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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Pricey Pop & Popcorn

Posted May 20, 2008

I just about lost my jaw at the movie theatre concession counter Monday afternoon. Here was my order: two small sodas and two medium popcorns. No butter, please. This same order would have cost me $4.00 at a high school football game. Guess what it cost me at the theatre? $19.00!  Two small sodas and unbuttered popcorn in two flimsy paper bags.  You'd think they would toss in a crab cake with prices that high.

The movie was a bargain compared to the food. Cindy and I paid $13.50 for two matinee tickets to Prince Caspian. The movie was great. We loved it. It's a wonderful story and the film was beautifully produced. It’s a shame we had to watch it with price indigestion.

It reminded us of when we were saving money for our wedding many years ago. I was working in radio and received free tickets to a movie. Cindy smuggled in home cooked popcorn. It was a free night of fun despite a good bit of ribbing from my radio buddies. I may do the same thing the next time I go to the theatre.

Have you had similar experiences?

28 Comments

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  • owlady May 20, 2008

    It's easier to smuggle in food in the winter months. My daughter likes to tell the story of when her school friend smuggled in a 32 oz. drink inside his big black ski parka!

  • TomLynda May 20, 2008

    Know what you mean about the high cost of pop corn and drinks. Sometimes the wife will have candy in her purse, but the smell of popcorn draws you to the counter. If we have the grandkids I'll get the large bag, with free refills, and try to talk them into sharing drinks. We only go 2 or 3 times a year anyway. Now we have two back to back that must be seen on the big screen. Prince Caspian and Indiana Jones. Oh well, we'll see them anyway, and pass the popcorn please, and don't hold the butter.

  • canes017 May 20, 2008

    P.S. I'll recommend everyone give Six Forks Cinema a shot, they're prices on tickets and concessions are significantly cheaper than what you mentioned paying Bill. They only run 6 screens so they have less costs and have great, clean theaters and the best quality sound in the area!

  • canes017 May 20, 2008

    Actually, the reason prices are so high at the concession stand is because in the case of most movies, theaters make less than .25 cents off of each ticket; in some cases (blockbusters) they get NOTHING off of the ticket as all of the ticket proceeds return to the movie companies. The prices at the concession stand may seem high but they are the only thing keeping the theaters and their employees going.

  • CestLaVie May 20, 2008

    Great blog today, Bill. It's interesting to read how most everyone handles the high prices of the concession stand by smuggling in food. And that applies to years ago too when prices seemed just as high in comparison. Now, I suppose they'll have "food detectors" at the entrance like metal detectors at schools!!

    I, too, think that high prices & lower attendance will drive some theaters into oblivion; there seem to be so many anyway - how can they all stay in business?

    LOL - jdlewis76 & Prayergirl!!! Hahahehe

  • bleslie May 20, 2008

    I couldn't resist the alliteration, Chuck! I first time I heard someone refer to cola as pop was in the 5th grade when a kid moved to Morganton from Buffalo, NY.

  • carolinamissy May 20, 2008

    When I was little my mom used to sneak snacks for us into the movies in a really big purse she carried at the time. We called it her Bag Lady purse. We would fill it with juices popcorn and snack cakes. We thought it was fun to sneak past the ushers with our contraban. They were great times!

  • rogerkneebend May 20, 2008

    I gave up on going to theatres a long time ago. I wait until the DVD comes out. The only thing is that I have to be patient for the release which is not the long of a wait nowadays.

    Except for watching it on a huge screen, why attend a crowded theatre when you can watch it in the comfort and privacy of your own home?

  • starglow2005 May 20, 2008

    We rarely go to the movies, but popcorn is a huge weakness for me. If I smell and hear fresh popcorn being popped, it's hard to resist. We buy one large size bag with free refills and share it. My mom used to make a huge bag of popcorn the kids would sit on a blanket in the grass at the drive-in to watch the movies and eat popcorn.

    Those were the days when a large family could still afford to go see a movie without breaking the bank. Sadly, those days are gone and today it's all about the money to support the Hollywierd lifestyle for the stars and not making affordable entertainment available for the average American family.

  • MaplesMom May 20, 2008

    Thanks Bill. 10:30 in the morning and I just popped a bag of popcorn!!! HaHa

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