New law allows more theaters to sell alcohol

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- Family night at the movies can now come with a twist. A new law signed by the governor lets more theaters sell alcohol. They can do it even if there are kids in the house.

It's one of America's favorite pastimes. Candy and popcorn while staring at the silver screen. How about throwing some alcohol in the mix?

"You can sit at a table with a kid and have a glass of wine," said parent Christina Butler. "There's no difference between that and in a restaurant."

Apparently, lawmakers don't think there is much of a difference when it comes to movie theaters. The law said they can start selling beer, wine and liquor if they don't have more than 120 seats per screen. And, if they get a liquor license. Theater owners also have to make sure minors can't get a hold of it. Some parents worry that might not be enough.

"I think I'd be more concern on letting my older children go by themselves," said another parent. "As a parent, I'd want to be with them so that I would have control over anything that might happen with the alcohol."

KIMA spoke with the owner of the Grand Cinemas in Sunnyside. He said he needs to go over the bill before making any decisions about alcohol.

Christina said it's ultimately up to parents to make sure kids follow the rules.

"You just have to be a parent and instill in them not to be doing that and it's not the public's responsibility to keep your kids way from away from alcohol," said Christina.

The Orion Theater in Yakima opened in December with a full service restaurant and bar. The difference there is that you have to be at least 21 to get in. Time will tell if other local movie houses will offer something more at the matinee.

The law takes effect at the end of July.