Wonderland Cinema now serving alcohol
Published 10:29 am Monday, June 22, 2015
Wonderland Cinema is now offering more than soda and popcorn as snacks to theatergoers. Friday, the theater began selling alcoholic beverages.
“People want to drink something other than Coca Cola,” said Wonderland Cinema owner Joe Moore.
The theater has 12 different kinds of beer on tap, as well as a “Smart Bar” drink mixing machine. Twelve-ounce drinks are $3, 16-ounce drinks are $4 and all mixed drinks are $5. There is a limit of two drinks per person, but people are allowed to take drinks directly into any theater. The drink limit is enforced by swiping a driver’s license.
“Even if you’re 80,” explained manager Nikki Elliott. “I still need to see your ID.”
Moore said that offering alcoholic beverages was a natural step in the evolution of the types of drinks offered at movie theaters.
“Fifteen years ago, we didn’t even offer water,” he said. “Now, we brew 16 brands of hot tea in the Wonderland. Five years ago, there would have been only a couple tea bags.”
Moore Theatres owns four local movie theaters, but Wonderland is the first to offer alcohol.
“We try things in one place, and then if it’s well received, we’ll introduce it other places,” Moore said.
He explained that other theaters that have sold alcohol in this format actually report fewer alcohol-related problems, as some people previously tried to sneak in alcohol anyway.
“We have no place where you can go up to the bar and sit down,” Moore said. “It’s not a tavern.”
Since alcohol has just recently been introduced to the theater, there is no way to tell the impact it has had on business. Judging by the reception in other theaters, Moore explained, it should prove fairly lucrative.
“When customers go for entertainment,” he said. “They like to have a beer.”
Now, at Wonderland Cinema, they can.
Wonderland Cinema is located at 402 N. Front Street in Niles.