A movie and a beer? Regal theater granted approval to sell alcoholic beverages

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East Hawaii residents might soon be able to ask for the wine list while ordering a tub of popcorn.

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East Hawaii residents might soon be able to ask for the wine list while ordering a tub of popcorn.

Regal Cinemas, which operates the movie theater at Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo, was approved to sell beer and wine and recently cleared its final inspection with the Hawaii County Liquor Commission.

Liquor Control Director Gerald Takase said he didn’t know when Regal Cinemas plans to start selling alcohol, but he noted the company might just need to pay a fee.

A theater manager referred a reporter to Regal’s media office, which didn’t respond to a phone call.

Takase said Regal has sold beer and wine at its Keauhou theater since 2014 without any violations.

Prices at Keauhou range from $5-$6 for a 12-ounce beer and $7 for 6.3 ounces of wine, according to a report to the Liquor Commission. The beverages are poured into clear plastic cups.

The beer list there includes 12 brands, from Coors and Bud Light to Kona Brewing Co.; the wine list offers four choices.

Theaters have been adding beer and wine to their concessions to help boost sagging ticket sales.

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Regal reported $40,575 in beer and wine sales from July 2015 through June 30, 2016, and $21,279 in sales from July through Dec. 31, 2016 at the Keauhou theater, according to Liquor Control.

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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