Same Scene Different Venue


I found out this morning that our local Showcase Cinemas has been granted a liquor license. I was angry and disappointed by this. Why do we keep resorting to methods of increasing revenue at a societal cost? Over the past few years our state has legalized the medical use of marijuana and passed the Expanded Gaming Act authorizing three casinos and one slot parlor. We have a state wide lottery system that distributed approximately $945 million in 2015 to 351 towns and cities in the Commonwealth; revenues upon which municipalities now rely. Our state legislates gambling and consuming alcohol because they can be addictive and destructive. Yet as towns struggle to find revenue loosening these restrictions are presented as our only option: a panacea for financial woes.

This scene of loosening restrictions to increase revenue plays out again at our local cinema. I looked forward to the day when I could drop my teenage children off with friends to watch a movie giving them earned independence. But the sale of liquor has me worried. How will this be controlled in the darkness of a theater? Will patrons going to rated G, PG and PG-13 be allowed to buy liquor?

The purpose of government is to protect its people yet our leaders open up new vulnerabilities. If Showcase Cinemas is looking to increase revenue it could try updating its decor and seating, offering new food options and creating pricing packages and promotions that incentivize people to attend. By resorting to alcohol I’ll be looking to spend my money elsewhere.