We love to go to the movies and probably catch a showing every other week (in addition to movies at home). Increasingly, we catch shows on $5 Tuesdays. This past Tuesday, we caught the original White Christmas (in VistaVision!) on the big screen at the theater near us that features the reclining, first class airline-style seats. Tomorrow, we’ll be back to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
While I love the big seats and big screen, I don’t love the movie theater concessions prices. While I will break down for a big tub of popcorn now and then, increasingly I just sneak in my own Coke and snack. I brought a ziplock bag with some walnuts in it and a Coke Zero as we watched Bing Crosby croon on the big screen yesterday.
While I realize that this is an ethical issue to many, my view is while I’m happy to pay them for the movie, I am not obligated to pay for the outrageously priced concessions are an add-on cost to the movie I already paid for. If your concessions are good enough – like movie theater popcorn – then they need to justify their cost independently – through great taste or the convenience of buying them on-site.
Randy Cohen, author of The Ethicist column in the New York Times Magazine agrees, saying: “You can’t subvert the primary action of a business, like bring booze to a bar or a doughnut to a bakery. But when you buy a movie ticket, all you’ve agreed to do is to watch a movie. You haven’t agreed to buy their food and you shouldn’t be subjected to popcorn-sniffing dogs or the cola detectives.”
Similarly, I sit on the Board our Metro Zoo and we invite guests to bring in picnic lunches and family snacks. Unlike movie theaters, we don’t have a policy that expressly prohibits outside food. In fact, we have a number of beautiful, shady picnic areas for them to utilize when they bring their own food in. Oftentimes, people want to bring in food that they see as healthier or fits a special diet for their family anyway.
What is your view on sneaking food into the movies?
Image Credit: Pixabay