Kendall Square Cinema Plans to Add Booze and Fancier Food Options

The Cambridge movie theater is hoping to entice more fans to its screenings.

Kendall Square Cinema. / Photo via Facebook

Kendall Square Cinema. / Photo via Facebook

Though it doesn’t screen the latest, big-budget blockbusters, Kendall Square Cinema knows what the people want: The people want to sip booze while they’re watching a film. The Cambridge movie theater was granted permission from the local licensing board this week to begin serving beer and wine, Cambridge Day reported.

The Landmark-owned theater plans to offer more than a dozen draft beers, ranging from Sam Adams and Guinness to Left Hand Milk Stout on nitro and Mystic Brewing’s Hermit Kingdom pale ale, the cinema’s attorney told the licensing commission. There will also be an array of wines, including a 2011 Ponga Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, a 2006 Montecastillo Priorat from Spain, and a couple sparkling options. The theater, which opened in 1995, also plans to upgrade the food at its concession stands.

“The trend in the theater industry is to increase amenities—better seats, better food, better drinks,” the attorney said during the hearing on Tuesday. “Theaters have to innovate to serve the customers. Otherwise people will just stay home.”

Indeed, Kendall Square, which hosts film festivals and special events alongside showings of independent and foreign language films, restored classics, and documentaries, joins independent theaters like the Brattle, Somerville, and Coolidge Corner in offering beer and wine. Megaplexes, like the Showcase SuperLux in Chestnut Hill, the AMC at Assembly Row, and, as of just about a month ago, Regal in Fenway, are also getting in on the alcoholic action.

Kendall Square Cinema’s crowd is older than the typical movie-going populace, and internal research suggests they will appreciate having the option to imbibe, but will typically cap it at one drink per screening, according to its attorney.

The company plans to direct some of the funds generated from the concession upgrades to lobby renovations, theater general manager Howard Sandler told the Day.

While the city is on board with Kendall Square Cinema serving beer and wine, the state still needs to grant its approval, so the implementation of the bar is still some months off.

Kendall Square Cinema, One Kendall Square, 355 Binney Street, Cambridge, 617-621-1202,