A margarita with your popcorn? Red wine with your nachos?
You can toast to that.
Booze is being added to the beverage choices at movie theater concession stands in Tucson.
Century Tucson Marketplace theater, near Interstate 10 and Park Avenue, was approved for a liquor license on March 30, Arizona Department of Liquor records show.
The theater began selling alcohol in April.
AMC Foothills has also been approved for a liquor license at its theater at 7401 N. La Cholla Blvd., state records show.
Across the country, theaters have deviated from the traditional sodas, slushies and coffee options by offering alcohol to their customers, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners.
Roadhouse Cinemas, at 4811 E. Grant, offers recliners, dinner and alcoholic beverages. The Loft Cinema, at 3233 E. Speedway, also serves meals and alcohol.
“Customers really like it,” said Bryan Jeffries, vice president of marketing and promotions for Cinemark, which owns Century Theatres. “This was a natural next step, offering red wine, white wine or margaritas.”
With 340 theaters around the country, Cinemark has added alcohol at 70 sites so far.
“Cinemark has found it a very easy transition,” Jeffries said.
He said some customers had concerns about intoxicated moviegoers.
“The majority of people never leave their seats for a refill,” Jeffries said. “We don’t see people using the theater as a bar.
“There’s an established way people see movies, and part of that is you buy your concessions ahead of time, watch your movie and leave.”
Ryan Noonan, director of corporate communication for AMC Theatres, said the company has added alcohol to about 250 theaters across the country and has not experienced problems with intoxicated guests.
“The environment of a movie theater doesn’t lend itself to multiple drinks,” he said. “The last thing you’re thinking about is getting up and going back for more and missing the movie.”
The addition of alcohol at its Foothill Mall location is only part of the enhancements planned for the north-west-side theater, Noonan said.
Later this year, the theater will undergo a major renovation with improved seating, sight-and-sound amenities and an expanded menu.
“It’s something that AMC has been focused on for nearly a decade,” Noonan said.
“We’re interested in what gets guests excited about coming to the movies.”
Alcohol has in recent years been showing up in places other than bars and restaurants.
Coffee shops and even some beauty salons offer cocktails, industry analysts say.
Adding alcohol to the Foothills Mall theater comes as the retail center is under new ownership and undergoing design concepts for substantial renovations.
Tucson-based Bourn Cos. and FHM Partners LLC bought the mall in December with the hopes of expanding the entertainment venues as well adding office space and hotel uses.
“We’re looking forward to the new additions AMC is bringing to our Foothills Mall theater,” said Alan Tanner, principal with Bourn Cos.
“Quality entertainment offerings are what the community is looking for and lend themselves to a highly desirable environment.”