The City Council of Bristol, Tenn, recently voted 3-2 in favour of allowing beer sales in the local cinema, clearing a first hurdle and in line with a larger national trend.
National Association of Theatre Owners Director of Media and Research Patrick Corcoran said wine, cocktails and suds in the cinema are becoming another selection at the concession stand at theaters across the U.S.
At last count, nearly 900 movie houses — including ones in nearby Asheville and Knoxville — have alcohol alongside the popcorn and Goobers in food vending areas or in restaurants confined within the theater, which allow consumers to take their meals and spirits in to see the show.
“It’s moving more into the mainstream as some of the larger theater companies are getting into it,” Corcoran said. “There’s a growing adult market. The percentage of the older population is growing and theaters are looking for better ways to attract that demographic. One of those is through alcohol sales and dine-in theaters.” LINK
An interesting footnote is that one Hollywood studio was initially dead set against the idea of beer in cinemas. Have you already guessed which one?
Corcoran said independent movie theaters and larger chains began selling beer and wine in the mid 1990s, leading the Walt Disney Co. to not release its films to some locations because they did not want their family films associated with the sale of alcohol. Disney later relented after sales became successful in those areas with the beer concept.
Canada – Cineplex has announced its quarterly figures and Canada’s largest exhibitor noted year-on-year growth, but it as mainly the in-organic (screen acquisition) kind and the company is not immune to the malaise that is gripping the box office south of the border.
“Total revenue for the second quarter of 2014 increased 7.2%, or $21.9 million compared to the prior year, due largely to the 2013 acquisitions of 24 Atlantic theatres and digital signage company Cineplex Digital Networks,” said Ellis Jacob, President and CEO, Cineplex Entertainment. “The box office was impacted by the underperformance of a number of big summer titles and the shifting of release dates on certain films which resulted in a same store decrease in box office revenues of 4.2%, compared to the prior year quarter.” LINK
The silver lining was “diversification in related businesses including media, digital commerce, gaming, food service and alternative programming” to counterbalance under-performing films, plus the SCENE loyalty program reached 5.8 million members (an increase of 200,000 members in the quarter).