Movie and a Beer?

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NEW CASTLE TOWNSHIP -- The Schuylkill Mall movie theater is under renovation and when everything is done, the owner promises a luxury facility renamed the Pearl Stadium 8, with eight theaters, stadium seating, digital sound and a bar.

"Only somebody who is over 21 can go to these theaters, have a bite to eat in the restaurant and either finish it in the restaurant area or take it into the auditorium," Bruce Taffet explained to the New Castle Township supervisors at a meeting Thursday night.

Theater owner Bruce Taffet made a presentation, asking them to ok transferring a liquor license to his theaters. The supervisors approved the transfer.

People who attended the supervisors meeting said they think the bar inside the theater will attract more people, something they said the struggling Schuylkill Mall desperately needs.

"I've also worked up in that mall and can tell you stores have come and gone, and it was a great thing to see somebody finally putting some money up there to draw some people in," said Ed Koropchak of Saint Clair.

"I think it's a good thing to get people into the mall, you know, into the area," said Darin Bowman of Tower City, who was shopping at the Schuylkill Mall Thursday.

"I think it's a good idea, I think it will bring more people up here, there's a lot of drinkers in the area, so they'll come up here, see a movie and have a good time," said Rick Gomez of Pottsville.

Taffet said the new improved theater will open December 7.

"It just opens up all the doors. We can go full speed ahead now. We have about 15 guys in the job site now. We actually are very excited about this," said Taffet.

The state liquor control board will make the final decision about whether the Pearl 8 will have a liquor license.

There is no word on when that decision will be made.