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Cuomo proposal: maybe some beer & wine paired with your movie experience

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal contains a number of  non-fiscal items including one that would allow movie theaters to sell beer and wine.

The idea would be to allow the state to issue liquor licenses to movie theaters and provide incentives to have them sell drinks from New York breweries and wineries.

That’s an idea that intrigues Scott Pukos, public relations coordinator for The Little Theatre in Rochester. The theater is operated by WXXI.

Pukos notes their operation is a little different than many movie theaters, since they have a café that is part of the complex.

“We do sell at the Little Café beer and wine; the difference here is we’d be allowed to sell it in the theater which is something I think people would be interested in and it would be another incentive to get people to come to the theater; I’m sure wine would pair well with something like La La Land that we’re showing, it’s nice to have something to go with popcorn.”

The Little Theatre's Scott Pukos in the cafe.

But Pukos notes that to be able to serve alcohol in the theater there would be some extensive renovations and changes needed to have tables and service staff to sell alcohol in the main theater.

He says with all of the many entertainment options these days, movie theaters have to be creative in attracting patrons.

‘We always try for innovation, we’re lucky that we’re able to be creative and add stuff like discussion panels after screenings and really add to the experience, or just have different things that you don’t typically see at a movie theater, but you do kind of need that in this day and age, some other incentive to get people to go to the theater or just some experience that you can’t have anywhere else."

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.