write a you need to
Is It OK to Sneak
Food Into the Movies?
Movie snack prices are out of control. Does that mean you
should JUST bring your own treats? BY Justin O’Neill
ou and your friends
you aren’t already paying big bucks
to justify prices that are three
are settling into
for your ticket.
and four times higher than
your seats. The new
Earlier this year, a Michigan
man decided to fight for his right
is about to start, and
Most legal experts believe
to snack. Joshua Thompson is
Thompson has little chance of
you’ve got the essentials: soda,
suing his local AMC theater after it
winning his case, but he does have
popcorn, and gummy worms. Sure,
banned outside food. He argues the
a point; 85 cents out of every dollar
you spent your entire allowance on
ban violates a Michigan law that
of treats a movie theater sells is
these snacks, but hey, food is part
prevents businesses from charging
of what makes the movies fun.
Just as the lights dim, you catch
“He got tired of being taken
a whiff of . . . tuna fish?! You twist
advantage of,” Thompson’s lawyer
your neck, searching for the culprit.
told the Detroit Free Press. “It’s hard
How do they get away with it?
The Snack Business
The truth is that movie theaters
Then you spot him: A couple rows
back, some guy is chowing down on
a homemade sandwich.
How’d he get that in here? you
wonder. You want to pelt him and
his stinky sandwich with pieces of
your popcorn. Then you remember
how much you paid for it.
Your Right to Snack
Sneaking food into a movie is
pretty tempting. For one thing, the
options at the concession stand are
almost always junk food—nachos,
candy, giant greasy pretzels.
you can get them for a buck at the
corner store? Besides, it’s not like
Scholastic Scope • MAY 14, 2012
Then there are the prices. Why
pay $5 for a bag of M&Ms when
are more in the snack business than
the movie business. A huge chunk
of what you spend on a ticket
goes to the Hollywood studio that
made the movie. This makes sense,
since studios fund the production,
hire the stars, and pay for the
What Do You Think?
Is it OK to sneak food into the movies?
Use evidence from the article and your own
ideas to support each side of this
debate. Write the information
on the lines below.
advertising that draws crowds to
the movies in the first place.
But that often doesn’t leave
has its own costs. Theater owners
have to pay their employees, keep
What’s the big deal?
much cash for the theater, which
it’s so rude!
1 You save money on
snacks if you bring
their buildings clean, and provide
the latest high-tech projection
equipment. “If we can’t keep a
majority of that ticket price there’s
only one way that we can pay for
everything . . . and that’s at the
concession stand,” says movie
theater owner Jon Goldstein.
If customers stopped buying
food, owners would have to raise
ticket prices even higher.
Rules Are Rules
Of course, there’s another reason
to think twice before sneaking
food into the movies: It’s against
the rules. Breaking those rules can
have severe consequences too.
Some theaters will kick you out if
they catch you. Worse, you could be
banned from ever coming back.
Even without the threat of
punishment, the truth is that we
follow rules all the time—out of
respect. Sneaking food into the
movies is kind of like bringing your
Examine points on both sides—AS WELL AS your own beliefs
and experiences. Decide what you think. Is it OK to sneak food into the
movies? State your answer in one sentence below. This can become a thesis
statement for an essay on this topic.
own pasta to an Olive Garden. It’s
just bad manners.
Here’s a radical idea: Eat before
take this Activity further! WRITE AN
essay using our Scope Template.
WWW.Scholastic.com/scope • MAY 14, 2012