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Local Column

Olson: Beer here, beer there

“Pulp Fiction” is one of my favorite films of the 1990s, right up there with “GoodFellas,” “The Big Lebowski” and a few other movies I just watch any time I run across them on my TV.

I thought of the “Royale with Cheese” scene recently.

That’s the one where the hit men, Vincent Vega played by John Travolta and Jules Winnfield played by Samuel L. Jackson, are driving to their next job, and Vincent is talking about living in Europe. Especially Amsterdam, where marijuana is legal – kind of. Then he says that they’ve got all the same stuff over there, it’s just a little different.

“All right, when you ... into a movie theater in Amsterdam, you can buy a beer,” Vincent says. “And I don’t mean in a paper cup either. They give you a glass of beer.”

A little more than 20 years later, things are approaching that here. Marijuana is legal for some people, and they’re not throwing people in jail for it much anymore. And in Sycamore, you’ll be able to walk into a movie theater and have yourself a brew.

The Sycamore City Council has approved allowing the State Theater to sell beer to patrons. I’m not sure what kind of cups they plan to use, but I think paper would probably be safer than glass. The theater has to comply with several conditions in order to prevent people from buying beer for underage drinkers.

I hope it works out for them. My family likes the State Theater. They have friendly staff and delicious popcorn.

Generally speaking, our laws on drinking in recent years have really loosened up. In my five years in DeKalb, we’ve seen alcohol sales instituted during events at DeKalb’s Hopkins Park, at Northern Illinois University football games, at agribusinesses and now, a local movie theater. There’s even been a distillery opened in the county.

That’s fine, I suppose. If you’re an adult and you want to drink a beer while you’re at a concert in the park or watching “IT,” go for it. Just don’t have too much and start driving around.

Did we really need to be able to buy beer in so many more places?

It never occurred to me, I guess. Generally, if I have a drink away from my home, I’m at a bar or a restaurant, or occasionally a golf course or pro sports event.

I’ve never found myself sitting in a movie theater and thought, “Man, I sure wish I had a cold beer right now.” I don’t really expect to be allowed to drink in the park.

But maybe that’s just how I’ve been conditioned. Buying a beer at the movie theater wasn’t an option in the past, so I never thought to want one.

Lots of other people must want one, however – at least, enough to make it profitable. Otherwise, why would a business want to go through all the hassles of getting a license and insurance to sell alcohol?

As long as people act responsibly, it’s fine with me, although I don’t know if I’ll be in line to buy a round.

Maybe I’m living in the past, where the idea of drinking a beer in a movie theater is exotic.

That’s fine. I like the past. There were a lot of good movies.

• Eric Olson is editor of the Daily Chronicle. Reach him at 815-756-4841 ext. 2257, email, or follow him on Twitter @DC_Editor.

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