Monday, March 30, 2009

Be cool.

This Wednesday's GZA show will mark the first time in a long time that we've allowed beverages inside the theater.

Since I started here almost four years ago, this topic has been an ongoing source of much debate. Let's be honest - we're basically talking about beer in the theater, with the occasional bottle of Coke, instead of the other way around.

On the one hand, allowing beer into the theater helps create a vibe and environment that certain fans love and even expect when seeing a show - especially a hip-hop show like GZA or a rock show like Lez Zeppelin. Plus, the additional fundage from "beer money" is hard to ignore when you're barely breaking even on the show in some cases - and that's if it sells out.

On the other hand, what about spills? Won't that drive up the maintenance costs? Will it damage our historic building? Will people get out of control with that much access to alcohol? What about security? And what about the fans who don't like that kind of environment - are we making the vibe better for one group of fans at another group's expense?

The answer... Who knows?

We're not alone - most historic theaters do allow beverages into the theater these days, and have seen only modest increases in maintenance. No one we talked to cited security concerns. And when I was at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines last month, it was great to be able to sit back and enjoy a glass (er, I mean, plastic cup) of wine while listening to Andrew Bird.

So we're going to give it a go, starting this Wednesday night. All I can say is:

Please - BE COOL.

Let's make this a positive change, not something we regret and can never do again. Cool?