NY Movie Theaters Let the Booze Flow

By Jason Gotlieb 09/28/11

Dry since prohibition, New York's movie theaters are finally getting the green light to serve alcohol.

The future for Manhattanite movie-goers? Photo via

New Yorkers will now be able to booze-while-they-watch in movie theaters all over the state. Ever since the end of prohibition, all New York theaters have allowed alcoholic drinks to be served—except for those showing movies. Now a new state law will allow cinema-goers to bring alcohol to their seats, so long as the theater has a licensed restaurant on premise and tables at each seat. The law has come about in part due to the lobbying efforts of Matthew Viragh, who recently opened the Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which features a full-service restaurant. Viragh previously had a movie theater in Virginia and has been working to bring a similar concept to New York. A spokesman for national chain AMC Theaters indicates that they're intending to muscle in on the action, as the New York Post reports that the AMC Angelika Film Center in Manhattan is considering adding restaurants that serve alcohol: "We're excited about the possibility of bringing AMC Dine-in Theaters to our guests in New York." Cathy Peake, spokeswoman for Assemblyman Joe Lentol, who sponsored the recent bill, asserted that, "Adults aren't enjoying going to the movies [which cater to] adolescents." Of course, those adults who are in recovery may not agree—New York's movie theaters have long been a place to seek refuge from America's alcohol culture.

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Jason Gotlieb is a programmer, software developer, and writer living in New York. You can find him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter.