Old Law Means Boise Classic Movies Can No Longer Pour Alcohol at Egyptian Theater
Maybe you went to see a Boise Classic Movies showing of Christmas Vacation, It's A Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story or Die Hard at The Egyptian over the holidays and wondered "Wait? Why is there eggnog this year? No mulled wine? None of those awesome Christmas ales?!"
No, you didn't miss the bar when you walked in. The group that shows iconic movies at the historic Downtown Boise theater got a slap on the wrist from the Alcohol Beverage Control Bureau of the Idaho State Police and was told they were breaking a law that was established in 2006. It's part of the Idaho Administrative Code banning movie theaters from serving beer or wine if there are attendees under the age of 21 present.
At this point you might be scratching your head, because you're probably like me. I've only been to The Flicks once and I know I ordered a glass of red wine to drink during Black Swan. And I'm almost to embarrassed to admit this out loud, but my fiancé and I bought VIP tickets for the Peanuts Movie so we could have beer during our showing at Village Cinema. So what gives?
According to the Boise Weekly, The Flicks and another theater in Ketchum were grandfathered in when the law was passed so they could continue serving once it went into effect. As for the Village, they get away with it because there is a completely separate entrance for the VIP balconies that only guests over 21 can access. Having that 21+ section allows them to serve beer, wine and cocktails during their screenings.
The good people at Boise Classic Movies really miss "beer and a movie" and really feel like they got the raw end of the deal. They've always had the proper city permits to serve beer and wine. They never had a complaint or infraction. And really? The Egyptian isn't actually a movie theater. It's an event venue that also hosts concerts, plays and lectures (all those types of events are still allowed to serve alcohol.) With no problems of mixing families, beer and wine in their four year history, BCM won't limit their audience to 21+. So they're asking for your help in getting the term "movie theater" redefined in Idaho. Right now ABC says any establishment that shows a movie is a "movie theater" but BCM only shows under 40 movies a year. Big theaters show double the amount of movies in just a day.
They're asking you to write a letter to your state legislator to ask them to define a "movie theater" as an establishment that shows at least 200 movies a year. They have a sample letter and a link to find out your legislator is HERE.
By the way the reason the reason became an issue is because someone from the city contacted the ABC with a question about an adult-themed movie BCM showed in 2016 and the changes coming to the obscenity clause that got Village Cinema in hot water for serving drinks during screenings when the first Fifty Shades of Grey movie came out. The nature of the film was ok, but the question tipped off ABC about alcohol sales during movies at The Egyptian.