Theaters prep for debut of legal alcohol for movie-goers across Oklahoma

By: Rick Maranon


TULSA, Okla. - Quick facts:

  • Alcohol sales will soon debut for movie-goers across the state.
  • Governor Mary Fallin signed the new law into effect earlier this month.
  • The change will take place in October.


Movie theaters across Oklahoma are preparing for a big premiere, not another film, but for the debut of legal alcohol sales for movie-goers.

In October, movie theaters will be allowed to sell alcohol on-site for consumption during a movie.

Currently, alcohol sales are only permitted in areas that are off-limits to minors.

The new law would require alcohol to be served in a separate bar area instead of at a concession stand with popcorn and candy.

Movie theaters chains across the state are celebrating the law that Governor Mary Fallin signed earlier this month.

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Many major chains already sell alcohol at their theaters in other states.

The Circle Cinema in Tulsa has not had liquor on-site for sale in its entire 80 year history, but they tell FOX23 they are applying for a liquor license and plan to phase in beer, wine and spirit sales over time.

Blake Smith, owner of the Admiral Twin and Village 8 Cinemas, told FOX23 the movie theater industry needed to have alcohol sales on-site in Oklahoma to compete with streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, who are pushing for new releases to be made available at home the same time they're released in theaters.

Smith said he isn't in a hurry to put in a bar area for liquor sales, but he is studying his options for Village 8.

As for the Admiral Twin, circumstances are a bit different. It is illegal in Oklahoma to have an open container of alcohol behind the wheel of a car.

Circle Cinema has employees all over the age of 21, but Village 8 has teenagers behind the counter, and Smith said that could complicate things in the way of having to hire someone who isn't a minor to sell alcohol at the bar-concession area.

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