Saturday, July 18, 2009

Movie Theater Honesty

Over a hundred years ago, my beloved Uncle Mike smuggled a paper bag (grocery store size) of air popped popcorn into the theater. After sitting down, he realized he had forgotten to put butter on it. He promplty took the bag out to the concession stand and asked them to butter his popcorn. They did.

Somewhere along the way, I decided that it was dishonest to bring treats into the movies. There is that sign, after all: Please do not bring in outside food and drink. Our family usually--as in almost always--goes to the bargain theater. Because I know they make no money off the tickets, and because it is a family-owned, local business, I don't mind paying for their treats. Plus, they are reasonably priced, for a theater, of course.

In the past few weeks, I have seen a sudden desire to 1. forgo movies at the "new release" theaters forever and 2. if I have to go, disregard their plea for honesty. The first scenario includes a $2.50 unadvertised and additional fee for the required 3D movie glasses. When a humongous family saves up for a movie, they don't save up for unadvertised additional fees--fees one must pay when one has promised a brood of children they are going to a movie and for which they are in the lobby of the theater. The second scenario includes $5.64 for a large soda the size of which is smaller than the $1 two liter bottle of soda I can get at any grocery store.

Now, I'm not trying to justify my own temptation for dishonesty by saying "They were dishonest first by charging too much." But, really! They were dishonest first by charging too much!!!



  1. I'm with you on the "WHAT'S UP WITH THAT??" about paying extra for the 3D glasses. RiDONKulous! I paid it, for the same reasons you describe. I also bent the manager's ear about it. In the nicest possible way, of course. I realize that the manager doesn't make the policy, and I told him that. I appreciated him listening to me.

    On the snacks: I'm such a RULES girl, I can't bring myself to smuggle snacks into the movie. We usually treat the family to a fast-food meal or buffet restaurant beforehan, so everyone's full when we get to the theater.

  2. Hmmm. This is a dilemma. Much, okay, MOST of the reason I love to go to movies is for the popcorn. So I do fork over the money for the popcorn. But I guess I don't have any qualms about bringing snacks in my bag either.

  3. I know I would feel like a criminal if I ever smuggled in snacks or drinks, so we don't. But that doesn't mean I haven't been tempted when it's time to fork over $12 for a drink and a popcorn. It's a good thing we rarely go to movies, and even more rarely do we take the kids.

  4. Matt speaking for Becky The great thing about having a baby is you can stuff a lot more treats in the diaper bag and they won't even check it.

  5. TOTALLY AGREE!!!!!!!! In our 10 years of marriage, we have only taken the kids to the new release big city theater--ONCE----last month for the 3D version of "UP". (We have a little hometown theater here that is $5 for adults and $3 for kids and the movies are only a few weeks behind schedule---we love it and there are always tons of seats).
    Anyway..........So we go to the theater with our bundle of 6 children and $67 later without any treats, (with the additional required 3-D fee) we watch a movie that we should have just BOUGHT 3 1/2 times instead. Oh well, we'll chalk it up as a family VACATION !
    As for treats-----until they offer sippy cups and crackers and pretzel sticks and fishy crackers for me to keep my 1, or 2 or 3 year olds quiet during the movie for the sake of all those around us, I am just going to have to bring snacks in the diaper bag. I don't bring in popcorn or candy if we want those we buy them.