The New York State Liquor Authority relaxed rules that had kept exhibitors from serving alcohol at their theatres. Up to now, theatres could obtain a license to serve alcohol for consumption in a lobby bar or during screenings under the condition that they also operated a full kitchen (a la Alamo Drafthouse). The new rules allow moviegoers to partake during screenings without the exhibitor having to offer full-service dining.
Enhanced concessions offerings including beer and wine are an important factor in luring moviegoers back to theatres. New York had been one of the few remaining states to impose restrictions on alcohol sales. The Big Apple is also the second-largest box office market in the U.S., and this rule change is being hailed as a potential boon to local exhibitors.