Peoria still deliberating decision to sell alcohol in movie theaters

Digital Originals

PEORIA, Ill.— The sale of alcohol in movie theatres, a months-long debate, will now stretch into the new year.

Movie theatre representatives in Peoria are now being asked to come up with rules on how they’d serve alcohol. At the time, council members had lots of questions like how much people could drink, making sure only those over 21 were drinking and how theatres would police themselves.

So members sent the proposal back to the liquor commission which tonight brought it back center stage. Theatre representatives said they’re confident about the possible sale of alcohol.

Heath Thomas, Goodrich Quality Theaters Regional Manager, said it’s time for Peoria to follow the national trend.

“It is new to Peoria but it is not new to the United States. To (alleviate) those parents fears just letting them know we know what we are doing. It is really no different than having someone have a beer behind you at Applebee’s or the table across at Chuck ‘E Cheese, a pizza place or an Italian restaurant,” he said.

Now the commission didn’t make a call tonight… But they did give A-M-C and Goodrich theatre representatives some homework. They’re being asked to come up with a list of best practices for selling alcohol.

Chairman of the city of Peoria Liquor Commission Mike Miller was impressed with the policy the companies already have in place.

“I think they have a really good plan in place and it seems to be successful in other places. I think they said they had one place in Disney land, and there are kids there,” Miller said. “So they seem to really know what they’re doing. And I think it might be a good addition to Peoria, we’ll just have to wait and see.”

This homework is due by January at which point the commission could write up a safe ordinance.

If movie theaters in Peoria are allowed to serve alcohol, Thomas said there will be heavy security. Of age, drinkers may have to wear wristbands. They also said they will work with law enforcement.

Any minor or of-age drinkers passing alcohol to minors will be handed to the police. Though, both AMC and Goodrich representatives said they don’t see that as an alarming problem. They have noticed in other locations the price of the beverages typically deters minors from consumption.

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