(KLIX) – Idaho’s historic theaters may be able to sell alcohol if lawmakers pass a proposed bill.

The measure would allow theaters built before 1950 and listed on the historic register to sell alcohol, according to bill sponsor Rep. Mat Erpelding.

“Most historic theaters have historic and cultural value in their communities, and many are multi-purpose. They offer concerts, plays, and other special events,” Erpelding, a Democrat serving as the House minority leader, said in a statement on Monday.

He said the bill has the potential to create additional revenue for communities that have historic theaters.

“Historic theaters can use the opportunity to increase revenues, which will help them remain viable in their local communities," he said. "Providing revenue opportunities that offer historic value to communities is important, and it is why I sponsored this bill.”

The proposal passed in committee and is now headed to the House floor for a vote. Erpelding said he expects it will have bipartisan support because the theaters that would be affected – about 13 in all – are spread out across the state.

“There are historic theaters who are asking for this legislation from Boise to Moscow to Sandpoint," he said. “I think we all understand the value of historic buildings and want to do everything possible to keep them afloat. The way I see it, this is the best thing we can do to ensure that we keep historic theaters in Idaho.”

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