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 RCMP seizes Camp Namegans’ U-Haul truck

Lock and gate damaged at Thetis Lake Campground in View Royal

Multiple earthquakes off Vancouver Island recorded around the world

Five earthquakes overnight on Oct. 21 were measured as ‘strong’

See your great fog images from across Greater Victoria

It was a foggy day today and your cameras captured some beautiful images

Man breaks into Victoria residence while two teens are home

VicPD seek suspect described as Caucasian male in his 50s with long grey and brown hair and stubble

Canada Post strikes leaves small shops in the lurch as holidays approach: CFIB

Rotating strikes began in Victoria, Edmonton, Halifax and Windsor

Crown says man guilty of B.C. girl’s 1978 murder based on alleged confession

Jury hears details of girl’s 1978 murder while Crown says man should be convicted of girl’s murder based on alleged confession.

BCHL alumni has NHL jersey retired by Anaheim Ducks

Paul Kariya played with the Penticton Vees from 1990-1992

CFL playoff picture still muddled heading into weekend action

League revealed last week no fewer than 64 potential playoff permutations

New monitoring of vessel noise impact on endangered whales announced

Federal government to monitor underwater ship and mammal noise in B.C.’s Salish Sea

Used election signs could serve as emergency shelters, B.C. candidate says

Langley Township council hopeful wants to build one-person foul weather shelters for homeless

Liberals write off $6.3 billion in loans as part of money never to be collected

That includes student loans and a $2.6 billion write off that came through Export Development Canada

Trudeau, McKenna to announce compensation for federal carbon plan

Provinces that don’t have a carbon price of at least $20 per tonne of emissions will have Ottawa’s plan forced on them

Most Read