New bill would create liquor license for movie theaters

A group of House representatives have sponsored a new bill, HB 1001, to allow theaters to be licensed to sell beer and wine.

Washington liquor statutes already allow various types of licenses, including licenses for restaurants and taverns. Restaurant license fees range from $221 for only beer or wine to $2,000 for spirits, beer and wine, where less than 50 percent of the premises is a dedicated dining room.

Food requirements are attached to these licenses.  There is no food requirement attached to a tavern license. The license fee for a tavern is $200 for beer, $200 for wine, or $400 for both.

At present, there is no specific theater license, although there is a nonprofit arts organization license.

Pursuant to this, nonprofit arts organizations can obtain a liquor license to sell liquor to patrons on the premises at sponsored events, which are approved by the Liquor Control Board.

The act creates a theater license to sell beer, including strong beer or wine, or both, at retail for  consumption on theater premises. The annual fee for such a license is $400. No food requirements are specified.

‘Theater’ is defined as a place where motion pictures or live musical, dance, artistic, dramatic, literary or educational performances are shown.

Sponsors of the plan include representatives Clibborn and Maxwell.


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