Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

When concession food sucks


Ellen Shapiro
 Share

Recommended Posts

I just joined, so I'm adding to this topic kind of late, but I do have fond memories of being in college and sneaking in a quiche and a chicken soulvaki sandwich with a friend to a random suburban movie theather. We thought no one would notice but the smell was unmistakable. We couldn't stop laughing. Luckily it was an comedy so we didn't get thrown out!

"When I grow up, I'm going to Bovine University!" --Ralph Wiggum

"I don't support the black arts: magic, fortune telling and oriental cookery." --Flanders

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To answer the original post:

1) Yes.

2) Ghiradelli nonpareils. Tootsie Roll Pops. Bottled water.

3) Intellectually, I know that the concession counter at a movie theater is akin to the wine list at a restaurant. Emotionally, there's absolutely no way I'm paying $3 for a box of Raisinettes or $6 for a tub of popcorn. This is how I rationalize smuggling in my own goodies, as I'm not actually taking any revenue away from the theater.

It really ticks me off, though, that our local minor league baseball stadium won't let fans bring in so much as a bottle of water. Even Wrigley Field makes that one concession (pun semi-intended) for up to 1 liter, if memory serves. So, you know what'll be in Ms. Alex's capacious shoulder bag come game time. And, at least in this case, I will feel rather pleased for having struck at least a clandestine blow for common sense.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a cheap theater up the street from me, movies for $5. We go fairly regularly, which I definately wouldn't do at the full price! Can't imagine what it is now. Anyhow, when we go, we always load up the old backpack with junk food, pop, juice, whatever. I'm not going to the cheap theater just to give all the savings back at the concession stand. I admit I do buy popcorn though. Do I feel bad? Not a wee bitty bit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We couldn't stop laughing. Luckily it was an comedy so we didn't get thrown out!

I've always had a guilty conscience. So guilty, in fact, that it extends to such things as minor as sneaking food into movies. One of the first times I ever did this was my first year in college. Don't remember the movie, but it was opening night and the theatre was packed. I'd stopped and bought a large bag of M&Ms. After eating a few in the car, I stuffed the bag in my waistband and tried to be as nonchalant about finding a seat as I could.

My friend and I were running a little late -- got there right as the previews started. Since the theatre was so full, we had to settle for seats in the middle of the theatre. As I was crawling across and over people to get to our seats, the bag of M&Ms slipped further down into my pants and fell open. M&Ms spilled out of my pantslegs and out of the holes ripped in the knees of my very cool jeans. I could hear them tumbling all the way down to the front of the theatre.

I was horrified. I was sure I'd be arrested. Then the giggles started....

amanda

Googlista

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I knew my parents and their friends were getting old when they began sneaking in their own popped corn :hmmm:

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We used to sneak cans of beer in (one in each sock). I don't know why we picked that as our hiding place but there must have been a reason. I'm thinkin that movies would be a good time for those canned wines.

A island in a lake, on a island in a lake, is where my house would be if I won the lottery.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I almost always brought sandwiches to NY Knicks' games at Madison Square Garden -- surely you don't expect us to eat extortionate Blimpies??? :shock: After 9/11, when they were checking bags and wanding everyone, the security guys always said "You're not supposed to bring in food," to which I would reply, "You want some?" and they'd wave me in. And no, I never had to share.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been known to bring small snacks into a theater, cherries, a chocolate bar, etc. Most commonly, I bring a drink. Sorry, I see no need to pay $4.00 for a freakin' bottle of WATER, after paying $9.00 just to get in.

And I've brought my own food on planes for over 20 years. Most of my flights have been transatlantic, and besides the food being bad, who's to say if I might be sleeping, and want to stay that way while they bring the trays around? This way, I can still live on my own schedule, and hopefully arrive more rested for it. I've never had a problem with bringing food on board, and usually get envious looks. I tend towards smoked salmon sandwiches, lots of fruit and cut up veggies - simple, light, but containing lots of water to help keep me hydrated. Of course, there was that late summer flight a few years ago when I pulled out that bowl of fresh figs, strawberries, peaches, and a container of creme fraiche... never felt so hated in my life! :wink:

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've always had a guilty conscience. So guilty, in fact, that it extends to such things as minor as sneaking food into movies. One of the first times I ever did this was my first year in college. Don't remember the movie, but it was opening night and the theatre was packed. I'd stopped and bought a large bag of M&Ms. After eating a few in the car, I stuffed the bag in my waistband and tried to be as nonchalant about finding a seat as I could.

My friend and I were running a little late -- got there right as the previews started. Since the theatre was so full, we had to settle for seats in the middle of the theatre. As I was crawling across and over people to get to our seats, the bag of M&Ms slipped further down into my pants and fell open. M&Ms spilled out of my pantslegs and out of the holes ripped in the knees of my very cool jeans. I could hear them tumbling all the way down to the front of the theatre.

I was horrified. I was sure I'd be arrested. Then the giggles started....

If you hadn't had the cool jeans that were ripped in the knees you could have had some m & ms with AgaCooker's sock beers. Then again, if you had had your jeans tucked into your socks (as if it were, say, leech season) you could have eaten the m & ms out of your shoes.

Ellen Shapiro

www.byellen.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many years ago, I bootlegged two flasks of whiskey into Alice Cooper, Rick Derringer and Johnny&Edgar Winter in Phoenix. Everyone bitched at me for getting First row Balcony seats until Welcome To My Nightmare started, and then out came J.D. for the barbarians, and Scotch for me. A memorable night.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you hadn't had the cool jeans that were ripped in the knees you could have had some m & ms with AgaCooker's sock beers. Then again, if you had had your jeans tucked into your socks (as if it were, say, leech season) you could have eaten the m & ms out of your shoes.

Too true. So many fashion mistakes back then.

The fortunate thing is that the M&Ms weren't there long enough to melt. "Melts in your mouth, not in your pants...."

amanda

Googlista

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lately, I've been going to the movies in the middle of the afternoon and I take lunch with me. Usually it's just a yogurt or a sandwich, but I haven't been stopped yet. And I feel no guilt (well maybe a little, but for being a bum, not sneaking in food).

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

QUOTE "One thing I'd really like to talk about is the phenomenon of "Restaurant/Brewpub Movie Theaters".  These are few and far between, but the idea fascinates me.  Anyone here been to one?"

P.S. I cannot figure out how to use quote feature on this site (the help feature didn't explain it well enogh for my tecno challenged brain). Any help would be appereciated...Chow Guy

We "had" a really cool one called Cinema Cafe in Santa Fe (It's closed now). The format was comfortable, couches and overstuffed chairs with low coffee tables to eat on, with second run or vintage movies playing all day. The rake of the theatre was perfect for sightlines. There were several incarnations when it came to the food (New American then Ameri-Cuban), which was quite alright to good. Menu choices ranged from noshes and finger foods to full fledged meals. A well chosen beer and wine selection and descrete personable staff that was not intrusive. I think the films were part of the problem (often not great choices). They hosted the SAG Awards there last year and it was a perfect venue for a party like that. A good time was had by all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

QUOTE "One thing I'd really like to talk about is the phenomenon of "Restaurant/Brewpub Movie Theaters".  These are few and far between, but the idea fascinates me.  Anyone here been to one?"

We "had" a really cool one called Cinema Cafe in Santa Fe (It's closed now). The format was comfortable, couches and overstuffed chairs with low coffee tables to eat on, with second run or vintage movies playing all day. The rake of the theatre was perfect for sightlines. There were several incarnations when it came to the food (New American then Ameri-Cuban), which was quite alright to good. Menu choices ranged from noshes and finger foods to full fledged meals. A well chosen beer and wine selection and descrete personable staff that was not intrusive. I think the films were part of the problem (often not great choices). They hosted the SAG Awards there last year and it was a perfect venue for a party like that. A good time was had by all.

We used to go to one in our area (which is also now closed). They're great in concept, but in practice, the service was problematic and the food awful, which made it impossible to complain to your waitress about the fact that the Caesar salad had been dressed the previous day. The microbrews were great, I miss that.

P.S. I cannot figure out how to use quote feature on this site (the help feature didn't explain it well enogh for my tecno challenged brain). Any help  would be appereciated...Chow  Guy

To quote a passage, highlight and copy it, then hit "reply". Start writing your reply. When you want to insert the quote, hit the "quote" button in the toolbar, then paste in the passage, and hit the "quote" button again to end the section.

Then write your reply to the passage.

To quote an entire post with its name/date header, hit the "quote" button on the post. The reply window will come up, and there will be a small window below with the entire quote in it. You may edit it to remove the irrelevant parts.

Edited by Katherine (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hee, I brought food into Return of the King this weekend. I brought a bottle of CVS water, a box of Reese's Swoops (which I did not enjoy) and 2 Valentine's Russel Stover Caramel Hearts. My SO brought a bottle of vanilla coke and a bag of Reese's Pieces.

I have no qualms about bringing food into movie theaters, stadiums and the like. To me, it's the same as having a couple hard candies or breath mints in your purse, only bigger and bulkier.

Believe me, I tied my shoes once, and it was an overrated experience - King Jaffe Joffer, ruler of Zamunda

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hadn't done it in a number of years, but mom used to sneak in Milk duds and Now and Laters for us when we were kids. I love the woman.

And I can remember standing in line to see Superman in 1978, my dad holding the place in line with my brother and I, and one of his friends showing up with McDonalds for us, since the line wrapped the theater. I was 10. Greatest thing ever, I think...

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My son's in college and worked full-time over the Christmas holidays at a large cinema complex. He says that the manager told him that the only way their theater makes a profit is because of the concession sales... As a result, the kids at the concession stand get a small commission on their sales of soda/popcorn combos. Due to popular demand they now have a cappucino/latte/fried dough stand.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm inclined to bring in candy on occasion and nearly always a bottle of water. I my area the theatres charge $3 for water and I feel no guilt about bringing my own. IN NYC I always bought the combo because it was about $7.50 to $8.50 for the large soda/popcorn combo. Now that Im back in Syracuse where one chain controls ALL the first run theatres (except for one that is hanging by a thread and doesn't really count).... I'd need to get a bank loan to get the combo. Here they are currently charging just over $12 once tax is included. That's right - It's about $12.50 for a large soda and popcorn. And they wonder why peopel sneak stuff in?

When I lived in Ithaca NY there was no point in in bringing your own. Fall Creek Theatre and Cinemapolis had fresh cooked popcorn with real butter (plus a dozen great toppings you could add to that), home made brownies, real coffee and tea and even fresh local apple cider - all at realistic prices. Local people made it a practice to support the concession stand because it w2as a great little locally owned theatre.

The best is the little movie theatre in Old Forge. Not sure if they still do this but they used to sell every single flavor of Ben & Jerry's by the pint for only about 50 cents more than the grocery store charges. Why bother bringing your own?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i'm in the minority that thinks bringing junk into the movies is wrong.. here's the thing- your local theatre makes no money off your ticket price for the first week to three weeks of the run.. like maybe .10 on the dollar goes to them, and it doesn't really even cover costs.. the smaller the theatre (i.e., small independent local joint) the less money they make 'cause they can't negotiate a great deal like the big chains do.. so they jack up the price of concessions to make money..

your bringing in of the same stuff that they sell at the concession stand is being cheap and will wind up putting your movie theatre out of business.. if you want the popcorn/reese's/goobers, show some support..

now i can understand if you haven't eaten a meal and don't want to eat the junk they sell, or eat healthy or on an otherwise controlled diet that doesn't allow for concession stand munching, but come on folks.. it's not the same as a breath mint or gum.. you want the crap.. pay for it..

ever hear a man who wasn't cheap begin a sentence with "I'm not a cheap guy, but..."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing I'd really like to talk about is the phenomenon of "Restaurant/Brewpub Movie Theaters".  These are few and far between, but the idea fascinates me.  Anyone here been to one?

My Husband and I go to the brew'n'view all the time. Cheaper than dinner and a movie dates, and we're willing to see 4 month old movies, because we're not really willing to pay $10 to see them first.

the food's pub grub at most, but for a movie it's kind of fun to eat burgers and nachos (ours is pretty foodie though - nachos are made with machego, not plastic cheese). Ours is cool too because it serves microbrew local beer, not Bud...

All in all - we're fans, as long as it's done well. The one near us caters to people who are a little more sophisticated, if it was plastic cheese and bud, we'd probably not go, we'd order in and watch a video.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can understand the dilemma of the theatres, but really by having such ungodly prices for the refreshments is kinda killing a goose that lays your golden eggs. Their beef--sorry-- ought to be with the studios, and actors making so damn much in relation to the whole thing. Because if the theatres stood up and closed on one weekend, I bet that would jerk a knot in the tails of all those folks who innundate us every Monday with the box office receipts ad nauseum. I can hear it now: last weekend there were no big winners at the box office. But the Ice Capades and Rockettes were slammin'!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...