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Council to examine liquor sales at movie theater

<p>File Photo</p>

File Photo

The Naperville Liquor Commission Thursday afternoon recommended a request from the AMC Showplace Naperville 16 to serve liquor at its theater.

The theater is located at 2815 Showplace Drive in Naperville.

The measure will now go to the City Council for discussion. If approved by the Council, the license agreement would allow the theater to introduce its “MacGuffins” concept — a full-service bar that the theater group has utilized throughout the country.

Noel MacDonald, vice president of food and beverage for the AMC group, proposed the concept to the Liquor Commission in October and said that similar concepts with alcohol service are already operating at some of its theaters in the Chicago area including in Lake in the Hills, Mt. Prospect and Chicago Ridge.

“We see this as an entertainment option that allows us to continue to be competitive,” MacDonald told the commission earlier. “Liquor only makes up about 10 to 15 percent of our total food and beverage revenue, and only 2 to 3 percent of our total revenue.”

City attorney Mike DiSanto outlined a new “Class V’ movie theater liquor license for the commission before the vote which included a number of restrictions, including carding individuals for every purchase made, allowing only one drink per person and having the beverages in special clear containers to distinguish them from regular soft drinks.

“Theater employees will also have to be trained in order to identify either patrons who have been over-served or minors,” DiSanto said. “We also are requiring wrist bands be worn for all those who drink, so that when people step away from the bar it’s easy to identify those who have been approved for drinking.”

DiSanto said the wrist band requirement could be waived at the end of one year.

The commission also said there should be a cap on the number of Class V licenses.

Attorney for AMC Robert Anderson said AMC would not object to any of the restrictions.

“We have 53 of these types of theaters already in the country, and we look forward to working with Naperville on this issue,” Anderson said.

DiSanto said the Council would likely give the ordinance a first reading next month.

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