Movie theaters can apply for a license to sell liquor, including wine and beer to their customers, under the $237 billion state budget deal crafted by Gov. Kathy Hochul and the legislature.

But lawmakers don’t want filmgoers to get blotto on cocktails while watching “Ghostbusters” so customers will be limited to buying one drink per transaction.

For years, legislators had resisted calls to sell alcohol in theaters but they’ve grown more receptive as the landscape changed for the film industry due to the emergence of streaming options.

The COVID-19 pandemic made matters worse after theaters already struggled to fill seats in the age of high-definition televisions at home.

Theaters got the green light to serve wine, beer and cider in 2022.

Previously, theaters could only sell the drinks if they had a restaurant license with a full kitchen and waitstaff to bring the alcohol to customers in their seats — or a tavern license that limited drinking to a table, often in the lobby.

The budget also extends cocktails to go from bars and restaurants for another five years.

Lawmakers toasted the new measure.

“I’m proud that my legislation to allow movie theaters to apply for on-premise licenses for alcoholic beverages made it into the final budget,” said state Sen. Jessica Scarcella-Spanton (D-Staten Island).

“Movie theaters, like many small businesses, suffered greatly over the last few years. This is a step forward in helping them find new avenues for revenue and will be great for patrons who are looking for a fun night out.”

Assemblyman Tony Simone (D-Manhattan) said, “Movie theaters took a hit during the pandemic and struggled to bring audiences back. Allowing theaters to serve alcohol will bring back people who got used to watching movies in the comfort of their homes with a glass of wine.”

“This allowance will boost audiences and help movie theaters to compete in the streaming era. Plus, who doesn’t like seeing a movie with a cocktail in hand?,” he added.

State Sen. James Skoufis (D-Orange) said revenue from concession sales is how theaters “stay afloat” financially.

“We have safeguards in place to make sure that we maintain a family friendly environment. You can only purchase one drink per transaction. However, if you want to enjoy a cocktail while watching a movie in a theater, God bless, have fun, just don’t get three sheets into the wind with kids around and watching some animated movie.”

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