Cinema-goers in Garston will soon be able to drink beer or wine while watching the latest Hollywood blockbusters.
Vue Watford, on Woodside Leisure Park, hopes to introduce alcoholic beverages to its counters by the end of the month after successfully securing a variation to their licence from Watford Borough Council.
During a meeting of the council’s licensing sub-committee on Friday (August 3), Kam Dosanjh, Vue’s operations manager, said measures were being put in place to combat the risk of alcohol-related problems.
He said: “A few years ago Vue did a lot of surveys with customers to see what they wanted, one of the things that kept cropping up in the top five or six things was they wanted alcohol to take into the cinema.
“We decided that under the right conditions we could make alcohol part of the experience rather than cause extra problems for our managers.
“One of the conditions will be you cannot buy an alcoholic drink unless you have a valid ticket for a performance.
“In Watford buying a drink and a ticket on a Saturday night will cost you £14,that will stop people just coming in to drink.
“I really don’t want to go down the route of promotions so we will keep drinks at premium prices.”
Mr Dosanjh added that only plastic bottles would be used at the 11-screen cinema and the sale of alcohol would cease at 12am or 30 minutes after the last film of the evening has gone in, whichever is earliest.
The cinema will also impose a two drink limit on everybody except in the case of private parties.
Councillor Kareen Hastrick questioned whether the no promotions policy was implemented company-wide or just in Watford.
Mr Dosanjh replied: “I don’t believe in promotions, why would we put our managers under more stress than they already are for something that doesn’t serve our purposes.”
Initially 17 objections were raised by residents, many concerning alcohol related anti-social behaviour, although 15 of these were withdrawn following a forum between Vue bosses and objectors.
Of the two that were not withdrawn only one resident said he wanted his objections to stand, the other person was out of the country and could not be reached.
Councillor Peter Jeffree, chairman of the sub-committee, said: “After consideration the committee has decided to grant the amended application.
“Having considered the application the sub committee is happy that none of the four licensing objectives would be undermined.”
All but two of Vue’s 69 cinemas now have licences to serve alcohol.