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Oakdale gives thumbs up to alcohol at movie theater

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The Marcus Oakdale Cinema in Oakdale has been awarded an expanded liquor license for imbibing movie viewers, although the Oakdale City Council put restrictions on the approval, the Pioneer Press reports.

Council members had been worried about underage drinking and oversight, so the theater has agreed to two conditions: Only one drink can be sold to a person at a time, and a theater representative is to report back to the council within six months, the newspaper reports.

It's becoming more common to find movie theaters that sell alcohol, as movie-house companies seek new ways to boost profits and finance auditorium upgrades demanded by audiences. On Wednesday, Marcus Theatres representatives are planning to present a proposal to the liquor control board in Fargo, as they seek permission to sell booze at the city's two major first-run theaters, Forum Communications reports.

Among the other metro-area theaters that sell liquor are the Uptown Theater in Minneapolis, which opened the Upstairs Bar as part of a 2012 renovation, the 21+ theater at the Mall of America, and the Cinema Grill in New Hope.

The new amenity typically gets mixed reviews from movie audiences, some of whom welcome it and others who prefer a more traditional experience, Pittsburgh's CBS affiliate reported last month.

AMC theaters sell alcohol at 63 locations nationwide and the company is seeking more, although AMC runs into common concerns from city leaders, the Chicago Tribune reported. City officials in Naperville, Illinois, are fretting that alcohol could lead to rowdy movie-goers, but theater company representatives say patrons drink responsibly, the newspaper reported.

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