Is it okay to sneak food into the movies? | The Tylt
For many, the movies aren't the movies without snacks and a drink. But some moviegoers say the price of movie theater concessions is just too steep. This camp would prefer to sneak in their own candy, popcorn and soda to save a few bucks. But others argue sneaking food into the movies is completely unethical and is akin to stealing. Plus, it's rude to fellow movie-theater patrons. What do you think?
Is it okay to sneak food into the movies?
According to AMC, a large popcorn and a large soda can set you back roughly $15.00. When movie tickets can cost as much as $20.00 each, you're looking at a $35.00 experience—at least—for an outing as simple as going to the movies.
Sneaking your own food into the theater, however, can drastically cut down on that cost, while still allowing you to have the movie theater–experience you deserve. Go ahead and stick that bag of Twizzlers into your bag. Bring a bottle of Coke from home. Those few dollars saved will taste much sweeter when you're reveling in your covert success.
According to one former movie theater employee, Lena Wilson, contraband snacks are rampant in theaters across the country. Wilson spoke to a number of theater employees, and the group collectively confirmed that remnants of outside snacks can be found after every single show.
Manager Sampson Dolly-King of the State Theatre in Ann Arbor, Michigan, said he regularly finds Starbucks cups and Chipotle-branded trash during cleanup. Dan Biegner, projectionist at Amherst Cinema (and my former boss), said he once found cupcakes and Fireball whiskey: “Someone was having a birthday party, but I can’t tell if that’s a good or a bad one.”
Although the employees Wilson speaks to seem mostly resigned to the reality of moviegoers bringing their own food, the sense of betrayal does not waver. Bringing your own food means the theater loses out on potential purchases, decreasing revenue and potentially having a negative impact on employees themselves. Sneaking food into the movies is no different from filling up a water cup with soda; it's just rude.
When you bring your own food, you control your movie destiny. Perhaps you don't want nachos doused in liquid cheese or popcorn covered in butter on this particular movie night. If that's the case, stick a sushi roll in your purse. Dietary restrictions? Grab your vegan meal of choice to-go and bring it with you.
When you smuggle snacks into the theater, you can choose what you actually want to eat. There's no beating that. Food52 provides some helpful instructions for those who are ready to give it a try:
There's a set of rules one should obey when partaking in this. Be sly with your clothing, most well-versed in movie theater food smuggling instruct, so that it obscures the presence of an alien foodstuff. Be stealthy around ushers. Contort your body accordingly.
But some argue that outside food can easily become a distraction to fellow moviegoers. There's a difference between the sound of digging into a bucket of popcorn and maneuvering the metal top of a Chipotle burrito bowl; the former is acceptable, while the latter takes away from the experience of everyone else in the room.
By introducing outside, illicit food into your theater, you upset the long-established balance of the movies.