The BCCLA is asking the Province to change the Liquor Control and Licensing Act and its regulations to make it possible to enjoy a drink and a movie at the same time. Recent controversies involving the Rio Theatre and the Vancouver International Film Festival theatre have brought the issue to the attention of the Association.
“We find it hard to imagine that the government’s intent is to prohibit venues that are limited to those 19 and older from showing movies, especially at cultural theatres like the Rio and the Vancouver International Film Festival theatre,” noted Holmes. “We’re asking the government to ask themselves why you can go to a strip show and have a drink, go dancing and have a drink, go to a hockey game and have a drink, but not go to a movie and have a drink. It simply doesn’t make any sense.”
The government’s main justification for the regulations in relation to movie theatres has been the risk of adults purchasing alcohol and, in a darkened theatre, passing the alcohol to someone who is under age. The BCCLA argues that in venues where admission is restricted to those 19 plus, the concern is misplaced.
“You can’t pass a drink to someone under 19 if there’s nobody under 19 in the theatre,” notes Holmes. “We think that everyone is on side with the idea that adults, with other adults, in a licensed venue, should be able to choose their preferred form of legal entertainment without interference from the government. While I’m sure we’re all Canucks fans, if a person wants to watch a movie on a big screen instead of hockey on a big screen, why is the Liquor Control and Licensing Board telling them their choice is illegal?
Robert Holmes, Q.C., President, 604 838 6856
David Eby, Executive Director, 778 865 7997
Corrine Lea, Rio Theatre, 604 723 282