You'll soon be permitted to enjoy a cold beer or glass of wine while watching a new release at movie theaters in New York State. Movie theater owners had been lobbying the state for years that they should be permitted to sell alcohol for on-site consumption - comparing their entertainment experience to that of a concert.

On Wednesday the State Liquor Authority decided unanimously to grant that request.

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Some cinemas already have a liquor license in place. Bow Tie cinemas in Saratoga and Schenectady have had beer and wine available at their cinemas, but the previous law allowed it only to be consumed in the lobby and prior to the movie showing. The new law would allow movie goers to bring those beverages into the theater.

The decision by the State Liquor Authority takes effect immediately, but don't expect to run out this weekend and expect to grab your favorite brew. Even movie theaters that already have a license to sell beer and wine will have to apply for a variance, something that could take months.

Theaters that don't already have a license to sell alcohol will also need to apply. Again, a process that generally takes several months.

Joe Masher, the COO of Bow Tie Cinemas hopes they can be approved within 90 days. He says the new beer and wine rule will provide another revenue stream:

We're always looking for additional sources of revenue — we can't keep raising ticket and concession prices — but the biggest reason is people are demanding it. It's another amenity we can offer.

Keep in mind, a small soda at the movies can be upwards of $6. So any guesses on how much for a Natty Ice?

[Times Union]

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