CHEERS! How Booze Is Becoming the New Popcorn at Movie Theaters 

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More theater chains are installing bars to pad profits as states relax liquor laws.

Pamela McClintock reports: The drinking song “99 Bottles of Beer” has nothing on Dan Aykroyd‘s Crystal Head Vodka — at least at AMC Theatres. By Aykroyd’s count, the cinema chain has sold 110,000 special Ghostbusters cocktails since last summer using the vodka, movie_drinks-h_2017_0part of a campaign by AMC to boost earnings by hundreds of millions of dollars with increased alcohol sales. “It’s been amazing,” says Aykroyd. “Overall, they’ve bought 7,200 bottles from us.”

[Read the full story here, at Hollywood Reporter]

Forget popcorn and Milk Duds. Booze is the next step in cinemas’ fight against flagging attendance. For decades, local and state laws prevented movie chains from offering alcoholic beverages in regular auditoriums. Only dine-in theaters could offer booze by securing a restaurant liquor license, while some high-end cinemas — including the Landmark and ArcLight in L.A. — offered beer and wine in designated 21-and-over auditoriums. During the past two years, 32 states have relaxed their laws, allowing theaters to serve alcohol in any auditorium.

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“It is the fastest-growing amenity in our industry,” says George Patterson, senior vp food and beverage at AMC. Read the rest of this entry »


San Francisco Theater Evacuated After Reports of Gunman 

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Authorities received a 911 call Tuesday night of a person possibly armed with a handgun inside a movie theater at the Metreon shopping center. No injuries were reported.

San Francisco police says a man is in custody and a handgun has been recovered from inside a movie theater that was evacuated after officials received reports of a possible gunman. No injuries were reported.

“Witness Jeff Wincek tells the San Francisco Chronicle that though the theater was dark, he saw the glint of a gun barrel as the man waved the handgun. He says the man stayed seated while others ran out of the theater.”

San Francisco Police spokeswoman Officer Grace Gatpandan says authorities received a 911 call Tuesday night of a person possibly armed with a handgun inside a movie theater at the Metreon shopping center.

She says officers responded to the shopping center in downtown San Francisco and evacuated one of the theaters “in an abundance of caution.” Read the rest of this entry »