Politics & Government

No alcohol in Macon movie theaters? Macon mayor casts swing vote on push to ban booze

Here are some of the proposed amendments to Macon’s alcohol code

The Macon Bibb County Commission is considering various amendments to its alcohol code.
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The Macon Bibb County Commission is considering various amendments to its alcohol code.

A measure that would have prevented Macon movie theaters from selling alcohol was nixed Tuesday in a close vote.

Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert was the tiebreaker for a County Commission vote that comes a month after a request to sell beer and wine at the AmStar 16 movie theater was denied.

The mayor’s swing vote on Tuesday night was made after the vote was tied 4-4 for the ordinance that would have prohibited movie theaters from applying for alcohol beverage licenses.

Reichert joined Commissioners Al Tillman, Scotty Shepherd, Larry Schlesinger and Virgil Watkins in voting against the ban.

Those in favor of the ban were Commissioners Joe Allen, Bert Bivins, Valerie Wynn and Elaine Lucas. Commissioner Mallory Jones did not attend the commission meeting.

Allen and Wynn said they do not want Macon to become another place where alcohol is served in cinemas since so many children go there to watch movies.

“This is the one place I’d like to say that we can still go and enjoy and not have someone that’s had a few beverages with their meal and then comes in has another few beverages sitting next to you and becomes obnoxious,” Wynn said.

Tillman said it’s unfair to single out movie theaters when other family-friendly environments, including Chuck E. Cheese’s, bowling alleys and sporting events are allowed to serve alcohol.

Southern Theatres, the operator of AmStar 16, has requested an appeal hearing over their alcohol license, said Chris Floore, assistant to the county manager for Public Affairs.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, by early 2017 alcohol was already being sold at more than 400 locations of three largest movie chains in the U.S.