City leaders to Liquor Board: Leave Central Cinema alone

In a letter to the state Liquor Control Board signed by all nine City Councilmembers, Mayor McGinn and City Attorney Pete Holmes, city leaders ask the Board to reconsider a 2010 rule that could jeopardize Central Cinema’s family-friendly business model.

The letter says that Central Cinema (a CDNews sponsor) has been a “tremendous asset” in the city’s Safer Union project by creating a family-friendly destination in an area that has seen lots of drug and crime activity in recent decades. Seeing Central Cinema close “would be a terrible outcome,” they said.

The new rules were created without consulting or even notifying Central Cinema, which renewed its license twice since the rule changed without the Board mentioning it until recent months. While Central Cinema is not likely the target of the new rule, they could be caught up in it anyway.

“Their fear of Cinemas is based on their fear of a typical mall multi-plex installing beer taps next to the popcorn machine at the concession stand,” Central Cinema’s Kevin Spitzer told CDNews a few weeks ago. “I believe they just didn’t think the rule all of the way through.”

City leadership doesn’t think so either. They note Central Cinema’s six years of operation without incident and list several steps the theater takes to make sure servers can appropriately monitor alcohol consumption.

The city asks the Liquor Board to make changes to the rule that allow establishments like Central Cinema to continue operating, an outcome Spitzer prefers to the creation of a new state law as proposed by two Vancouver legislators. They also asked the Board not to enforce the rule until changes can be made. Budget cuts have slowed the Liquor Board’s rule change process significantly.

Below is the city’s letter to the Liquor Board. Let’s get a show of support. Comment below if you would sign this letter, too.

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23 thoughts on “City leaders to Liquor Board: Leave Central Cinema alone

  1. Just the fact that they’ve renewed twice under the new rule w/o any action being taken should undermine the Board’s position.

  2. I definitely am in support of this letter and it’s intent. Central Cinema has been a model business and community business citizen with positive influence on the Central District.

  3. Central Cinema is an asset to our neighborhood, I would be happy to sign such a letter.

  4. Thank yous to The Mayor, Carl Marquardt, Richard Conlin and all the staff. They have been understanding, helpful, and good people to talk with about what is happening and what needs to be done. We are filing our Petition for Amendment today and would not have figured out how exactly to do that without their help.

  5. i would like very much to be a signer of this letter in support of central cinema, a business i often frequent. kevin and kate are doing a terrific job.

  6. Glad sanity has ruled and the city did not revert to it’s same old same old treatment of the CD. But lets wait and see what the State will do. Given past actions and how the CD is viewed and treated by outside government….. well lets see.

  7. The rule could be easily amended to allow the same area to be used by minors in alternation. It seems unnecessarily heavy-handed.

  8. And so would many of my friends since we frequent the place. I love that there is somewhere I can drink, have a meal, be entertained, and not drive. CC is a great addition to the neighborhood.

  9. “Central Cinema has been a model business”

    I”m assuming you use the word ‘business’ loosely here.

  10. Kikki, don’t know what you’re talking about here. Just trying to be funny? In case you’re confused, a business is usually an establishment that charges money for products or services, which I believe is what Central Cinema does.

  11. as I said: Long Live Central Cinema!

    It’s a bright light and fun place adding much to the vibrancy of the district.

  12. Id also sign this letter to modify the rules to allow Central Cinema to continue its present operations as it is a benefit to the community.

  13. Really glad to see the City standing up for and with Central Cinema and the neighborhood at large.