LITTLE ROCK — The state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board on Wednesday approved a permit for Riverdale 10 Cinema in Little Rock to add beer and wine to its concessions.

LITTLE ROCK — The state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board on Wednesday approved a permit for Riverdale 10 Cinema in Little Rock to add beer and wine to its concessions.


The board voted 4-0 to overturn ABC Director Michael Langley’s decision last month to deny Riverdale’s request for a beer and wine permit. Langley had denied the request because of concerns that he and Little Rock police had about the possibility of minors obtaining alcohol at the theater.


Riverdale owner Matt Smith told the board he previously owned the now shuttered Market Street Cinema in Little Rock, an art house theater that sold beer and wine to its mostly adult clientele. He said he shows some mainstream Hollywood movies in his new location at 10-screen Riverdale theater, but the clientele still consists mainly of people who enjoy independent, foreign and documentary films.


"Our demographic skews older. I would say 80 percent of our clientele are over the age of 35," he said.


Smith showed the board a video demonstrating that the theater lacks stadium seating, rocking seats, 3D projection and other features that appeal to young moviegoers.


Detective David Bratton and Detective Sgt. Allen Hamby of the Little Rock Police Department told the board the department was willing to drop its objection to the permit if Smith agreed to certain conditions. Smith agreed to the conditions, which include employing only people 21 or older, limiting the number of beverages sold to each customer, not allowing alcoholic drinks in restrooms and posting signs stating it is illegal to sell alcohol to minors.