Popcorn has long been a staple for fans of cinema, but Coquitlam moviegoers could soon supplant the kernels for a glass of wine or a cold beer.
The company behind the SilverCity Coquitlam Theatres on Schoolhouse Street is planning to introduce alcohol sales in a handful of its auditoriums at the theatre.
Specifically, the plan would be to allow moviegoers in SilverCity's VIP Lounge and theatres to order a drink prior to the start of a film.
Patrons would be served their drinks by staff at their seats, and only one drink could be ordered before the movie and none during the showing.
The theatres at SilverCity, in which a total of five have been set aside for what's called the "VIP Experience," would also be off limits to people under the age of 19.
Cineplex Entertainment, which operates the Famous Players Coquitlam theatre, has applied for a liquor primary licence from the province.
If approved, it would be the first SilverCity in B.C. to serve liquor in a movie theatre.
"For us it's about making sure we stay relevant for our audiences," said Pat Marshall, vice-president of communications and investor relations for Cineplex Entertainment.
She told The NOW the company chose the Coquitlam theatre for a combination of reasons, including recent renovations that totalled $2.5 million and demographics in the city that made sense strategically.
Cineplex currently offers its VIP experience in just five facilities across the country.
Marshall said the service has been very popular among adults, not just because they want to have a drink, but they like the opportunity to come in to an exclusive environment with no children or teens.
"Our guests love this experience," she said, noting often the VIP showings sell out in advance of movies in the traditional theatres.
However, she added the company does not plan to offer the service in all of its locations.
As part of the application process, the City of Coquitlam has been asked to weigh in on the plan.
City council recently voted in favour of setting up the public consultation process regarding the application to get feedback from the neighbourhood before providing comment.
Residents living 400 feet from the theatre will be notified of the application.
Mayor Richard Stewart voted against commenting on the application.
He noted there were no residents in the area of the theatre, and he wished council would just opt out of commenting and support the application.
"This is part of entertainment today," Stewart said.
The final decision is ultimately in the hands of the province's Liquor Control and Licensing Branch.
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