And representatives of the cinema chain promised that supervision wouldn’t be a problem as their staff already use high-tech night vision goggles to keep an eye on what’s going on.
Falkirk Council’s licensing board heard that the cinema in Falkirk’s retail park will sell a “very limited range” of about six bottled beers and ciders, pre-mixed tins of gin and tonic; vodka and coke; and Pimms and lemonade – all of which would be decanted into clear plastic.
The cinema previously had a licence to sell alcohol which was surrendered in 2013 – but this time aound, patrons will be able to buy a drink and take it into the screening with them.
Solicitor Richard Taylor, representing the company, said Cineworld’s cinema’s in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen – as well as throughout England – already sold alcoholic drinks without any problems.
Mr Taylor said: “It’s not an issue anywhere else – interestingly, the highest demand for alcohol is when we screen live events such as the National Ballet, the Bolshoi, the National Theatre and that sort of thing where we get a ‘gin and tonic’ crowd.”
Councillors were concerned that some patrons would over-indulge. However, Mr Taylor reminded them that this was “a premium-priced product” so people were unlikely to buy more than one.
Councillor Robert Bissett said the application “did not sit right” with him and he, along with Provost Billy Buchanan did not support it.
Mr Bissett said: “If you’re having a nice day out with your family you don’t want to be sitting beside people drinking alcohol.
“If I’d wanted that experience, I’d go to the pub.”
Mr Taylor said it was more about people having one drink while waiting for the film to start, it was popular with customers and did not cause problems anywhere else.
No objections were made to the applications and there were no concerns raised by either the licensing standards team or Police Scotland.
Licensing Board convener Niall Coleman said the cinema had addressed his concerns and supported the application which was granted at yesterday’s (Wednesday) virtual meeting by five votes to two.