Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lincoln Theatre adds full bar and memberships

More than two years after hinting at it online, Lincoln Theatre has pulled the trigger and will indeed become a membership-style club offering a full bar.

The club is offering free memberships to subscribers of its e-newsletter, but it's uncertain whether they mean only subscribers up until the announcement was made, so get on it and sign up just in case.

Seeing as owners have been contemplating this change for some time, it's interesting that they choose to make the change just as a smoking ban is about to go into effect statewide—one that exempts private clubs, allowing them to remain a safe haven for smokers.

A search of my email inbox brings up an email from club co-owner Pat Dickinson in February 2007 saying "We currently do not have a schedule for the changeover. It could be next week, it could be 6 months. We are offering free memberships until we pull the trigger. We would like to offer liquor by the drink to our patrons."

Next week, six months, two and a half years. All the same, really. It will be telling to see if owners still allow smoking in Lincoln Theatre's upper level. It would be shocking to see a venue that has relied so much on sponsorships from companies like Camel in past years to let that go without a fight. (We've contacted Dickinson for comment and will update this post with any reply.)

Even though I only make it out to Lincoln Theatre once or twice a year these days, I think we've all seen the long non-member line at Local 506 enough times to know that whatever nominal membership fee they charge will be worth it.

ETA: Dickinson says the change will take place within the next two weeks and that the club will indeed ban smoking once the law takes effect. Apparently by "private clubs," the state means establishments like country clubs and not membership-only bars and venues. Regarding getting a free membership, Dickinson writes "You can get a free membership now by getting on our email database. Just say yes."


Richard said...

Only country clubs and non-profits are exempt from the smoking ban. Becoming a private club will not exempt them. Check out this N&O article for more details.


Valerie said...

Thanks, Richard, I hadn't seen that story.

Anonymous said...

Owner Pat is rude and arrogant. I don't care what they do to improve it, I will avoid patronizing this place.