Residents React to Movie Theater Selling Wine and Beer

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By Ashley Thompson

Tonight, reaction to the story we brought you last night at 10.  Montgomery will soon have a movie theater that will sell beer and wine. But not everyone thinks that's a smart concept.

You don't have to go to a bar or restaurant to have a drink now. City Council members approved an ordinance yesterday that will allow Carmike Cinemas 13 on Chantilly Parkway to sell both beer and wine.

The new state-of-the-art Carmike Cinemas theater in Montgomery will soon be open for business. And selling adult beverages will be part of that business. It's something some Montgomery residents say could cause trouble.

"Well I think there's going to be a lot of killing, people getting hurt and all that," says resident John Stokes. "There's going to be a lot of problems."

Montgomery City Councilman Jon Dow also has security concerns. He was the only councilman to vote against the measure that would allow Carmike Cinemas to serve beer and wine.

"What we're seeing over the last three years is a steady influx of beer and wine going to establishments that were once family friendly. Family Dollar, Dollar General, Chuck e Cheese..."

But Dean Argo with the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board says the movie theatre will be regulated, just like any other establishment.

"The ABC Board will certainly hold them to the same requirements that we do any other licensee. And that is, they cannot serve anyone under the age of 21, they have to know what to look for when a person has been over served."

He says those who serve the beer and wine will also have to be 21.

"We certainly hope, that as the city has approved that license and the ABC Board will abide by the city's wishes, that they will be very careful to follow all of the rules. We will hold them to that standard. Will will have agents that will check on them from time to time."

An attorney with Carmike Cinemas tells us patrons will only be able to purchase one drink per person at a time and says a security firm may be hired to patrol the venue. But some residents say there shouldn't be any controversy at all.

"If you don't want your children at a theater like that or at a theater where people will be able to be adults and have alcohol, there are plenty of other theaters around the city," says Devon Glaze.

The Capri Theather also sells beer and wine but of course, that's more of an adult establishment. Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange says he likes the concept, saying he believes this is the way entertainment venues are going.

Montgomery will  be the third location in Alabama to have a movie theater capable of selling beer and wine. The Wharf in Baldwin County and a movie theater in Huntsville also sell adult beverages.



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