Will We Soon Be Allowed to Drink in New York Movie Theaters? | Craft Beverage Industry | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

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Will We Soon Be Allowed to Drink in New York Movie Theaters?


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You know what goes great with a tub of salty, buttery popcorn? Beer.

Imagine you could guzzle a craft IPA the next time you get dragged to an overzealous action flick or sip wine during a romantic date night at the movies. As part of his 2020 agenda, on January 3, Governor Cuomo unveiled a new proposal that could make this possible by allowing New York State movie theaters to sell alcoholic beverages.

Throughout his eight-year tenure, Governor Cuomo has taken many strides to support the growth of New York’s craft beverage industry. This new proposal is his latest effort to boost this new economic sector, by creating new outlets for craft beverage producers to sell their products, while simultaneously boosting cinema revenue—and relevance. No more sneaking in a hip flask, kiddos.

Current state law only allows movie theaters that have full kitchens and tables inside their screening rooms to sell alcohol. But the new proposal includes an amendment that would allow the sale of beer, wine, cider, mead, and spirits to adult ticketholders of movies rated PG-13 or higher—one drink at a time. Ideally, this would give New York's craft beverage manufacturing industry a boost by updating what the Governor considers to be strict, “antiquated Prohibition-era laws” set in 1933.

The craft beverage boom has been strong in New York, with the state currently ranked first in the country for number of hard cider producers, second in craft distillers, third in breweries, and fourth in number of wineries. With such a competitive market, there’s potential that this amendment could provide craft beverage producers with better opportunities to hawk their wares. It would also give struggling theaters a chance to enhance the moviegoer experience and allow Bond-enthusiasts the chance to use their best “shaken, not stirred” when ordering martinis during the inevitable continuation of the 007 saga. 


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