By Graham Sweeney
The Germantown Beer Board has approved a permit for Malco Theatres Inc. to sell beer for on-premise consumption at the Forest Hill Cinema 8.
Board members voted 4-1 in favor of the permit, with Dean Massey dissenting.
Larry Etter, senior vice president of Malco Theatres, told the board he hopes to eventually offer “in-theater dining” complete with a waiting staff in each of the theater’s auditoriums.
He also said that he is also pursuing a “wine only” license for the theater to accompany the beer permit. This would allow the sale of wine on-premise but not harder liquors.
Noting that Malco was one of the first local theaters to offer on-premise alcohol sales at Midtown’s Studio on the Square 17 years ago, Etter said the intent is to “keep Germantown citizens watching movies in Germantown and not going elsewhere for entertainment.”
Massey asked Germantown Police Chief Richard Hall if a nationwide background was performed on Etter and other Malco co-owners.
Hall said that a citywide background check was performed over a 10-year period.
Massey then asked City Attorney to interpret that city’s laws regarding this matter and further explain why the background check would be limited to the city’s database.
Harris noted that city requires the applicant to disclose “certain criminal offenses.”
“The burden is on the applicant,” he said.
He said the law does not “recite the extent to which the city is required to conduct a background check.”
John Barzizza reassured Massey by noting that the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission does extensive background checks upon a business owner’s request of a permit.