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Bummer, You Can't Bring Booze Into Cinespia Anymore (At Least Not For A While) [Updated]
[Update: 7:25 p.m. on 7/7/17]
A red flag came up for Cinespia fans earlier this week when the outdoor screening series (set at the Hollywood Forever cemetery) sent out a notice saying that outside alcohol won't be allowed for the July 4th screening of Jurassic Park. "The California State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control [ABC] has put last-minute restrictions on this screening forbidding our patrons from bringing in their own beer and wine," said the Cinespia website, adding that you could still buy beer and wine on the premises.
That's weird, though it's not far fetched to think that, perhaps, the ABC had put up extra precautions for the L.A. area on the 4th. The alarms really began to sound when Cinepsia issued the same notice for their July 8th screening of A League of Their Own, adding that, "In the past week, [the ABC] have been imposing this restriction at venues across Los Angeles, including the Hollywood Bowl."
And now we're getting the full brunt of the bad news, as Cinespia has told LAist that outside alcohol (i.e. beer and wine brought in personally to the event) will be disallowed for an indefinite period of time at the Hollywood Forever screenings. "The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has recently placed a temporary restriction at our Hollywood Forever outdoor screenings preventing our patrons from bringing in outside alcohol," a spokesperson for Cinespia told us in an email. "As a proud Los Angeles institution for over 15 years, Cinespia will always comply with local and state laws, which are ever-changing and out of our control." It emphasizes, again, that you can still buy beer and wine on-site. There is no word yet on when this ban will be lifted, or if a specific catalyst had brought on the new rule.
Has this ban affected the Hollywood Bowl and other venues, as Cinespia stated? Speaking on the Hollywood Bowl, Andrew Schwartz, a PR coordinator with the L.A. Philharmonic, said that, "For all L.A. Philharmonic-produced events, guests are still allowed to bring in their own beer and wine." A representative from the Bowl's Department of Audience Services reiterated this information, adding that beer and wine is not allowed for other leased events at the Bowl. These policies have been around for some time, actually, so nothing's changed. And in case you're curious, outside alcohol was never (technically) allowed at other outdoor settings like The Greek, or The Santa Monica Pier, which hosts some huge parties. So, no change there either.
Is there a new crackdown on outside alcohol at L.A.'s venues/parties? We called the ABC's Los Angeles office, as well as their Sacramento headquarters, but no one was immediately available for comment. We will provide updates as they come.