Orange County, CA Effort Defeats Local Movie Theater Alcohol Sales

January 28, 2015

Opponents of the theater's application to serve alcohol
on the premises gather petition signatures outside.
A group of Orange County residents just won their fight against a Regal Entertainment Group theater in their neighborhood, successfully opposing the application for an on-sale alcohol license that began in August 2014. The Aliso Viejo City Council voted 4-1 to deny the alcohol license, after council members visited theaters serving alcohol and concluded that the local, family-oriented theater was an inappropriate venue for alcohol sales.

What worked? Residents set up a website to inform the public of the proposed license and its potential impact; attended City Council meetings and voiced opposition to the license; organized demonstrations in front of the theater; and gathered signatures online and in-person to oppose license. The opposition involved youth at various levels of organizing and did it all within a short period of time.

The group's victory is an exciting example of grassroots organizing that beats back corporate interests, gets effective alcohol policies enacted, and provides a model for community resistance to the alcohol industry.