License means Alberni theatre won’t lose out on booze

They've made do with special event licenses so far but hosting more events has prompted Portal Players to apply for a liquor license.

Capitol Theatre manager Elliot Drew wants to be able to offer more than pop in the building's upstairs lounge. The theatre has applied to the city for a liquor license.

An increase in the number of events at the Capitol Theatre has prompted Portal Players Dramatic Society to apply to the city for a liquor license.

“We’ve been working on the license for about a year now,” theatre manager Elliot Drew said.

“We submitted the application just before Christmas and the city is considering it now.”

The license would apply to the theatre’s upstairs lounge, where patrons will have to be age 19 and over to be served alcohol.

The license would enable the theatre to offer full bar service instead of just beer and wine at special events.

But an option exists where the whole theatre may be closed to people under 19 years old for special occasions, and alcohol could be served upstairs and down.

The theatre can serve liquor at up to 24 special events per year at a cost of $100 per license.

More  events have been hosted there lately though – nine this month alone, and Portal Players could conceivable use up 24 events before Christmas, Drew said.

“We knew we were headed in the direction of applying for a license,” he said.

“It just makes more sense economically for us to do it that way.”

Theatres in other Island locales offer both food and alcohol through a restaurant primary license, but that isn’t practical here, Drew said.

“We’ll be going with a liquor primary license.”

In another development, the theatre’s new seats are almost finished being re-furbished, and will be installed this summer.

The new seats came from a former theatre in Campbell River, the cost of which amounted to “a very reasonable price that bordered on a donation,” Drew said.

The new seats are a significant upgrade over the old ones in more ways than one.

“We’ll be able to move away from general ticket sales and pre-sell seats,” Drew said.

“You’ll know exactly where you will be sitting.”

The old seats are being offered for sale locally.

“They’re in good shape and will make a great conversation piece,” Drew said.

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