You’ll soon be able to enjoy a beer at the Arroyo Grande Regal Cinema Stadium 10.
After submitting its application to sell beer and wine in August 2017, the theater’s request finally made its way to the Arroyo Grande Planning Commission on Tuesday night, where the advisory group approved it on a 4 to 1 vote.
“I would trust our town as a whole to be able to handle this responsibly, and I encourage them to do so,” Commissioner Frank Schiro said.
Movie theaters have faced dwindling attendance in recent years, forcing many to consider alternative ways to boost revenue, including selling alcohol.
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The Arroyo Grande theater will begin selling beer and wine at the concession stand in the main lobby. All patrons buying alcohol would be required to show ID. The drinks could then be taken into any of the individual theaters, where attendants will regularly check in to ensure there is no underage drinking.
There was some concern from a commissioner about allowing alcohol in a family destination.
“I’m really surprised that there is no one in the community here,” Commissioner John Mack said referencing the empty council room. “This is a big issue as far as I’m concerned. We’re allowing alcohol at a family place where children are. This is a bar, we are approving.”
Mack — who voted against the application — said he fears giving alcohol to patrons would increase disturbances at the theater and endanger safety.
“I like to protect families, I like to protect children,” he said. “Is this what we want for Arroyo Grande and Arroyo Grande families and citizens?”
Community Development Director Teresa McClish said the theater will be able to sell alcohol after Aug. 18, barring any appeals, though it will also have to complete staff training per California’s Alcoholic Beverage Control requirements and complete some building modifications like ADA requirements needed for the conditional use permit.