NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The License Commission has given the North Adams Movieplex permission to serve beer and wine in the theater.
The commission heard from theater manager Scott Ingalls and attorney F. Sydney Smithers on Tuesday to discuss the beer and wine application.
"The set up is very much like other theaters," Smithers said. "... This is a real service to the community and will serve as an additional attraction to persuade patrons to attend the theater. As you know theaters are coming out of their quarantine period."
Cinemas have been closed since the governor's emergency order in mid-March shutting down indoor venues to contain the novel coronavirus. The state moved into Phase 3 of its four-phase reopening this week, allowing theaters to begin reopening with restrictions. The theater has not set a opening date other than "sometime in July," according to its Facebook page. In the meantime, it was selling popcorn and concessions up until June 18, when it ceased sales to begin preparing for reopening.
Smithers said the plan is to install two beer and two wine dispensers at the concession stand. Drinks would be served in cups that could be brought into the individual theaters.
There will be no wait service.
Commissioner Peter Breen asked that only one drink at a time be served to a person. He also asked that those who wish to order a drink are given some sort of wristband.
"People would really have one drink maybe two it is not like they are sitting at a bar," he said. "If someone is walking around with a wristband, it is an easier way to check."
Ingalls said he had already planned to use these two practices and folks who order a drink will have to show identification for age and will be given a wristband. He added the server would also check their movie ticket to ensure that they are actually in the theater to see a movie -- not just to order a drink.
The individual theaters are regularly checked during showings, he said, and staff will monitor who has these wristbands on to make sure there is no underage drinking.
Ingalls said employees will be TIPs, or Training for Intervention Procedures, certified and all of his employees are over age 18 so they can serve alcohol. He said if they were to ever hire someone younger, they would not serve and management would be on staff.
The prices would be similar to restaurants: $6 for a glass of beer and $8 for a glass of wine.
Service would only be during regular business hours and would stop at 10:30 p.m. Ingalls said there is no intention open a bar in the waiting area and that patrons will not be served in the lobby while they are waiting for a movie to start.
He asked if it would be possible to extend serving hours on occasions when they want to hold midnight showings.
The commission said this would be allowable but Ingalls would have to come before the commission beforehand to seek permission.
"We haven't done that in a while, this is a sleepy town, so in reality there wouldn't be a midnight showing," Ingalls said. "But it is good to know we can come to ask you."
The theater has in the past done midnight opening-day showings for highly anticipated films but not in some time.
The commission will refer its recommendation to the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.
In other business, the commission approved Grazie's application to expand its seating area to Center Street. The city has shut down a section of the street between the parking lot entrances to allow for more outdoor seating to provide ample room for social distancing. The commission has already approved a number of restaurants for outdoor seating service during the pandemic.
"I think the city is working with them and I don't have any questions or concerns," Breen said.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to email@example.com.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city is finally getting a new website designed to be far more user-friendly than the current one. It's set to be launched on Aug. 24.
The city's website is more than a decade old — ancient in internet terms — and hasn't had much in the way of upgrades since.
"The current city website has a lot of shortcomings. First and foremost is security," said Mark Pierson, the city's chief information officer. "The site is very vulnerable, it is hard to navigate, it is not modern at all. You cannot resize this for a tablet, a phone, it's very clumsy."
He told the City Council on Tuesday that editing the site is extremely difficult, the content management system is limited, it has a lot bugs and is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, something the city is under order from the Department of Justice to fix.
Peter Oleskiewicz was nominated by Councilor Wayne Wilkinson and elected by unanimous decision. The owner of Desparedo's Mexican Restaurant was 103 votes short for a seat on the nine-member council last November.
click for more
At a meeting in late July, Zachery Feury, project coordinator in the Office of Community Development, gave the commission a presentation on more refined plans for the city's application to the Shared Streets and Spaces grant program.
click for more
The class of 2020's saying is "Time 2 Make History," something this class has certainly done already: the first Drury class go fully online for learning, to have a drive-by graduation, and to have two graduations.
click for more
Instead of talking about the challenges the global pandemic has created for the class, the country, and the world, Harrington talked about some of the class's successes and thanked all those who helped along the way.
click for more