Although there are two bills moving through the Legislature that would allow movie houses to serve alcohol, even when minors are present, one of those proposals is not like the other, Vancouver’s Kiggins Theatre warned its supporters on Facebook.
The bill moving through the Senate would allow theaters to serve beer, wine or liquor in an auditorium as long as that theater has fewer than 120 seats per screen. Kiggins, which has been lobbying for a beer and wine license, has more than 120 seats in its auditorium.
The theater brought its cause to Facebook, posting:
“Time to beat the drums Kiggins Army! The Senate has amended the House’s bill to unfairly exclude theaters like ours that have more than 120 seats! Contact your senators to support bill (House Bill) 1001 and NOT (Senate Bill) 5607!”
Senate Bill 5607 would also require the theaters that serve alcohol to provide tabletops for dining in the theater.
In contrast, House Bill 1001, introduced by state Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, would allow theaters to serve beer and wine, and there is no seating limit or dining tabletops required.
Kiggins and the Liberty Theatre in Camas have testified in support of Moeller’s bill in Olympia this session. The Liberty has two theaters — a main auditorium with 350 seats and a smaller theater with just 26 seats.
Moeller’s bill passed the House on a vote of 90-4, and it now heads to the Senate. Senate Bill 5607 passed in the Senate on a vote of 36-13, and it now heads to the House.