Alamo Drafthouse Considering Campbell 16 Building

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A new movie theater could face some difficulty as it plans to come to the market.

Alamo Drafthouse is a Texas-based company which prides itself on good movies in a restaurant atmosphere.

Campbell 16 announced this week it was closing at the end of the summer and Alamo Drafthouse confirmed it was coming to the market.

“It makes me excited as being a Springfield citizen that they would look at Springfield as this is a place that’s growing,” said Mike Stevens with the Moxie Cinema.

However, five years ago, the city passed an ordinance banning alcohol in theaters which may pose a problem.

An Alamo Drafthouse spokesperson said the company is coming to the market but the question of how the theater will keep its most unique feature of selling alcohol is still up in the air.

The city’s Licensing Supervisor Buffee Smith said the liquor license is the toughest part of the process.

“The movie theater isn’t the only provisional liquor license that we have in our code. There’s some that require people to gross so much in food sales, some that require you to be a general merchandise store.”

KOLR10 confirmed through her office that Alamo Drafthouse has begun the licensing process in the city limits and initial conversations involved the Campbell 16 property. Smith said there is no final word yet.

“There have been conversations but we are in very preliminary stages of applications,” said Smith.

In 2011, Springfield passed an ordinance banning alcohol sales at “family oriented” movie theaters. The city code defines that as a place where ticket sales for people under 21 make up more than a quarter of their admissions.

“The management of that movie theater has to be able to establish that less than 25 percent of the ticket sales for admission, over the three months, for persons under 21.”

Stevens believes the Moxie’s non-profit status exempts the theater from the ban.

“Because of the type of movies we show, as well as the fact that we are a non-profit,” said Stevens.

Either way, he calls the Alamo Drathouse news a plus for the market.

“The reality of the market is that you can’t just put something on the big screen and that is enough. You have to provide a better experience.”

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