More standard theaters across the region are applying to sell alcohol in all theaters, as opposed to nearby luxury cinemas that restrict alcohol to designated 21+ theaters. Most recently, the Regal Cinema12 at the Westfield Mall in Carlsbad has applied to sell alcohol that can be taken into any theater.

Currently in north San Diego County, the Cinepolis in Del Mar and La Costa, as well as ArcLight in La Jolla sell alcohol, but it is restricted to theaters with 21+ audiences.  Other theaters in California allow alcohol in all theaters, and those who purchase are given a wristband. Cinepolis now owns the old Krikorian in downtown Vista and has stated in news articles that it has plans to add alcohol.



  • Alcohol is associated with the leading causes of death for teens and young adults (motor vehicle crashes, homicides, and suicides).
  • More than 1,800 people were injured or killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2009.
  • In the past 30 days, 26 percent of underage people ages 12-20 used alcohol (SAMHSA, 2012).
  • Unlike an open restaurant, a theater is uniquely hard to secure with dark rooms and patrons in close quarters.





Should Alcohol be Allowed at Movie Theaters?