How’s This For a Coming Attraction: Have a Little Drink at The Little

How’s This For a Coming Attraction: Have a Little Drink at The Little


By Tara Grimes

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — At The Little Theatre in Rochester on East Avenue, many customers enjoy a drink or two before or after a movie in the cafe. They could before too long take that drink into the theater with them.

“I think as long as it’s controlled, and people aren’t getting drunk in the theater, I think alcohol is fine,” said Linda Long, Webster resident.

On Tuesday, during his budget address, Gov. Andrew Cuomo presented the idea of allowing theaters to sell alcohol.

Currently, New York state law only permits alcohol sales in theaters that have kitchens and full food service, including tables and wait staff. The State Liquor Authority would issue alcohol licenses to movie theaters and Cuomo says they would “incentivize” sales of drinks that come from New York state wineries and breweries.

Only customers holding tickets to movies rated PG-13 or higher could purchase alcohol and only one drink could be sold to a customer at a time.

“I think it could certainly potentially bring in more business,” said Scott Pukos, The Little Theatre public relations coordinator. “It could bring people maybe that haven’t been here before. We like the group that comes here. We have a very loyal group. We have members. We’re always trying to get more people to come and experience the fun stuff that we do here.”

While the idea is popular among some, others said they are against it. One woman said she doesn’t like the idea of the smell of alcohol in the theater. Another said he’s concerned about how it may cause people to act during the shows.

Irondequoit residents Ernie and Bonnie Beechey agree.

“I just thought it was unnecessary,” Bonnie Beechey said. “We don’t need to have alcohol in the movie theater.”

“Mine was a negative thought,” Ernie Beechey said. “It’s not necessary. We have bars. We have restaurant. I don’t see the point having it in the theater.”

Long, however, said she only sees one downside.

“Hopefully I wouldn’t fall asleep in those recliner chairs they have in some of those movies because wine does make you tired,” Long said while laughing. “It’s just relaxing. It relaxes you.”

Cuomo said he believes the move would help tourism. The idea would still need to be enacted into law by the legislature.