Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Buzzkill movie-theater employees apparently not chill with you bringing in your own food

Screenshot: YouTube

There’s something nostalgic about sitting down in a dim movie theater, a striped cup of soda in your hand and a giant bucket of buttery popcorn between your legs. The red velvet curtains part and the projector beams its scratchy, old-timey countdown as your belly prepares not just for those delicious kernels, but also all the laughs that this picture will no doubt elicit. It’s a nice vision, if an outdated one. Because it’s not really popcorn moviegoers are munching these days, but all manner of sloppy snacks and hearty meals. Some, like a plate of chicken wings or a spread of charcuterie, can be purchased at fancy theaters like the Alamo Drafthouse, while others are smuggled in backpacks, cargo-short pockets, and JNCOs by society’s most unsavory.

The latter are the subject of a new piece from Slate, which invites movie theater managers the country over to share their thoughts on guests bringing in their own snacks. Surprise! They don’t like it, especially when concessions are a key component of a theater’s revenue stream in the age of MoviePass. And while that might be the real crime, there’s something cruel about moviegoers who so brazenly leave behind Starbucks cups and tuna sandwiches for the custodial staff to stumble upon and know they’ve been fooled.


Truly, the best part of the piece is the strange list of comestibles the interviewees share. We’re talking half-eaten tins of seafood salad, cupcakes, and, in one instance, a box of Franzia. A bottle of Fireball is one thing, but if someone’s sneaking a box of wine into the theater then that one’s on the staff, not the customer.

Check out the whole article on Slate.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

About the author

Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.