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TOPIC: Outside Food & Beverages

Re: Outside Food & Beverages 24 May 2000 11:00 #2157

  • Mike
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Thanks for the clarity...I eat stuff at the movies that I never would buy on the street.

Did you know that there's a little known fact that movie theatre food calories do not count in diets?

Mike Hurley
www.bigscreenbiz.com
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Re: Outside Food & Beverages 04 Jun 2000 18:07 #2158

  • tkp42
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speaking as a theatergoer, and a movie-owner wannabe, i can see both sides of the issue.

i usually see movies with my sister, and by the time we scrounge up $10+ to get in, it's all we can do to find enough change for a mello-yello to sneak in.

i think movie theaters would see fewer "smuggle fests" if the prices for concessions weren't so incredibly high.

i love movie popcorn as much as the next person, but i just can't afford to pay $4 for a small popcorn.

call me cheap, but i prefer to pay for the movie, not a snack. =)
tonya pettigrew
theater-owner wannabe

find me on yahoo messenger: xphile.rm
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Re: Outside Food & Beverages 04 Jun 2000 22:08 #2159

  • RoxyVaudeville
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tkp42,

So you want to be a movie theatre owner do you?

It can be fun, and it can be rewarding, but it's not easy. It can be downright frustrating at times.

Are you aware that MOST theatres, even the megaplexes owned by the large chains, don't make any profit on ticket sales. They, we, all of us have to survive on the sales from our concession stands.

Now I admit that the prices at some of those plexes are mighty high, but I'm sure their overhead is as well.

Someone such as yourself can come to my theatre (2nd run)and get in for an evening show for $2.50, buy a small pop corn for $1.50 (24 oz.), a small soda for $1.25 (14 oz.), and a small candy for $1.00...that totals $6.25 which is less then one adult ticket at any area multiplex. You could buy the large size of each item and still spend only $8.25 total. Now if you come to a matinee showing at $1.50 and buy a large of each item, your total would only be $6.75! OK, what's the point here you may ask? The fact is that even at these low prices (you do admit these are low prices, don't you?)MANY people still sneak food into our theatre.

How are we supposed to survive? When you get your own theatre...you will learn very quickly why the prices are as they are. Some times people say to me..."but we can buy that at the supermarket for half the price". Of course they can, what they don't realize is that each of those items is just one of thousands of items that they sell to many thousands of customers daily with a markup of only a few cents. We only sell maybe a few hundred items a day to possible a few hundred customers (and for some, a lot less then that)per screen. Now think about that, if we used their markup of only a few cents...lets even say 5 cents, and we sell 500 items a day or 3500 per week, that would only give us a profit of $175.00 for the week (from concessions) to use towards the loss from the box office that might be a thousand, or thousands of dollars per week!

It's just not possible to survive with low prices, and we don't do the volumne of ticket sales to make up the difference by having lower prices. Lower concession prices will not bring more people to the movies....it might increase sales at the theatre, but by not bringing more volumne in the difference needed can't be made up.

So my only suggestion for you now while you're still just a movie patron is to find a theatre, such as ours with lower prices, and leave your food at home... or that lower price theatre will not be there long for you to enjoy.
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Re: Outside Food & Beverages 05 Jun 2000 10:14 #2160

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Some people are born complainers. Some just live for the thrill of going against the rules. If you say no outside food, that's an invitation to sneek. The fact is that the high prices for the snacks are justified. But unfortunately the average joe just dosn't care. All they know is that the price is high and they don't want to pay it. Well, all I have to say is; "That if you want to see the movie, then you should pay for your snacks there also. Your helping the theater owner and being a good person at the same time.If everyone brought in snacks that theater you enjoy going to wouldn't be there!"
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Re: Outside Food & Beverages 05 Jun 2000 13:28 #2161

  • Avalon
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Another biggie is that the food stores do not have to pay the clean-up for the items and the packaging on the items they sell. the packaging goes home with the customers -- they don't eat it in the store then toss the wrapper on the floor. what do you think safeway would be getting for those red vines if they had to clean up the candy after it was ground into their carpet?

i'm very forunate in that when i finally built my own theater (after decades of running other peoples' theaters) i made it small and designed the layout so that one person can run it comfortably on a full house. by designing in the lower operating costs, i have a very liberal "outside food" policy that pisses off the other theaters, because their patrons are asking why they don't allow outside food. I built my place for the least stress and allowing outside food gives me one less thing to worry about. besides, .75 per ain't too bad for an art house. on my web page i point out that by bringing in outside food you are fatening corporate pockets while taking from mine, but if you can live with yourself doing that, then com'on down.

Anyone who isn't in business doesn't care what business people have to go thru to keep their doors open. people buy nikes for their kids unconcerned that 14 year old girls are working 12 hours a day in a third world country for pennies and hour to make those shoes -- trading their childhood for disposable american fashion. why would they care that us paying 70% for a movie leaves us nothing to live on? why would we expect the average american consumer to care beyond their immediate desire to have cheap food while watching a movie? they won't until you throw them out a couple times (which i've done in other theaters), or . . . .

i think informing your public of the realities, with the info RoxyVaudeville shared above, goes a long way toward making them aware of why the policy exists. put it on your web page or on a card in the lobby. explain why you can't charge as little as the food store and if they enjoy movies in a theater, they better support them. people generally respect rules when they understand why they exsist.
Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
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Re: Outside Food & Beverages 12 Oct 2001 20:11 #2162

  • Mike
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A great topic!
Michael Hurley
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Re: Outside Food & Beverages 15 Oct 2001 11:43 #2163

  • take2
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I side with Mike when he talks about the right of passage. I know people who bring in outside foods and you can tell that they think its just so cool to sneek it in. Myself, well, I'm a popcorn guy and no popcorn out there can touch the popcorn in a theatre. To say that I have NEVER brought in outside food would be a flat out lie. But that was in much yonger days,and yes, I thought it was cool then.
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Re: Outside Food & Beverages 16 Oct 2001 20:51 #2164

In Ontario Canada a movie theatre with a snack bar is classified then as a food establishment and if they for any reason permit outside foor or beverages to be brought in they would be shut down by the health dept. Non controlled food stuffs can be a major contributor to food contaniamation
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