Civil Disobedience at the Cinema

I don’t often mean to be churlish. But as I am now firmly ensconced in middle age, I no longer have to sit back and accept life’s little annoyances at face value. I have the intellect and the resources to do something about things that make me upset.

The fact that I choose to apply said resources and intellect to finding a better food experience rather than, say, finding a solution to global warming, probably says more about me than I currently care to admit.

However, I do solve the problems that I can, one at a time, and hopefully change my corner of the world for the better.

Today, I want to talk about movie theaters.

I am a huge movie fan. I can talk obsessively about movies the way that some people can talk about wines (I’m looking at you Lenn). I have seen over a thousand movies on the big screen, and have been to hundreds of theaters. In 99% of the theaters I’ve been, the food that they offer is over-priced and under whelming.

I know, I know. This is hardly a news flash. In fact, this is so accepted that many of us take the above for granted. We walk into a theater, and unthinkingly pay 9 dollars for a coke, popcorn and candy bar. Outside the theater, we’d refuse to pay 5 dollars for the same products.

“But Kate”, I can hear you saying, “High food prices is the only way that the theaters can make a profit! They don’t make any money off of ticket sales!”

Tough. Surely the Theater knew that buying the rights to “Doom” was a losing proposition. I could see that train wreck coming from miles away. The same can be said for the upcoming “Yours, Mine and Ours” which is a remake of a copy of “Just the 12 of us”. Or is it the other way around? I can’t remember.

And don’t even mention the commercials and product placements I have to sit through simply waiting for a movie to start. Someone is making a fair amount of money here.

When I feel like eating at a movie (which is rare these days), I respond to the food atrocities of pasty nacho “cheese” upon stale chips, and 3.50 Hershey bars by buying my food elsewhere, then sneaking it into the theater. Yes, I am one of those people.

I don’t do this at the smaller theaters, for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they often have snacks that are reasonably priced and taste good. But at the Loews and AMC theaters of the world? Damn straight.

True story: Tara and I were going to see “The Incredibles”. We were both snacky, but were repulsed by the idea of eating Five dollar hot dogs or dried out pretzels priced at $4.25.

Luckily for us, there is a decent snack shop at one of the anchor stores tied to the mall in which the theater was located. I stood in line, paid $4.00 per carrot cake, through in a bottle of San Pelligrino for $1.25, and placed the booty into a bag with the department stores name. In we walked with said booty, and walked past the line at the snack counter and had a decent food experience at the movie theater.

If I’m in a candy mood, I head to the local Pharmacy and head to their candy aisle, paying one dollar for candy that would have a 200% mark up at the theater.

I realize that several of you may balk at my subterfuge, and may even think less of me for it. I can live with that. What I do is against corporate rules, and this tact is not for everyone.

But I’m having a good time. I’ll put my carrot cake up against your theater food any time.

Technorati Tags: Food and Drink, Theaters, Theater Food, Movies, Breaking rules


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