The concern is safety. Some frequent moviegoers say serving beer and wine here puts the public at risk for drunk driving and underage drinking. But the theater and the planning commission feel it is a smart move to drive box office sales.
A walk into the lobby at the popular Galaxy theater in Tulare could soon change a bit. Theater management says one dedicated section, the soon to be converted party room, will offer beer and wine.
But before the Tulare planning commission agreed to the move Monday a handful of people argued against the idea. Maryellen Chacon says she wants to take her grandkids to a dry business.
"When you go to a show, it lasts for an hour to two hours. And you can't stop and not have a beer or glass of wine for two hours. I don't think it's appropriate," Maryellen Chacon from Tulare said.
But theater General Manager AJ Taylor argued the company will have regulations in place to safety serve alcohol.
"It's definitely an emotionally charged issue. But it's something that we've thought long and hard about. As also stated in there, this is something that we feel confident in," Taylor said.
He says more frequent checks will be performed in each theater to ensure those who buy are actually drinking it. He also says Galaxy will not be a place for people to just hang out and drink. The beer and wine will be sold to drink during a movie only. Galaxy already sells alcohol at six other locations outside the Central Valley.
"This is something that's a response and not an initiation. We found that this is a popular, very popular amenity. Some at the planning meeting - told the commission if alcohol sales are allowed they will watch a movie somewhere else," Taylor said.
Now that the liquor license has been approved by the planning commission, the next step is to have Tulare City Council approve the plan. It also comes with the condition the city will review the operation after the first year of sales.