Stating, as the New Democrats did in a Wednesday press release, that provincial changes to allow movie patrons to drink liquor "will help address issues that have been plaguing local movie theatres" is overstating it a bit.
It's going to take a lot more than the ability to serve liquor to help turn around an industry that is fighting pirated films available online, pay-per-view TV and services like Netflix — all which already let people to watch shows in the comfort of their livingrooms with a drink in hand, if they choose.
But it was time that the province modernized its laws in this regard, despite fears by some that allowing theatres to serve alcohol in "adult only auditoriums and adjacent lobbies" will mean a night at the movies will be spoiled by a bunch of slobbering drunks.
"When they're showing a film, if there's only adults, they can actually take their drink to their seat," said Minister Rich Coleman. "If they're just going to a normal live event or film festival where children will be in attendance . . . they'll be able to have a drink in the lobby, but not take it to their seats."
Theatres will be required, as restaurants similarly are, to adhere to a multitude of rules that will essentially try to govern over-consumption and if they are found to be operating outslde these guidelines, their licenses will be yanked.
Licencees, managers and servers will be required to take a Serving It Right course, which teaches how to recognize signs of impairment, responsible beverage policies and issues of legal liability.
So catching a movie shouldn't become be a free-for-all by drunken louts — just as it isn't at hockey games where children attend and adults are already allowed to drink beer.
What it will do is give a struggling industry, which includes two theatres in Kamloops that pay taxes, the opportunity for a new revenue stream, both by way of the liquor sales and the potential for new patrons who might choose to attend and enjoy a glass of wine with their movie popcorn.
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by editor Robert Koopmans, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, news editor Mike Cornell or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.