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A pair of Vancouver legislators is working to create a new liquor license category for movie theaters, a change that would allow the state's cinemas

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Legislators Introduce Bill Allowing Kids and Beer in the Same Movie Theater

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A pair of Vancouver legislators is working to create a new liquor license category for movie theaters, a change that would allow the state's cinemas to serve alcohol and admit minors.

According to the current law, minors are prohibited from entering movie theaters where beer, wine or spirits are served. The liquor control board last month warned Central Cinema it was in violation of the rule, suggesting the popular movie house would have to choose between its family-friendly reputation and license to serve beer and wine. Saying such a choice would devastate his business, owner Kevin Spitzer asked why movie theaters were subject to different regulations than other darkened entertainment venues, such as music clubs.

As reported yesterday by Publicola, Rep. Jim Moeller and Sen. Craig Pridemore are trying to restore parity with a bill establishing a license specifically for movie theaters. Modeled after a similar law in Oregon, the law would require a drink-and-view theater to submit a "minor control plan" to the liquor board.

"Clearly there are places where it is successfully managed," Pridemore says. "I suspect it wouldn't be manageable in all locations and liquor enforcement officials will have considerable discretion to regulate alcohol on a facility-by-facility basis,"

Moeller and Pridemore designed the legislation to aid downtown Vancouver's Kiggins Theater.

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