• By Maria McKinley   |   Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 10:16 pm   |     |   Print   |   Permalink

There have been many movies made over the years that deal with the subject matter of wine. The movie Sideways comes to mind. Check it out if you haven’t seen it or watch it again if you have. It’s hilarious, beautiful, poignant, and unforgettable. Pinot Noir is forever grateful. We’ve been waiting for The Billionaire’s Vinegar for, shall we say, forever! Come on, Hollywood. What’s the story here?

What about wine at the movies? We’re kind of sheltered here in southern Indiana. You have to go to one of them big cities to see a movie with fancy food and a glass of wine. You could maybe sit in a recliner with your feet up. And have a waiter come by and take your order. At the movie theater, mind you. Well, you don’t have to go that far anymore.

Pamela McClintock writes in The Hollywood Reporter, “Concessions [at the movies] are becoming more important as attendance numbers remain flat or decline.”  Regal Theatres, with over 175 locations, and Cinemark theaters at 100 locations (two of the top three U.S. movie theaters) are serving alcohol and not just during “R” rated movies. McClintock says in the past two years, 32 states have made changes to their state and local laws which now allows alcohol service in auditoriums. Regal Theatres manages twelve theaters in Indiana and Cinemark three but neither offer bar service in Indiana.

AMC Theatres is the largest movie chain in the U.S. Six years ago, only six of their theaters offered alcoholic beverages. By March, 2017, over 200 AMC theaters across the country now contain an on-site bar. McClintock reports at an AMC movie house located in Santa Monica, a [nothing-special] glass of chardonnay will cost you $14. Dan Aykroyd’s vodka was used to make a specialty drink for last year’s Ghostbusters release. Over 110,000 drinks were sold. Alcoholic beverages are making a difference in lost revenue from declining ticket sales.

According to AMC’s website, there are 25 theaters in Indiana. Six are licensed to serve wine, beer, and spirits. There are four in Indianapolis, one in Evansville, and renovations to the existing theater in Muncie will offer bar service by the fall. The online beverage menus state that selections of alcoholic beverages vary by regions but that wine is available in red or white. I would hope at those prices, you might have more of a choice than just the color.

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