- Harrison Berry
- Under the bill, The Egyptian Theatre would be eligible to serve beer and wine without the same design rules as newer theaters.
A measure that would allow historic theaters to sell alcohol passed through an Idaho House committee Monday. The bill would allow a theater built before 1950 and on the historic register to sell alcohol. Thirteen theaters could benefit from the legislation.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Matt Erpelding (D-Boise) said he expects bipartisan support for the measure.
"There are historic theaters who are asking for this legislation from Boise to Moscow to Sandpoint," said Erpelding. "The way I see it, this is the best thing we can do to ensure that we keep historic theaters in Idaho."
ORIGINAL POST: February 14, 2019
A bill moving through the Idaho Statehouse could give historic theaters a leg up, allowing them to serve beer and wine.
Introduced Feb. 13 by Idaho House Minority Leader Mat Erpelding (D-Boise) in the House State Affairs Committee, the bill would privilege theaters built prior to 1950 that are on the National Register of Historic Places with relaxed design rules for serving beer and wine compared to newer theaters.
Currently, there are 13 historic theaters in Idaho, including The Egyptian Theatre in Boise, the Colonial Theater in Idaho Falls and the Roxy Theater in St. Anthony, according to Nathan Brown of the Post Register. Others are closed down, like the Pix Theatre in Nampa, but if it were to be refurbished and reopened, it would be eligible under the proposed law. Several of the theaters mentioned in eastern Idaho would have to be registered as historic places; only a few theaters, including The Egyptian, would be eligible now.
The committee voted unanimously to introduce Erpelding's bill, making it possible for it to get a full hearing at a later date.