The new Eccles Theater installs a ‘Zion Ceiling’ so it can now serve booze

SALT LAKE CITY — The new Eccles Theater has finally installed a “Zion Ceiling” and can now serve alcohol in its lobby, Utah’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control confirmed to FOX 13.

The multi-million dollar theater opens this week. Utah’s liquor control authority had previously refused to grant a full-service restaurant license to the theater because of a problem with the bistro area of the restaurant. As FOX 13 reported in September, the sweeping views of the lobby provided a look into the area where drinks would be poured — a violation of Utah liquor laws.

Under state law, restaurants that wish to serve alcohol must have a separate preparation area (nicknamed “Zion Curtains”) where drinks are made out of view of diners. The Eccles Theater had to install a “Zion Ceiling” because drink preparation could be viewed from above.

Here’s what it looked like in September when FOX 13 reported on it:

A view of the separate preparation area (bottom right) inside the Eccles Theater that needs to have a "Zion Ceiling" installed to comply with Utah liquor laws. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

A view of the separate preparation area (bottom right) inside the Eccles Theater that needs to have a “Zion Ceiling” installed to comply with Utah liquor laws. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

Salt Lake County, which runs the theater, said it always intended to comply with the law and was working to make architectural changes in time for the grand opening. The DABC provided a photo of the new “Zion Ceiling” to FOX 13 showing the area had been enclosed with a door and a canopy.

Here’s what it looks like now:

The so-called "Zion Ceiling" installed at the Eccles Theater, enclosing the separate preparation area. (Photo provided to FOX 13 by the DABC)

The so-called “Zion Ceiling” installed at the Eccles Theater, enclosing the separate preparation area. (Photo provided to FOX 13 by the DABC)

Zion Curtains have long been criticized for making Utah look “weird” without being effective. Defenders of the separate preparation areas have said they protect children.

After inspecting the “Zion Ceiling,” DABC spokesman Terry Wood told FOX 13 the agency granted a full-service liquor license to the theater.