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

West Shore resident, local officer encourages women to take control of their safety

Kris Greffard is posting short videos with safety tips for women using local trails and parks

Point Ellice House exhibit offers new lens into colonial history

The new ‘Politics of luxury’ display studies the wealthy O’Reilly family from several angles

Police and Indigenous communities pull together in 10-day canoe journey

Victoria Police Department, Ministry of Children and Family Development took part in Pulling Together Canoe Journey

Saanich Police receive another report of a cougar sighting

The big cat was spotted in the area near Saanich Road and Blanshard Street

Nearly a dozen coonhound puppies and their mother to reunite at Saanich park

Dogs’ former foster family initiated one-year reunion plans

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Most Read