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Capitol Theatre to Serve Beer and Wine

The theater received approval Monday from the Board of Selectmen.

Despite strong, and vocal, objections from a few neighboring residents, on Monday, the Board of Selectmen granted the the right to serve beer and wine.

“Thank you for your patience and your excellent business,” board chairman Kevin Greeley told the movie theater’s owner, Richard Fraiman, “and I hope this helps your business.”

The board approved Fraiman’s application, which was made possible by , in a 4-1 vote.

Selectman Diane Mahon voted against the motion because she said too many teenagers and kids go to the theater for it to serve alcohol. “I don’t see the need,” she said.

Fraiman also owns the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square, which does serve alcohol. He said there have been no incidents at that location.

A few neighboring residents on Freeman Street, which runs behind the East Arlington theater, voiced much stronger opposition than Mahon. They said moviegoers already drop trash on their lawns and take up parking spots in their neighborhood, and they expected all of this to get worse if alcohol became a factor.

“I can deal with candy wrappers,” one woman said. “I cannot deal with drunks coming out of the theater.”

“I liked it when the town was dry,” she added.

The woman also said that she didn’t see the need, especially since nearby restaurants already serve alcohol, and she questioned whether the theater would be able to stop an adult from buying a drink and then passing it to a minor in a dark theater.

Fraiman said he took exception to the residents’ comments. “I think we’ve always tried to be good neighbors,” he said.

The neighboring residents spoke out of turn during the discussion. After Selectman Steven Byrne said he supported the change, one shouted out, “When do you come up for re-election?”

KEN D... July 17, 2012 at 01:45 PM
I don't live anywhere near the theater, but do go to see movies there. Drinking in a movie theater doesn't sit well with me. Have a drink with dinner, and then go out after if you must. Drinking in the theater just doesn't seem right to me.
chucky bytes July 17, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Since the average movie-goer does spend about 2 hours in the theater, I do understand the selectmens' vote. I would like to share their concern about the inability to obtain alcohol during these long periods of time and submit my application to open a beer and wine stand at our town librarys, and our town hall. SKOAL!
trish orlovsky July 17, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Tanglewood, Boston Pops and other entertainment venues allow patrons the opportunity to enjoy an adult beverage. The Capitol Theatre is not Fenway Park so disorderly and drunken behavior is not anticipated. My movie beverage of choice has been coffee, but I now I look forward to a sip of wine while I watch a good movie at the Capitol--favorite destination.
Tim July 17, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Lily ..... Steve Byrne is going to kiss the yuppie vote till he is up in Beacon Hill that's a fact ... Its a shame nobody really pushed the fact that he wasn't living in Arlington for a very long time .....looks like once again Diane was the vote of sense . Greeley votes with these crazies for the free health insurance ...
Drew July 18, 2012 at 06:57 PM
When I as growing up in Arlington in the 60's and 70's, the town was considered to be a big cut above other surrounding towns like Somerville and Medford, for instance, and people would aspire to live here because of the beautiful homes, well kept streets, low crime and good schools. Today, however, that has all changed thanks to the actions of such individuals as Byrne and Greeley and now Arlington is on the same level at best with Somerville with soaring drug crimes, daily drunking driving arrests, B&E's left and right and not so great schools anymore, especially the high school with it's rampant drinking and drug problems that have been brought up in this forum. Open up another bar-room seems to be the solution at the town hall which is one of the many reasons why Arlington never was and certainly never will be Winchester, Belmont or Lexington as much as it deludes itself into thinking it is.
Denise July 18, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Growing up in this area also, I couldn't agree with Rhonda Mae more. It's pathetic that people can't sit for two hours in a "family" theater without a drink of beer or wine. You can drive by the Capitol Theater almost any time of day or evening, and see children with parents and young people waiting to get it. We all know how easy it is to spill a soda, lemonade, etc.. Now we will have the stench of spilled beer and wine, and our kids will be sitting on seats with beer and wine stains. Are the "drinkers" going to be seated in a specific area, or are we (who can wait to have a drink if so desired), and our children supposed to be seated next to, in back of, or in front of the drinkers? If a child shouldn't sit at a "bar" or in a club, why is it ok in a family movie theater? Does the owner plan to have someone check bags, backpacks, etc., to be sure alcohol is not brought in from the street...Easy to do, since the place will reek of the stench of beer and wine anyway. Is someone going to go around in the dark and check cups to see what is in them? What do we expect, when a liquor store is opening up practically right next door to the high school. Arlington is going down the tubes. You can't find anywhere to shop for clothing, shoes, etc,like you do in all the towns around here, but if you want a drink, now you can get one at your local family theater!!! Anyone wonder why drinking is such a problem with young people today??? Very sad what has happened to this town!
inthegloaming August 21, 2012 at 07:25 PM
I agree with all this, and don't think drinking needs to happen in a theatre. (My friends and I go to the Lux in Framingham on occasion, where you can have liquor and dinner served to you while you watch. It's extra expensive, and the drinking/ eating area IS indeed separate from the rest of the theatre. And the seats are extra wide and comfy, you. :-) ) But I just want to say that drinking has always been a problem with young people, and always will be, whether alcohol is readily available or not. Just because we don't see jt doesnt mean its nit hapoening in private. The teens and earl 20s are the years youth experiments with themselves vid-a-vis their environment. They push boundaries. The only way to find one's boundary line is to go uncomfortably beyond it and then reel oneself in. That happens with experience -- one must DO the thing (get too drunk) to feel one doesn't really like it/ want to do it anymore -- and maturity. Rites of passage, necessary to forming an independent identity separate from one's family and culture.

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