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December 24, 2009


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We've been going to about 1 a year for the past several years, and all of them IMAX -- the Henry Ford Museum member price for IMAX tickets is pretty close to the regular ticket price for other first-run theaters around here. When you add in the cost of a sitter for our toddler, and trying to squeeze in the time, movies, by and large, just aren't worth it. When we do go out, it tends to be concerts or other live events, of which we usually make it to several a month.

My family and I rarely go out to see movies in theaters. Like FMF, we have a big TV with a nice DVD player, so we tend to have movie parties at home instead.

When we do go to the movies, I bring bottled water in my purse and we get one small popcorn for the 3 of us.

If the theaters confiscated my water, I'd just buy nothing. The food and drink prices are too ridiculous, and I'm trying to raise my kids to have healthy eating habits etc.

A little popcorn is a fun treat now and then, but nobody benefits from eating those HUGE boxes of candy or the typical enormous vat of popcorn most people get.

I'm sorry to say that we typically amuse ourselves before the movie by trying to identify the most grossly overweight person in the theater who also has purchased the largest cache of food. Usually there are several contenders to choose from...

I rarely go to the movies, when I do I prefer to go in the afternoon when the tickets are cheaper and there are fewer people. There are some movies that a theater is worth going to for, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Star Trek, planning to see Avatar. I would probably go more often if I lived near an Imax theater, those have an experience worth going to for some movies.

Unless theaters try to search my purse for food I can bring my own in. It's not as gigantic as some women have but it's big enough to hold a 20oz drink bottle and a bag of cookies or crackers.

My wife and I only go out to the theaters for big special effects blockbusters that absolutely are worth seeing on the big screen. Everything else, I can wait for the DVD. I never buy food at the theaters. Either we eat at home first, or if it's a night out, we'll have a great meal at a good restaurant before the show.

Until recently we'd been compromising - sneaking snacks and buying drinks. But last time I didn't feel like sugar and just asked for water.

They charged $5.90 for a cup of water!! My boyfriend and I didn't even realize until we'd gone in, and he went back out to check the $13.20 combined bill for a coke and a cup of water thinking they'd added something extra accidentally. We think we'll sneak drinks in from now on.

I don't believe it's unethical to sneak snacks because I wouldn't buy them at the prices they're charging so it doesn't cost them anything.

And besides what's with the enormous size of the cups of popcorn in their drink + popcorn deals?

I doubt the kids working in the AMC cinemas are really going to be searching people's bags. Just don't make it obvious!

What I don't understand is why it's necessary (on the consumer's part - I know why the cinema wants you to buy snacks) to have food to watch a film. You can manage 3 hours without coke and popcorn! If we're having a coupley night out we generally have a nice meal whether at home or in a restaurant and a friends night out usually involves drinks afterwards, so we bypass the snacks altogether.

I hardly ever go to movies, unless friends invite me to go with them. And because I don't care for candy and gag on the fake "butter" gunk they pour over popcorn, I don't eat theater fare.

I do like popcorn with real butter and have thought of hiding a bag in my purse to carry into the theater, but have never bothered. I'm with Guiness416: somehow, with Herculean will power, it's possible to make it through three long hours without sugar water and junk food.

But really...what are they gunna do? Demand to rifle through every woman's purse? That'll ingratiate them with their few remaining customers, eh?

Ever since my daughter told me about NETFLIX we no longer watch movies in a movie theater. We like being able to select what we want to watch from over 85,000 titles and to be able to read the reviews of other movie watchers to help us in our selections. It's really nice being able to lay back in your own comfortable recliner in the comfort of your own home and enjoy a movie without having to drive anywhere, park, buy two expensive tickets, sit through all the coming attractions, sometimes be bothered by ill mannered people talking loudly nearby, and to be limited to just new releases. The other convenience is being able to just press "Pause" if one of you needs to briefly attend to some other matter, such as getting another cup of tea etc. Also many DVD's these days have special features concerning the movie that are just not available in the theater. More and more couples these days are having their "Movie Date" at home, try it you might like it.

Some theaters allow snacks, or at least, they don't flinch when they see you bring them in. Years ago, I've gone into theaters with food in plain sight, and they just ushered me in.

For the past 5 years or so, I've gone to very few movies (perhaps 2 a year?) due to drastic income changes. The few times I did go, I brought a small bag of candy in my pocket or purse (the theater never sells the candy I like anyway), and went half-way on a coke with the friend I was with (even the small cokes are big enough for two people).
It's just too expensive to go to the movies any much cheaper to rent the DVD.

How about "box office is down, concession volume increased to compensate"?

What's surprising is that AMC took so long to adopt the longstanding policy of most other theaters.

Well.. we (as a family) usually by the combo 'refillable' option.. we do bring in with us another bag or 2 so we can split up the popcorn among the group. The drink is shared among us all and when the 1st round of stuff is drank and eaten we go back for the refill.. Works quite well :-)

Netflix FTW!!!

lol at what MC said :)

Last season, I went to the several of the Metropolitan Opera HD broadcasts to a movie theater not far from me. This season, I waited a bit too long and found out too late that Saturday simulcasts are sold out for the whole year - suprisingly. Some Wednesday "Encore" performances are still available so I might go in January. But - Wednesday evenings is the whole lot less convenient. Plus, these broadcasts are later shown on PBS, and I have a nice TV, I might not - depends on if I have company.

Aside from the Met broadcasts, I go for maybe one or two movies a year. I don't really have much time...and I have a nice TV.

In terms of food, I've never really felt the need to eat inside the theater, so it was never an issue. I eat before/after going at home or somewhere else.

We see movies at the theaters occasionally and we usually go matinée or the $4 show.We eat before or after the movie, so we don't usually grab something from concessions.

I think for teenagers going to the movies will still have some appeal since it's a way to get out of the house with friends. For the rest of us it's better to watch on the flat screen at home.

Haven't been to a movie in the US for a long time- here in Thailand it's still a reasonable $4 a ticket and snacks are pretty cheap with very new modern cinemas. It's pretty pleasant. Only annoying thing is having to stand up to pay respect to the King for the opening film but it's not so bad.

In the US I'd make sure to buy the largest coke or pepsi, nurse it through the movie, and then "accidentally" spill the rest on the cinema floor around the time the credits roll, letting it drain down the inclined slope. Gotta get maximum thrills and value for the overpriced drink!

(Last paragraph was a half-joke and may or not be performed depending on the quality of the movie & theater)


I no longer go to the theater. I have my own home theater, complete with a 106" screen and reclining theater seats. The picture and sound quality is much better and I don't have to put up with the noise from kids running around or with the sticky floors, etc.


You have taught your children to amuse themselves by making fun of other people?! Really?! In case it matters, I wouldn't win your little contest but somehow manage to have a good time without being cruel.

@J in Fl
You laughed at what MC said?

@Mike Hunt
You purposefully make messes that others have to clean up?!

Just wow...Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All Men...

Anyway, we also have Netflix and usually can catch movies a month late at the $1.50 theater near our home if we want the big screen experience. Every few months we splurge and spend $6 a person at the Movie Tavern. We usually eat before or after and get free waters at the theater. I cannot believe that one of the theaters above charged for tap water!

Happy Holidays to everyone!!!

@ Crystal,

Usually I'm the one cleaning up the mess made by others!

I was just being snarky, I sometimes have the urge to make a mess and leave it but normally don't act on it. Fortunately that urge has decreased exponentially as I've gotten older, it was much worse when I was in my early teens!

Best wishes to you!


I probably only pay to go the movies twice a year anymore, and then only to see something in IMAX or 3-D that wouldn't be quite the same at home. Otherwise, I'll wait for the Blu-Ray or DVD and watch it on my HDTV. The movie-going experience has deteriorated for me rapidly over the years thanks to:

o outrageous concession prices
o movie volumes louder than a Led Zeppelin concert
o annoying people chatting/calling/texting during the movie
o airing commercials before the movie (not previews--which I like--but *$&@# commercials!)
o theater environment (too hot/cold, limited seating options, sticky floors, etc.)

I'm a big fan of Netflix as well. I usually cancel my subscription during the spring and re-new it during the fall, since I don't do a lot of TV-/movie-watching when the weather's warm and the days are long. But right now when it's cold, overcast, and rainy in Seattle with (seemingly) 30 minutes of daylight, I'm catching up on all the movies and shows I missed this summer!

Don't think we've been to the movies since summer ... actually, there's nothing I want to see.
We belong to Kerasote's Five Buck Club, where tickets are $5 after the movie has been out a couple of weeks. If we want to wait a little longer, we can hit the second-run house where tickets are $2. Otherwise, it's Redbox ...

We went to the cinema last night and it was packed out - both the cinema itself, the bar, and the games room. Netflix-clones are a helluva lot more expensive up here in canuckistan than the US, but even so, death greatly exaggerated etc etc.

Avatar is really entertaining in Imax, by the way.

Avatar is a great reason to go back to the Cinema- to see a big budget film in 3D on Imax- gotta be pretty cool.


We are going to the movies this weekend to see The Blind Side, but normally don't go more than once or twice a year (I think Harry Potter 6 was our last theater outing). We do sneak in food but I want to stop that because it really is unethical. The word sneak is the clue. I may not agree with the theater's policy, but it is their establishment.

Eating at movie theaters is a leftover habit from the 50's and 60's when the price included two movies, a cartoon, and a news reel. The event was over 4 hours long. With todays 2 hour or shorter movies there is no reason to eat junk food at a movie. Besides the popcorn they sell was made over three weeks with less than healthy oils.

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