Oct. 17, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan
The owner of the Secret Theatre has plans to offer wine and liquor to those who attend his shows.
Richard Mazda, who has operated his 4402 23rd Street theater for approximately 10 years, said there is often a small crowd after each show that would like to have a drink. He said that in the section of Long Island City where the theater is located, there are not many reasonably-priced options.
“The reason we are asking for a full [liquor license] is that it is our experience that our customers want more than just a wine or beer,” Mazda said.
Mazda urged members of Community board 2’s City Services & Public Safety committee last week to support his application, arguing that theater goers want it and it would also be a revenue generator for the cash-strapped theater.
He said that the theater has had a huge impact on the cultural life of the community. He said that he was a founder of the LIC Arts Open, hosts screenings for the Queens World Film Festival and runs children’s drama classes.
Mazda said that he has no intention of opening a bar during the day and is in the midst of preparing where a bar would be setup within the theater. It is likely to be near the lobby area, he said.
The bar would also help Mazda be able to offer the space as a wedding venue, which would also provide another stream of revenue. “I’m a licensed minister and could do weddings,” he said.
The committee was supportive of his application, although Patrick O’Brien, chairman of the committee, said that they needed specific plans before the board could vote on it. O’Brien said the committee would help Mazda get through the process and would vote on it once the plan was flushed out.