Cinema to Become a Public Drinking Ground

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MOVIEGOERS could be allowed to drink alcohol throughout the entire Norwood cinema complex if a bid by its owner Hoyts is successful.

A cinema owned by Hoyts in Norwood may soon see its premise dominated by drinking patrons if the Commissioner of Liquor and Gambling extend its current licence to allow drinking throughout the entire complex. Although now the licence allows drinking only in the foyer area, if the licensees request is granted, movie goers will be allowed to drink throughout the entire complex.

While the application would be financially viable for the owners if approved, it does present some concerns during a time when authorities are trying to get drinking in entertainment districts under control to minimise alcohol fuelled violent incidents.

Read what had to say about the application:

MOVIEGOERS could be allowed to drink alcohol throughout the entire Norwood cinema complex if a bid by its owner Hoyts is successful.

The cinema operator last month applied to the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner to extend its liquor licence to cover the “whole premises”, which includes seven theatres.

The Parade site’s existing licence is for the foyer area and candy bar which has a capacity of 130 patrons.

In the application letter, Hoyts property and facilities administrator Simone Gates said the cinema operator wanted to serve alcohol throughout the complex because the industry was becoming more competitive and customers were “demanding access to a wider range of services”.

“This will give Hoyts the ability to provide a more flexible cinema hire/function experience for its customers by allowing the service of alcohol within its cinemas as well as in the common areas outside these cinemas,” Ms Gates wrote.

The application will be heard by the commissioner on January 23 and objections can be lodged with his office until January 15.


There are concerns that these types of licenses may make it easier for people to abuse alcohol and contribute to other alcohol related problems such as underage drinking. The recent use of alcohol by those aged 14 years and over has increased quite steadily in both South Australia and Australia, although overall there has been a decrease in consumption, according to statistics from the Drug and Alcohol Services SA. Unfortunately this decrease in overall consumption has not resulted in a decrease in alcohol related crimes such as assaults and brawls but to the contrary has contributed to an increase in such unacceptable behaviour.

Cinema complexes are frequented mostly by teenagers and youths which is another cause for concern because these kinds of licenses may make it easier for underage youths to access alcohol. Venues such as these will have to be very vigilant when it comes to enforcing RSA laws. Staff of the cinema complex will have to, like other bar, pub and restaurant staff, undergo responsible service of alcohol training in order to teach them how to serve alcohol in a socially responsible manner. Not only is it the law, but it will ensure that the venue does not gain a bad reputation and lose good customers. These businesses must ensure that they do not become the victims of opportunistic youth or binge drinkers who spot vulnerability in responsible serving of alcohol on the premises.


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