(KLIX) – Gov. Brad Little signed into law legislation that allows Idaho’s historic theaters to sell alcohol.

The law permits theaters built before 1950 and are on the National Register of Historic Places to sell beer and wine if their owners choose to do so. Little signed the bill on Friday.

Around a dozen historic theaters exist in the Gem State with about three of them in the Magic Valley, including Burley, Rupert and Gooding.

Gov. Brad Little, center, shows the bill he signed on Friday that allows Idaho's historic theaters to sell beer and wine. Rep. Mat Erpelding, sponsor of the bill, is standing next to the governor at the photo's right. (Photo courtesy of Hailie Johnson-Waskow/Idaho Democratic Caucus)

The legislation is sponsored by Rep. Mat Erpelding, D-Boise, who said after traveling around Idaho he came to realize the important role these theaters play in their respective communities.

“In many towns, the theater is the center of the action,” he said. “The theater holds plays, movies, special events, and all sorts of other events. It’s a place where people can come together as a community to be entertained, informed, or just to celebrate.”

He said he believes the legislation will help keep the theaters afloat by providing additional revenue if their owners decide they’d like to take advantage of the new law.

“I am pleased with the overwhelming support for this bill and I am excited to see the positive impacts it will have,” he said.