City Council denies alcohol sales at Bakersfield movie theater

City Council denies alcohol sales at Bakersfield movie theater

The Bakersfield City Council unanimously rejected a plan to sell alcohol at Reading Cinema at the Valley Plaza Mall.

During its Feb. 15 meeting, the City Council heard a plan that would permit the sale of beer and wine at the movie theater, but some of the details of the plan were news to the council members, according to The Bakersfield Californian.

Michael Ayaz, who represents the theater, told the council that the theaters would undergo significant changes and would reduce seating capacity from 3,200 seats to 1,500 in order to accommodate alcohol and food sales. Council members said this was plan differed from one presented to the Planning Commission for a conditional use permit.

Neighbors around the mall were also mounted an opposition campaign against the proposal.

While the council voted against the measure, Councilman Willy Rivera said he was supportive of the idea. 

“I think it’s so unfortunate that we convince ourselves that folks are not responsible enough to appreciate things like this and in the process end up where we are this evening,” Rivera said.


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