Do You Sneak Snacks Into The Movies?

Movie SnacksIt’s come to mind lately that there may be things I do to save money that might fall into a gray area. Now, I am in no way talking about stealing or anything remotely illegal, but if you are someone who makes it a point to follow all the rules, you might be disappointed with some of my habits. Maybe you do some of them as well. I guess my question is this: Is it OK to break the rules if they are silly ones meant to get you to spend more money?

Let’s Go To The Movies

We’ve been to the movies a few times this summer. For years, I’ve put snacks and sometimes drinks in my purse so that we don’t have to buy the rip off expensive ones there. We all know there are signs clearly stating that no outside food or drink is allowed. It’s not that they don’t want people spilling on the carpet. They sell overpriced things to a captive audience who can’t seem to go two hours without a salty or sweet snack. I’ve never given my snack sneakiness a second thought. I believed I was being frugal.

We went with a friend and her son last week. He was talking about getting food, and my daughter pipes up, rather loudly, about how Mommy has stuff in her purse. I quickly shushed her up and said we couldn’t talk about that. This got me to thinking that maybe I’m setting a bad example. If we can’t say it out loud, should we be doing it?

We’ve also pirated snacks into baseball games, amusement parks, and most recently, the bowling alley .It just seems crazy to spend more than the price of admission on food that would cost $1.50 to bring from home. Is this wrong or smart?

I’m not sure why it’s OK for an establishment to insist on consumers purchasing their products or none at all. Years ago, optometrists were allowed to insist that patients bought contacts from their office only if they wanted to fill a prescription. Then the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act was passed which basically said patients could take their prescription anywhere they chose if they paid their exam fees. Do we need to pass the Fairness to Movie Watcher’s Act so that I can bring my own snacks to the theater without feeling like a criminal?

I guess the best thing to do would be make sure we are full before going to the movies, or maybe we could compromise by buying popcorn but bringing a drink? I’ve explained to my daughter how the movie theater wants us to spend more money, and that’s why they don’t want us to bring snacks. I hope I don’t give her a complex. We just wanted to enjoy a movie during the heat of the day. Maybe I’m making too big of a deal out of nothing.

What’s your opinion on no outside food or drinks? Do you sneak snacks in to the movies?


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  1. I always bring some sort of snack or drink into places like that. My wife and I love going to the horse track and they have a similar policy. We always bring in a pop and some snacks. It’s way better than paying for their overpriced, not so great, food.

    1. Right, if it was super great food that would be different, but amusement park food,especially, is terrible and tastes like cardboard.

    1. No, I don’t think so at all, but it’s hard to explain why it’s OK to ignore this rule but not that one to a 6 year old, and it did make me think a bit more than I probably should have.

  2. Oh hell yeah! When I go to the movie with my girlfriends (and see a chick flick type movie) we even bring wine but we always have dark chocolate. Movies and other attractions are EXPENSIVE…they should just be happy I’m paying the ticket to show up! lol! That’s one thing I love about the hollywood bowl, they let you bring in everything (at most shows) including alcohol.

  3. I totally think it’s OK to bring your own snacks into movies! Not only is it sooo much cheaper, you can bring what you want. I only wish I could sneak a bag of popcorn in. I like theater popcorn, but $12 for a medium-sized bag? No way. If the theaters want to encourage people to buy their snacks, they should lower their prices.

  4. I absolutely bring snacks to the movies. I don’t think there’s anything unethical about if you don’t lie about it. If the manager came over and told me to throw away my food or leave, then I’d have to choose one of the options, but unnecessary rules with vague consequences don’t matter too much to me.

  5. When I was growing up, my parents snuck food in all the time to the movie theaters. My dad would make me bring my little denim purse if we were going to the movies because it could fit a couple of cans of soda. But these days, it doesn’t feel worth it. It’s rare that we go see a movie in the theater (once, maybe twice per year) so it’s not a big deal. Usually we go after dinner, so don’t really want snacks. Or if we do, we get a kids tray to share. Fewer calories and less money. =)

    1. I am always amazed to see how much fat and calories are in a bag of movie popcorn. Almost better not to know!

  6. I did this all of the time in college. The movie theater was in the mall, so people would be coming into the movies with bags all of the time. We would come into a movie with a bag as well, except our bag was full of food and drinks and not clothes.

  7. Yep, I did this just a few days ago when I saw Superman. I figured worst case scenario they ask that I leave (which they have every right to do if I’m not following rules!) but over time I’ve saved so much money it’s hard not to do it.

    1. We have snuck snacks in since I was a kid. The prices are outrageous.

      But recently, we have a new excuse for doing it. Our family has so many food allergies, that no establishment can accommodate us. It’s an ADA issue for us now. Our family has allergies to gluten, soy, dairy, egg, corn, and nightshades (including spices made from nightshades).

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