04/11/2012 03:20 EDT | Updated 06/11/2012 05:12 EDT

B.C. Alcohol In Movie Theatres: Cinemas OK'd For Liquor Licences, But No Kids Allowed

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VICTORIA -- B.C. movie theatres can now get a license to serve alcohol during screenings.

Housing Minister Rich Coleman, who's responsible for liquor laws, says the booze will be restricted to adult-only auditoriums in both movie houses and live event theatres.

He says the theatres must be closed to minors during screenings because in the dark it would be difficult to enforce the rules against under-age drinking.

Coleman says the rules strike the right balance between allowing liquor service at theatres and making sure no minors are drinking.

The change comes after the old rules that banned liquor in movie houses forced the Rio Theatre in Vancouver to lay off staff and give up $40,000 worth of business when it had to back out of a local film festival in January.

Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario allow alcohol in movie theatres, with age restrictions.

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