The Newport Beach Planning Commission voted unanimously Thursday evening to issue the theater a minor use permit, which grants zoning approval for the property to sell alcoholic beverages, said Community Development Director Kim Brandt.
The theater next must get an operator's license, which is issued through the Police Department, Brandt said.
According to a staff report detailing the conditions of the permit, the theater will be able to sell alcohol until 11 p.m., while the theater itself stays open until 2 a.m.
During shows, the report said, alcohol will only be sold in a 21-and-older second-floor mezzanine area, unless those shows are restricted to customers 21 and older.
Residents have expressed concern about the effects of allowing alcohol sales in the neighborhood.
But the theater's application for the permit did not ask to have dancing, so the site will not "evolve into a nightclub," the report said.
— Jill Cowan