Fifth Avenue Cinemas may soon serve alcohol

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Let’s all go to the lobby, let’s all go to the lobby, let’s all go to the lobby… to get ourselves a beer!

That could be the reality at Cineplex’s Fifth Avenue Cinemas sometime soon if Vancouver City Council votes on allowing the business to obtain a liquor license during the upcoming July 22 council meeting.

As stated in their proposal, the Fifth Avenue Cinemas would like to operate a bar to serve alcohol in the lobby and all five of its theatres in conjunction with ticketed films or broadcasts. City of Vancouver recommend the proposal is passed by City Hall, citing Cineplex’s successful operation of two other licensed theatres in Coquitlam and Abbotsford.

The bar service would operate seven days a week between noon and 11 p.m. and be available one hour before, during and one hour after a film screening.

In their recommendation, city staff say they they are generally in support of liquor licenses in theatre venues.

“Staff’s experience generally shows that liquor service in theatres is an amenity for patrons and not the primary focus of the business. As a result staff receive few issues or complaints from community residents.”

The British COlumbia Restaurant and Food Services Association says that Fifth Avenue generally caters to those living on the West Side and that 50 per cent of guests are over the age of 50.

This would be the first licensed major movie theatre in Vancouver, aside from the independent Rio Theatre and the Vancouver International Film Centre. In other Cineplex theatres, licensed lounges are operated under the VIP service, a special option (19+) that includes over-sized seats with foot rests, lounge and bar, in-seat food and beverage service and specialty food options.

Surprisingly, prices for the drinks at the Abbotsford and Coquitlam locations are not as inflated as some other movie theatre goodies. A frozen margarita can be had for $7.50 and a caesar for $6.50. The specialty food menu has appetizers like mac and cheese, edamame and nachos for as little as $7.

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Jill Slattery Jill Slattery was born and raised in Vancouver, where she also earned an Arts degree from UBC in English and Creative Writing. She is an avid TV-watcher and a shameless Taylor Swift fangirl. Jill is a Staff Writer at Vancity Buzz. Contact her at jill@vancitybuzz.com
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