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 will go to the earliest movie to buy cheap tickets, but I get my snacks at the movie theater. I have heard that the business of running a movie theater is crazy expensive and that they stay in business on the concession stand revenue, so I like to do my part to keep the movie theater in business. Would you sneak in to another movie after your movie is finished without paying for an additional ticket? For me that would be the same thing. Although I would like to be able to buy an all you can view movie pass for say a little less than double the price of a single ticket to be able to watch as many movies as I would like on a Saturday.

    1. Good point. I would love the idea of a multi movie pass. I’ve seen that with special occasion type trilogy marathons, but not a regular thing. Although, I probably would be falling asleep after two movies!

  2. I haven’t been to the movies in a few years, so I haven’t had to sneak in anything lately. I did however used to bring boxes of candy (junior mints usually) into the theater with me when I was in HS. These days I’m trying to cut back on processed junk food, so I might take a healthier snack with me. If the usher asked me to put it away or leave I would. They obviously lose money when people bring in their own food, so I can understand why they wouldn’t want me to.

  3. I have never snuck food into the movies, usually we go full or eat after, well it’s been a while since we went at all, and I am not a fan of pop corn.
    But I bring food in the plane if they charge $5 for a chocolate bar. Some restaurants here let you bring your bottle of wine and charge a small fee for opening it for you and giving you glasses, I find it fair and better than paying for the markup on wine. Paying $1.5 to bring food will save you a lot, unless it is per item.

    1. I’ve actually been to restaurants that let you bring in wine and charge a corking fee or something similar. That’s a great way to save, plus you get to choose what you like. I do like movie popcorn, and this is too much information, but I have a permanent retainer on my lower teeth from orthodontic work years ago, and popcorn does not agree with it at all!

  4. You know, the one thing I can’t do is eat/drink and watch a movie (especially at the theaters). All the intensity (e.g. if I’m watching Man of Steel) makes me want to go take a leak, but I don’t want to miss any of the good stuff!

  5. Some days it’s tough knowing what’s right! Or if we’re being hyper-sensitive or not. We do generally buy our food from concessions (which is very overpriced and has long lines) because we typically buy popcorn. More often I try to convince the girls to forgo treats or share so we can go out for dinner afterwards. Sometimes it works. 🙂

    1. The smell is just too strong sometimes, and sometimes it’s just easier to suck it up than listen to how “hungry” or “thirsty” your kid is for two hours.

  6. Kim!!! Your habits are my habits, totally. Not only do I have absolutely no qualms about sneaking snacks into a movie, I’ll sneak them into a pub as well. If I am paying $4-$5 a pint, I ain’t paying for snacks, so I’ll take a bag of nuts or Nut Thins or something easy to hide. No one has ever said anything if they us sneaking snacks. And just this morning at the coffee shop I got hungry, so I took a free tiny tub of salsa and saltines and made a snack of that. I paid $1.89 for the damn coffee, so I feel pretty good about the free snack. You’re dead on with this in my book, moral-free book;)

  7. I pay a ton of money every year to see films at our local theater rather than wait for them to come out on video. I feel no guilt at all in telling my kid that we’re saving money by not buying the overpriced items at the concession stand.

    Funny: there’s a Bed, Bath and Beyond just down the strip mall from our theater. Right up front, near the door, they have a huge array of movie theater sized snacks, but for a third of the price of the same ones at the theater.

  8. My philosophy is that if the movie theater really didn’t want us to sneak snacks in, they have an x-ray machine at the entrance.

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