Nebraska Liquor Commission Approves License for Grand Theatre

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- The Nebraska Liquor Commission has approved a license for the Grand Theatre. The license will allow them to finally move forward in serving alcohol in their downtown location.

In a hearing Wednesday morning, opponents of the liquor license voiced their concerns about alcohol being served next to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and around minors. But the commission voted 3-0 for approval anyway.

"I just don't think that we need another place in Lincoln that has the availability of alcohol," said opponent Cathy Heimer.
"I am disappointed in their decision I know that it's the big bucks and that's what they want to do hopefully they'll learn their lesson and not many people will come in there and buy alcohol," said Heimer.

It's the final phase for the Theatre after long wait for a recommendation from the Lincoln City Council. Many people complained at City Council public hearings as well.

Lincoln City Council voted 5 to 2 in early March for the recommendation for a liquor license for the Grand Theatre.

Also in March the Lincoln city council got rid of an old ordinance that wouldn't have allow minors in a business which served alcohol after 9p.m.

"This is just an enhancement of the food and beverage services by a responsible license holder," said Tim O'Neill, an attorney representing Marcus Theatres.

O'Neill says they've had these kind of theatres in Omaha since 2009 and their reputation is clean.

"I guess 5 years of operation without violations speaks for itself," said O'Neill.

In Omaha O'Neill says there wasn't much push-back when getting their threatres liquor licenses.

"The first Marcus Midtown was the first location we put alcohol in, and it was more of an educational than opposition," said O'Neill.

But for Heimer she says her family watches movies all the time but now she'll take her business elsewhere.

"I personally will not be patronizing the downtown location and we're a family that goes to movies at least once a month," said Heimer.

And with Wednesday's liquor license approval, O'Neill says work will begin right away.

"Now we're going to start construction on the lounge and so the food and beverage services will be enhanced and the construction will start probably tomorrow," said O'Neill.