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Letter from the Editor- Toasting the approval of serving alcohol at AMC

Lexington Park, MD- How many of us kick back on a Friday night, a glass of wine in our hands, toasting the end of the work week and then pop a movie into the DVD player?

Seems innocent enough. You work hard during the week, you deserve a little solace.
But the idea of serving alcohol at the newly renovated AMC Loews Theater in Lexington Park seems to be causing a whole lot of controversy over much ado about nothing.

In case you haven’t been outside of Southern Maryland recently, serving alcohol in movie theaters is a growing trend. After struggling for years to bring in patrons, the theater industry started looking for new ways to spice up an old pastime.

Many readers commented that alcohol is not appropriate in a family atmosphere. I fail to see it that way. Restaurants serve alcohol, ballparks serve alcohol—heck even Chuck E Cheese serves alcohol. All of these places also provide a family atmosphere. Serving alcohol doesn’t equate encountering sloppy drunks who are out to ruin your event.

Let’s also consider the cost. I do not believe anyone is going to spend the money to get “hammered” at the movies. Just look at the cost for popcorn and soda—you know the price of alcohol will also be greatly inflated.

If someone really wants to be drunk at the movies, they can get their drink on before they go. Nothing is going to stop someone from being intoxicated in a theater, whether alcohol is available for purchase or not.

Concerned about underage drinkers? As with any business that carries a liquor license and serves alcohol, bartenders will check IDs and certain rules must be strictly followed or that license will be revoked.

During the past two years, more than three dozen states have relaxed their laws allowing theaters to serve alcohol—this is not some groundbreaking decision that started in Southern Maryland. Across the country movie theaters are offering drinks, and sometimes even dinner, for movie-goers. It gives a whole new meaning to dinner and a movie.

Across the country, AMC Theaters have lounges and bars in more than 175 locations. It is also the market leader in this growing trend. Bottom line—it’s more money for the bottom line.

I spent hours searching and searching to find any report of a DUI, DWI or altercation in connection with someone being served alcohol at movie theater. I can’t find anything. It doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened but clearly it’s a not a big issue—no bigger an issue than if someone is drinking at Applebee’s.

I personally, look forward to having the opportunity of going on a date with my husband and enjoying a movie and an alcoholic drink together instead of having to go to two different locations—that saves us time which saves us on the cost of a babysitter!!!

The opinions expressed do not reflect those of TheBayNet.com management.

Contact Joy Shrum at j.shrum@thebaynet.com

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