Marcus Theatres to make push for liquor at West Acres CinemaFARGO – Moviegoers here could soon enjoy a cold beer or cocktail with their popcorn, as Marcus Theatres is considering adding liquor sales as part of multi-million dollar theater renovation plans.
By: Erik Burgess, INFORUM
FARGO – Moviegoers here could soon enjoy a cold beer or cocktail with their popcorn, as Marcus Theatres is considering adding liquor sales as part of multi-million dollar theater renovation plans.
Marcus will make a presentation to the city’s liquor control board on Wednesday, detailing the company’s plan to add a Take Five Lounge to the West Acres Cinema, 4101 17th Ave. SW.
Marcus has liquor guidelines which limit consumption to two drinks per customer, and theaters aren't allowed to offer discounts on liquor with any other concession item.
The renovation plans also include ripping out all of the chairs in the West Acres Cinema and Century Cinema and upgrading them, said Bob Menefee, vice president of marking and communication for Marcus Theatres.
The Century Cinema, 3931 9th Ave SW, will get all new “DreamLounger” electric recliners in every auditorium, and the lobby will also be redone, featuring a new vending stand and self-service soda, Menefee said.
The West Acres Cinema will get electric recliners in the Ultrascreen auditorium only, and “significantly upgraded” seats in the rest of the auditoriums, Menefee said.
The plans also include upgrading the West Acres Ultrascreen, and installing a new Ultrascreen at the Century Cinema, Menefee said.
The Take Five Lounge, which is featured in six other Marcus theaters nationwide, features an “upscale adult environment,” according to a business plan that Marcus submitted to the city.
Menefee said adding the lounge, which would serve pizzas, sandwiches and liquor, depends on if the city is willing to give them a liquor license.
The liquor license Marcus is seeking costs $105,000, but the company's business plan calls that "cost prohibitive," and would like the city to lower the initial fee to $10,000. The city's liquor board will take up the matter at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in the City Commission room of City Hall.
He said local ordinance dictates whether or not moviegoers can drink alcohol in the auditoriums, or just in the lounge.
The other renovations still need to happen, regardless of the liquor license, he said.
Marcus acquired the two theaters about five years ago, and Menefee said he’s not certain the last time they were upgraded.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Erik Burgess at (701) 241-5518