Community backs booze at the Roxy

But city council stalls on granting theatre necessary approval

The first local test of a new provincial law to allow drinking in movie theatres shows the community is generally in support of the idea.

Quadra Village’s Roxy Theatre is the first in Greater Victoria to apply for the new licence, and the public got to air their feelings about the application at a public hearing last Thursday.

There is a real desire to see the Roxy survive, said Coun. Ben Isitt, speaking to the sentiments expressed by a majority of presenters to council.

Some people also expressed concerns about opening another drinking establishment in the neighbourhood.

“On balance it makes sense for the community to support this mom-and-pop theatre,” said Isitt, who is the liaison for the Hillside Quadra neighbourhood. He is also a parent who lives nearby.

More than a dozen letters to council solidified support for the liquor application.

“I have been a patron since my high school days in the early and mid-90s, and like many Victorians have a bond with the business,” Ryan Wood wrote.

“Through the acquisition of a liquor licence the theatre can make up for some financial pitfalls and continue to be a viable form of entertainment.”

Others spoke to their desire for more options for patrons and the need to keep Victoria vibrant for young people.

“Any step towards less arcane and unnecessarily restrictive laws surrounding liquor in the province is a step in the right direction!” wrote Kim Persley, who owns a home in the area.

“We lose our local young adults (my 24-year-old daughter being an example …) to Vancouver and anywhere else because Victoria is boring,” wrote Karen Kennedy.

Only Philip and Judy Bogod wrote a letter urging council to reject the application.

A movie house usually has no intermission to serve drinks, and the lobby area at the Roxy is too cramped, they wrote.

“It would be unpleasant to have the smell of alcohol in the theatre itself while a movie was playing; even worse if somebody carrying alcohol were to spill it on another patron in the dark.”

After listening to input from the public, council postponed making a decision, but directed staff to prepare a recommendation in support of the application.

Did you know?

• In April, the provincial government made a change to its liquor regulations allowing movie theatres to apply for a licence to serve alcohol during adult-only films.

• Michael Sharpe, who owns the Roxy Independent Arts House Theatre in Quadra Village, is seeking a licence to be able to serve liquor seven days a week between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m.

rholmen@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Victoria-bound plane slides off icy Edmonton runway

Crew, passengers had to disembark via bridge stairs

VIDEO: Hundreds gather in Victoria as part of global Women’s March for equality

‘End Violence Against Women’ march theme for 2019

Esquimalt needs urgent health care facility, mayor says

A severe doctor shortage is leaving Esquimalt residents scrambling for health care

Student Voice: Saanich students launch competitive robotics team

The Reynolds Reybots plan to share their skills with middle schools

WATCH: Medieval fighters train in Colwood

Fighters are gearing up for world championships in medieval combat

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

Most Read