Tidemark Theatre looks to expand drinking areas

Allowing patrons to take drinks to their seats and outdoors during intermission will help theatre revenue

  • Mar. 19, 2013 12:00 p.m.

The Tidemark Theatre wants to expand its liquor licence to allow patrons to drink alcohol inside the auditorium and outside in the courtyard.

Currently, guests are only allowed to drink in the lobby, with a limit of 150 people, whereas the auditorium can hold 435 people.

If the Tidemark is successful in its application, patrons will be allowed to bring drinks into the auditorium during a performance and in the courtyard area between the front doors and part of the sidewalk.

The alcohol permitted area would not include the main courtyard between the Tidemark and the library.

The application would, however, also allow alcohol to be consumed backstage, in the green room and in the stage area.

Chris Osborne, the city’s planner, said the Tidemark’s rationale for expanding its liquor licence is that “the lobby gets congested (and) restricting alcohol consumption only to the lobby unduly impacts the manner in which the facility might normally be used.”

Osborne said expanding the Tidemark’s liquor licence may also breathe some life into the downtown core.

“Licensing exterior areas benefits patrons during summer events and animates the street within the cultural downtown core, evoking a greater sense of vibrancy/downtown life.

“The proposal will enhance the experience of both patrons and employees/performers,” said Osborne in a report to council.

As part of the Tidemark’s application to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch, it needs a resolution from city council showing that is supports the Tidemark’s plans.

City staff were recommending that council endorse the application at Tuesday’s council meeting after the Mirror went to press.

The application has received the support of the RCMP.

As well, wrote Osborne, “the expansion of the liquor licence would allow the theatre to make greater use of a potentially significant revenue stream from alcohol sales and continue to provide affordable entertainment.”