AMC Theatres Ban Outside Snacks

I came across this article about how AMC Theatres is moving into nationwide policy banning outside grub from their theaters.  Is this even new news?  I thought all movie theatres had a “No Outside Snacks” policy…?  It turns out that AMC Theatres never had a policy against bringing outside food into their theaters.  Well now AMC Theatres has banned outside snacks, but how much will this actually affect movie goers? I’m one of those people that actually doesn’t munch on anything during movies about 9 times out of 10.  Theater grub is outrageously priced and really not worth it, especially when a movie ticket is $10+ these days.  I’ll grab dinner before or after the flick on most occasions.

AMC Theatre LogoIt seems as though concessions are really the only major way for theaters to make their money.  A large portion of the price of a movie ticket ends up going into the pockets of the movie studios.  A lot of costs for AMC goes into improving the movie experience and a $6.00 bag of buttered popcorn seems to be a way of making up for those costs.  So people sneak in their gummi-bears they bought for a dollar at Target and the theatre loses out on being able to sell you a smaller portion for 3x the price.  Entertainment options these days are so vast.  Studio movies are released to DVD and Blu-Ray a lot faster and who wants to put up with the loud and annoying person sitting behind you at the theatre.  I’m sounding like a true curmudgeon now.  I don’t really see how AMC will be able to enforce this new policy but it’s worth a discussion.  Do you bring in outside snacks into your local theater?  What’s your favorite movie munchie?

39 comments on “AMC Theatres Ban Outside Snacks

  1. Yum Yucky says:

    Ummm. Yeah! And now I think I’ll start popping the micro pop and shove that into my bag too. Or maybe I’ll play Dolly Parton role and shove some food into my bra? Watch me.

    (time to buy a bigger bra)

  2. Junior Mints, Swedish Fist, and Gary’s original caramel popcorn balls from the gas station

  3. Ummmm…I meant Swedish Fish. I bet if I got caught with the fish, the theater would give me the fist.

  4. What a totally unenforcable rule! I actually assumed all movie theatres already had this rule, so I’ve been surreptitiously sneaking in snacks for years.

    By now, I am a seasoned pro. They’ll never catch me, never!

  5. Marvo says:

    I also thought theaters had a rule in place. I usually try to sneak food in, but I buy drinks inside because it’s hard to smuggle food and drinks, even though it’s $5 for a large soda.

  6. maxchain says:

    I’m partial to pairing Twizzlers and Pizzeria Pretzel Combos, myself. I’d usually sneak in whatever cheap energy drink I can get my hands on beforehand, but I might cool it on the blatantly-smuggled beverages until I get a feel for just how hardcore they are about enforcing this policy I assumed was already in effect.

  7. Justin says:

    Theaters have a terrible business model, and greed has just ruined the entire industry. Sure they will whine about Hollywood taking most of their ticket money, but then they build a movie theater that rivals most wonders of the world. Not surprisingly, those super-nice theaters have really expensive concession stands. I feel like Oliver Twist looking at their prices.

    No wonder most people just stay at home watching DVD’s.

  8. We don’t sneak food in, but we should. When we went a couple weeks ago, a small corn, small drink, bottle water, small candy costs more than the two movie tix. The Dasani especially irked me @ 4.25. Why don’t theaters just do what everyone else has, and lease out the space as a food court.

  9. Evan says:

    Saturday matinee = $6. Chick-Fil-A chicken biscuits while watching a movie=priceless.

  10. Tracy says:

    Have been sneaking in food since I was a little kid. As a mom with 3 kids taking them to a movie would be about $100 if we all went, got a drink and a snack. No movie is worth that. I have a big purse, my daughter brings a purse and we put water, bottled ice tea and Pepsi (our theatres only sell coke which we all don’t like)product sodas in along with baggies of M&M’s, snow caps or whatever is the snack of choice. I have even popped my own light popcorn for when I wanted popcorn but wasn’t willing to eat the theatre’s over fattening popcorn.

    If they stop me from sneaking it in I’ll just stop going. Movies hit the $1 rental Redbox really quickly these day.

  11. Mimi says:

    I do like to snack on candies at the movies. This news is really sad. I loved AMC BECAUSE of the fact that they didn’t care if you brought in outside food. At least, I mean, that they used to not care. This changes everything.

  12. kendra says:

    we would bring our own bags of popcorn…carrying it straight in, fully in view of the ticket taker. sacks of mcdonalds, ben and jerrys…it was kinda rediculous. as a kid, my dad would easily drop a hundred on tickets and snacks. if they would lower their prices a little and maybe have more options besides just popcorn, popcorn, pretzels, and oh, more popcorn, we might belly up to the bar more often.

  13. Justin says:

    They’re greedy, plain and simple. $5 is my price point for movie snacks. Charge me that for popcorn and drinks, and I could care less about the rip off part. No, they have to go and charge $10, 11 or MORE for drinks and popcorn, and that’s the small size too! At one of the local theaters, it’s $7 for the small combo, and that’s the cheapest in the area! They have coupons for $3 combos, so I really take advantage of that. Some moron with an MBA thought it would be really smart to take advantage of captive audience and extort moviegoers for snacks. Unfortunately, there are so many dummies that still line up at the concession stand for snacks and don’t vote with their wallets.

    If more people would just stop paying, these prices would go down.

  14. SkippyMom says:

    I have to agree with Tracy. If we all go it is $60 just for the tickets alone and then you add food, we are over $100 – I would rather spend that doing something, anything else.

    Our theatres here have a strict policy about bringing in food – so when my kids go with their friends they aren’t allowed to take food, but we give them the extra money for snacks.

    Best deal we ever found was on vacation in Hatteras this summer when Harry Potter came out – the tickets were $6.25! And the snacks were reasonable. Made me want to move there. Well, that and the beach 😉

  15. Ryan says:

    @ Evan … Nice! Doesn’t work on Sundays though 🙁

  16. Mary says:

    I have a carryall on the back of my wheelchair and whenever I go to the movies, I stuff bottled water and tubs of freeze-dried strawberries and bananas in there. Everything AMC offers is way too expensive. However, I do love the curly fries with the cheese sauce so I’ll sometimes spring for those.

  17. Amy says:

    Just saw “Coudy with a Chance of Meatballs” at a discounted theater for $1 a seat. I would have been aching for oversized pixar food an hour in if my kids hadn’t packed a picnic. I think they were through the cheeze-its, kettled-cooked chips,rainbow goldfish, cool mint oreos and juice boxes before the previews were over. $3 for the entire movie experience…the food was all lunch snack leftovers. I have to admit, when venturing alone I take nothing and buy nothing. The minimum wage years of popping corn and sloshing butter did their damage.

  18. I have been sneaking in snacks for years. Dont think this rule is going to change that. It would be pretty funny to see who can smuggle in the most insane full meal into a theatre.

  19. LW says:

    I usually don’t bring snacks in, b/c I usually make it a plan to catch a nice lunch or dinner afterwards. Sometimes I arrive at the theater hungry, look at the prices for food, and immediately regret it. 6 dollars for popcorn and a coke? What the hell are you smoking? That probably costs under 25 cents when you’re buying it in bulk, and there’s next to zero preparation involved.

    So the question really is, why aren’t they offering cheaper options? I mean, people obviously don’t buy theater food b/c of the price. And it’s at that price to keep their profit margin up. If they can get more people to buy food w/ lower prices, is it not probable that they can still manage their profit margin?

  20. Ryan says:

    I’m sure Seinfeld fans have learned a lesson about sneaking hot coffee into a movie theatre.

    [Movie theatre]

    Jerry: Excuse me, pardon me, excuse me

    Kramer: Oh, yow, oow Ah!

    Usher: Hey, hey, what’s going on? What just happened here?

    Kramer: Nothing Nothing.

    Usher: Whatya got? One of those Café Latte’s in your shirt?

    Kramer: I don’t have anything. Ask him.

    [ Jerry makes a silent drink gesture]

    Usher: All right, come on Coffee Boy, bring it out.

    Kramer: What?!

    Usher: Here you go.

    Kramer: Ow

    [Kramer leaves]

  21. Adam Bomb says:

    Oh, you’d better believe I sneak in snacks and drinks! I’m even teaching my 12 year old the fine art of successfully sneaking in food. I always make sure to bring bottled soda, and break the seal before entering the theater so the obvious “hiss” isn’t let out inside the theater. That’s usually a dead giveaway, lol.

    If you do some research online, it’s true that a LOT of the money theaters make on tickets (especially on opening weekend for the movie) goes to pay the studio for the use of the movie. So it’s either outrageous snack prices and current snack prices, or outrageous ticket prices and cheaper snacks. They can suck it, though. I’m sticking to my policy of bringing my own munchies.

    My fave snacks? Sno-caps, Reese’s Pieces, and wild cherry Pepsi!

  22. alf says:

    Raisinets, Jr Mints & Milk Duds!!!!

    I’ve sneaked snacks in for years. $1 at walgreen, $4.25 at theater. Crazy. I’ve also sneaked popcorn in just because theirs is so unhealthy.

  23. rob says:

    I’ll bring in some M&Ms or Reeses Pieces from a 7/11 in my pockets not like they are going to frisk me.

  24. Jesse says:

    AMC needs to ban snacks because they don’t make money on tickets sales, and all their profit comes from the outrageously priced snacks. I don’t think this move will have any effect on snacks being brought in, since most people hide them anyway. Plus, I can’t imagine any minimum wage teenage really caring enough to boot you from the theater for a packet of M&Ms.

  25. drpep says:

    I haven’t been to a movie in ages. When I went I usually snuck in a can of soda and sometimes Twizzlers. I’d always buy popcorn. I’ve never seen someone bring in fast food but would hate to near them if it meant smelling a Whopper or onion rings. If this is what AMC wants to keep out then I say go for it.

  26. steve m says:

    lot of complainers here. I am not cheap. I don’t love the prices that they charge for snacks, but I buy them. Why? Cause unlike some of you, I don’t go to the movies that often. It’s a treat. I love movie theatre popcorn- it’s the best popcorn in the world to me. Popcorn and soda goes well with the whole movie experience. Seriously people got to stop being so cheap and live once in awhile.

  27. Natalie says:

    I rarely rarely sneak in food. I prefer fountain coke over a bottle so I’ll spring for it and the only movie snack I like is popcorn (not a candy person) and the theater’s is always better than microwaved stuff.
    That said, I rarely buy popcorn and a drink. I’m normally throw a few bucks down on a soda and then eat dinner before or after the movie. One of the movie theaters here does offer a small personal sized pizza for $6, I’ll get that if I’m too hungry to wait until after, it’s not that bad.

    I’m a girl w/ no kids so I’m the only person I have to spend money on…spending ten extra bucks at a movie theater every so often won’t break me.

  28. Justin says:

    Steve M., some of us have bills or care about our financial well being. We don’t put everything on credit cards and file for bankruptcy.

  29. Johnny says:

    Justin, some of us can spend money on things without using credit cards and going bankrupt. Maybe you should get a better job and make more money….

  30. Lowell says:

    What, are they going to pat you down?
    16 year old kid taking my pint of Kettle One from me, nope!

  31. Justin says:

    Johnny, you are probably the type of person that gets ripped off a lot. Salesmen are very appreciative of you, but I don’t think your retirement account is! You’re probably just a kid that gets all your money from daddy and doesn’t have to work for it! Oh yeah, people of all income levels are going broke now, so your point is pretty invalid.

  32. Adam Bomb says:

    @ steve m: So we should all buy movie theatre popcorn, because you like the popcorn at your theatre? Newsflash: Not all theatre popcorn is exactly the same. And why exactly does one have to spend money on overpriced stuff in order to “live once in a while”. I don’t know about anyone else on here, but enjoying life and “living it up” or whatever you want to call it does not depend solely on whether I’m spending money. That would just be a sad way to live, IMO.

    And I’m going to go ahead and assume by your chastising that you just never complain about the price of anything at all, right? Because if you do, I’ll bet there are people out there that would probably tell you to quit whining and deal with it.

    Seriously, if you paid attention to this blog post then you’d notice that it asked “Do you bring in outside snacks into your local theater?” It didn’t say “Only post if you support the practice of buying snacks at the theatre!”. It’s a freaking discussion, man. And people on both sides of the fence are allowed to discuss.

  33. Aimee says:

    I’m allergic to what they put on the popcorn. Our theater has only recently started carrying white popcorn, $4/bag is not that bad, if I’m in the mood for a snack.

    Sometimes I sneak a drink in, I’m on meds that dry out my throat & mouth. I’m not interested in buying 2 liters of water for about $15, although I have done it in the past. I feel they’re taking advantage of me by charging that amount of money for water, just like the airports do.

    With the candy, you’ve got to be jerking my Beefaroni. I’m not really a candy person, but if I were, I would so totally get some on sale @ Walgreens, put it in plastic baggies & stuff ’em in my purse. I’m not that way.

    Sometimes what we do is split a combo. We have to make our own Pepsi Twist w/the lemonade & Pepsi dispensers. Sometimes we get the Kiddie Combo. It’s just enough to feel like you had a treat.

  34. Swampfox says:

    I seem to recall sneaking in chalupas years ago. The smell would be a dead giveaway but there weren’t many people in the theater.

  35. Adam Bomb says:

    LOL@ chalupas in the theatre. That kinda makes me want to sneak a McD’s or BK value meal in. Complete with ketchup packets and everything.

  36. jenne says:

    Yes we sneak… a lot of Dollar Tree candy and cheapie sodas..all wierd brands and varieties..or beef jerky and fruit if we’re going healthier.. ladies carry big purses..last time i knew they were gonna look, i piled a bunch of tampons on top, last time they did that…

  37. oORiceballOo says:

    Usually i make a trip to 5 & Below, and get their less than a dollar brand name candies/snacks. Their bottles of water or drinks are a dollar too…how can you go wrong!? bring a really big purse and you’ll never get caught =] dont u need some type of document that you can search my personal belongings anyways?? idk but i will surely continue to bring in food no doubt x] fav movie snacks -nachos (yes i bought some from 7 eleven chips, cheese, jalepenos and all…it didn’t taste the same but hey alot cheaper than the ones in the movie theater x] lmao) and cookie dough mmmm i can’t get enough ^.^ that and nerd ropes =]

  38. I'm okay with it says:

    why would you rather risk the chance of getting caught? being asked to throw out your food or put it away before entering when you can just eat right before you go in? It doensn’t make any sense to me why anyone tries to confront them about the policy after getting caught. stay at home and wait for the film to come out on DVD if you can’t abide a simple policy. stop being fat. geez.

  39. NotAChrister says:

    I felt stupid, taken advantage of, paying the priced they want for food and drink…its highway robbery..4 candy packs, 4 sodas and 4 popcorns at nearly 40.00$ with tickets, refills, it costs us almost 100$ to see a movie nowadays. What a rip

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