St. Charles aldermen recommend allowing Charlestowne 18 movie theater to sell alcohol

Classic Cinemas Charlestowne 18 movie theater is moving ahead with plans to include liquor in its moviegoing experience.

At their meeting Monday, aldermen on the St. Charles City Council's Government Operations Committee unanimously recommended creating a license that would allow a movie theater to sell alcohol. They also unanimously recommended approving a liquor license application for Classic Cinemas Charlestowne 18 movie theater.

The full City Council will now vote on both items at its Dec. 2 meeting. Classic Cinemas currently holds a liquor license at several of their other theatres, including in Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Fox Lake, and North Riverside.

During the meeting, St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina spoke highly of the movie theater and Classic Cinemas CEO Chris Johnson, who attended the meeting. Rogina said Charlestowne 18 movie theater continues to be a "stabilizing force" at the Charlestowne Mall property.

"I am very much in support of this," Rogina said.

Charlestowne 18 wants to sell canned beer, canned wine and canned spirits, general manager Randall Pollock said in a memo. The movie theater does not plan on selling alcohol until the beginning of 2020.

City staff has recommended the creation of a new liquor license that would allow movie theaters to sell alcohol. Movie theaters would have to verify that every patron wanting to consume alcohol is at least 21 years old.

In addition, the containers in which the alcoholic beverages are served must be of a different color, size and design than those in which nonalcoholic beverages are served. Also, the movie theater cannot serve or deliver more than alcoholic beverages to a customer at a time and a person can't have more than two alcoholic beverages in their possession at one time.

Also, no alcoholic beverages can be served until the movie theater is open and no alcoholic beverages can be served more than an hour before the first movie or after midnight each day or after the conclusion of the last movie of the day. The ordinance is similar to rules in other communities.