There has been quite an uproar on social media over the approval of the Class B Liquor License for the Marcus Cinema in Sturtevant.

Most comments make this out to be a bad thing which will turn the Cinema into an old west saloon. Were you aware that until last Tuesday anyone of age could carry-in to the theater? Bottle of wine, flask of whiskey, can of beer, there was no enforcement that the Theater or Sturtevant PD could do to prevent that.  Now that they are a licensed holder, all alcohol needs to be bought and consumed on premises. The carry-in stops, legally, with enforcement behind it. Marcus met all the conditions set forth by State Statute and Village ordinance for a license. There were no grounds to deny the application.

The Village has been discussing this at the committee and Board meetings for more than a month. This was a long, thought out, deliberate process.  During that time there were two people who spoke against this. One business owner fearful that it would hurt her business, and a member of a local group against underage drinking, who after hearing the reports from our Chief and the plans from the Theater was in favor of it.

Our Police Chief, Administrator and Village President went to the Marcus Theater in Brookfield to observe the operations there, as they have the same license and facilities that Sturtevant will have. All came away with a favorable impression and with no reservations about moving this forward. Additionally our Chief contacted other police departments in Wisconsin and Minnesota that have this same set up at a Marcus facility and found no issues since license issuance.

Marcus has strict controls and is subject to the same binding terms as any other license holding entity and we will ensure they follow to the full letter of the law. Did you stop taking your kids to Packer, Bucks or Badger games? To State Fair,  Summerfest or Church Festivals? Do you not take your family to Applebee’s, Olive Garden or Buffalo Wild Wings?

The same requirements at all these establishments are enforced at the Theater as well. For all the online furor over this, I find it amazing that no one came to speak out about this at our meetings. I didn’t receive a single call, email, voicemail or letter, even though this has been reported in the Journal Times, The Racine County Eye and WRJN radio.  Not a single person felt strongly enough to participate in the process. Everyone wants to be reactive instead of proactive. Speaking up after the fact gets nothing accomplished. If you feel that strongly about an issue, get involved and make a change instead of making a comment.

For anyone that would like to be up to date on what your Village Board is discussing, I have a list of people that I send meeting agendas to. If you give me your email address I will be happy to add you to that list. They are always on Tuesdays at 6:00 and are open to all who wish to come and participate.

Chris Larsen

Village Trustee

Chair; Administration, Personnel, Policy and Legal Committee

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.