per session and includes waiters delivering drinks right to the customer’s seat. Sounds too good to be true? Well, there are some issues, like handling young audiences and the possibility of illegal alcohol sales to minors as well as the possibility of increased drink spiking in the dark of the movie theatre.
Some moviegoers in Toronto now have those and other alcoholic options thanks to a one-year pilot project to see whether booze and movies can mix without any trouble.
The downtown Varsity cinema has had its special liquor licence since Friday. Customers can have a drink while watching a movie in one of four specially designated VIP theatres, where tickets carry a $5 surcharge.
Consumers had been asking for bar service in theatres for some time - particularly in cinemas that have a licensed bar in the lobby - and, so far, customer feedback has been positive, said Cineplex Entertainment spokeswoman Pat Marshall.
"It was an extension of a request from a number of our guests over the years who had said, 'Why is it that we can buy alcohol in the lounge but we can't take it 10 more feet into the auditorium,"' Marshall said, while acknowledging the idea won't please everyone.
"We don't ever have the anticipation that 100 per cent of our clients want something. But we try to satisfy as many as possible."
Marshall said she's not worried about drunk patrons becoming a problem since there's a two-drink maximum, which is enforced by servers who deliver drinks right to a customer's seat.
Drinks are only served before a movie starts and not during the film, she added.