Local Theater Center To Offer Beer And Wine

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Local cinema-goers will soon be able to enjoy the combination of a movie, beer or glass of wine and even a meal.

Last week, the Woodland Park City Council granted a new beer and wine liquor license to the operators of the Gold Hill Theatres at the Gold Hill Square North shopping center. The plan is somewhat modeled after the Kimball’s Theatres in downtown Colorado Springs. 

According to business owner Edward Shirk, the Gold Hill theaters has gone through an extensive renovation and expansion development. But with the costs associated with converting to a complete digital film setup, and the costs of adding more theater areas and films and doing extensive renovation, he said the owners want to increase their revenue opportunities.

As a result, they plan to offer a limited amount of beer and wine sales to movie customers, but will be selective in how this is handled during the airing of family-oriented films. Beer and wine products, with a proposed two-drink per film limit per person, will allow adults to consume alcoholic beverages while viewing a movie. And in the near future, the movie house may partner with the Carmen Tapas Grill and Bar restaurant next door in the offering of special meals for Gold Hill film patrons. These would consist of a special meal/ movie menu, according to the business owner, with the food being delivered to the film patron. 

Shirk lauded the strong community support he has received for the expansion and improvements undertaken at Gold Hill Theatres. But he noted that his business faces rising costs.
“We are a business. We are trying to improve our sustainability,” said Shirk. The theatre center owner didn’t get any arguments from the city council.

A few leaders, though, questioned how this arrangement would be handed during the showing of family-oriented films attended by many kids. “It is a trough situation,” said Shirk, who cited the importance of not offending any families. Under their proposed policy, he said no beer and wine could be consumed in the lobby area.

But he said that providing beer and wine drinks at movie theatres across the country is becoming more prevalent. He touted the success of this arrangement at the Kimball’s Theatres in downtown Colorado Springs.

And former councilman Terry Harrison labeled the combination of movies, beer, wine and food as a good idea. “I think it is a growing trend,” said Harrison, who described the many improvements made at the facility by Shirk. Plus, he stressed that the town has already opened the door for allowing the consuming of wine at other businesses, such as hair salons. Woodland Park Police Chief Bob Larson said he didn’t see any problems with the liquor license plan.