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When concession food sucks


Ellen Shapiro
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I am not inclined to eat at the movies either, but when my Beloved was pregnant she took to smuggling in all kinds of weird snacks.  It would've been a surprise if anyone had minded.  We have also taken picnics to Yankee stadium when we've had a number of hungry kids in tow.  I am not averse to spending large sums on food (and that may be an understatement), but large sums on the various sorts of garbage on offer at sports stadiums is something else (yes, I do eat the hot dogs).

To raise a new issue, though, what about airplanes?  I travel too much, and I am constantly tempted to bring my food onto a plane, but usually don't get around to it.   I am not sure whether airlines have rules about this or not - on the rare times I've done it, there has been no problem.  I think this an example of a period in confinement where you really might need to eat something, and what's on offer is borderline toxic.  I have considered the last statement, and do not regard it as an exaggeration.  British Airways currently have a chicken with tarragon dish which tastes like medicine.

i almost always pack my own food for a flight..chees, fruit, crackers, roast turkey. even if you have to buy it AT the airport, it better than inflight. i have triend everything from kosher to vegetarian...couple extra waters help too

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To address the "ethics" of sneaking food into a movie theater; strictly speaking, it probably is unethical. The theater belongs to its owners and they have every right to condition the admittance of patrons on any basis they see fit. When you purchase a ticket and enter the theater, you agree to those conditions. By bringing in your own food, you violate the agreement you made with the theater owners.

I would bet that the price of the theater concessions is higher than it otherwise would be because a certain percentage of patrons smuggle in their own food. Smuggling likeky raises prices for others.

That is not to say that I don't give my kids a buck each and send them into the local CVS for candy before I take them to the movie. It may be unethical, but it does not cause me to lose sleep at night.

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I have often snuck an entire Taco Bell combo number 4, drink and all, into a movie theater.

If you do that while watching the movies in the same theater as me...better sit behind me...or you "will" get pelted with Junior Mints.

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  • 2 weeks later...
There's also a Chinese wine-type beverage that has a similar aroma. (Unwashed feet).

I bet that's bai jiu! (Literally, "white liquor") Hoo yeah - suck that stuff down with some stinking tofu and some 100 year old eggs, and you've got yourself a stink party!

Not to get off-topic: My favorite movie theater in Nanjing, PRC, where you could rent tickets to red velvet sofas on the mezanine, freqently had small gatherings of young men getting absolutely pissed on bai jiu during the movie. I doubt they had to smuggle it in, and between the aroma and the ensuing behavior, the rest of the patrons didn't much care for it.

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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i usually hit the supermarket before going to the movies. I'll either carry a knapsack or wear jeans with huge pockets.

Stuff I usually bring in:

water, coke, lemonade

chocolate bar, pretzels, jelly beans.

why pay the scalping prices Cinemas usually charge?

Do not expect INTJs to actually care about how you view them. They already know that they are arrogant bastards with a morbid sense of humor. Telling them the obvious accomplishes nothing.

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When I lived in Baltimore, the theater at the Rotunda Mall actually didn't care if you brought food in. There were many a night that my ex and I ate pad thai or nibbled on some somosas while catching the latest flick.

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I still maintain hat if they served better popcorn at a slightly more realistic price... I would always buy some at the theater. For me the issue is that in my area they serve real crap and the prices are very artificially inflated over what is charged in most other metro markets.

My favorite was the time a friend of mine was working as a theater manager at a mall cineplex in Syracuse. He was called over by the ticketaker/usher, who was attempting to deal with an irate customer. Said customer wanted to bring in a huge sheet pizza in the box and refused to believe that the "No outside food or drinks" sign really applied to his situation. My friend offered to sotre the pizza in the office until after the moview so the customer could take it home with him. It was then that he looked down and noticed the grocery bag with a 12 pack of brewskies also waiting to be "smuggled" in. How subtle.

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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 brother runs this "cinemacafé" in Columbia, MO. My brother is very cool.

Here in the Bay Area, the Parkway Theater in Oakland is supposed to have decent pizza, but I've never been there.

Cheers,

Squeat

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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?

No... I have not. But I was advised never ever to sit under the fornt edge of the balcony in such a place. Makes sense to me.

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Hi all--I'm a new goat in town.

You can definitely bring food onto airplanes. Most of them don't even SERVE food anymore, so they tell you to bring your own (or buy some awful awful stuff off their "menu") if you don't want to starve on a 4 hour flight. I think in one of Calvin Trillian's books he tells this story of how to brings this entire gourmet picnic onto a flight...

As for concessions, I personally feel that people should be allowed to bring their own bottle of water. Esp. since I usually just refill mine with brita water and do not want to pay $1 or more for something to prevent me from dehydrating.

morda

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You can definitely bring food onto airplanes. Most of them don't even SERVE food anymore,

Welcome to the eGullet - nice to have you here! But of course airlines still serve food - did they forget to give you that 1/4 oz bag of mini "gourmet" pretzels on you last flight?

I don't appreciate being next to someone if they have some noxious and messy meal but otherwise I could really care less what people bring on a flight or to the movies. Just don't crackle your wrappers durign the quiet scenes in a movie or spil you shicken wing sauce on me in the plabne - apart from that I'm fine.

That was not true of the guy sitting next to me at "Apocalypse Now - redux" when I saw it on the big, big screen in NYC. Out of respect to those around me I munched my popcorn only during the scenes where the on-screen noise levels were fairly high. This guy still insisted on giving me dagger looks with every bit I consumed, as though I had broken some sacred law when I purchased and consumed popcorn in the theatre. He finally burst out to ask me "Are you going to do this throughout the entire movie?". Spare me. I hope he bought the DVD and is happier now.

By the way.... the popcorn was horrible. The Loew's Theatre at Astor Plaza in NYC has a sign proudly proclaiming "We serve only the best fresh-popped pocpcorn". Directly below it is an employee busy emptying a huge bag of stale pre-popped popcorn into the bin of the popcorn machine (which is never turned on). And some wonder why I bring my own snacks.....

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Oh! Those scary sleeping-bag sized bags of pre-popped stale popcorn! The worst! One of the multiplexes here in Seattle used to sell that stuff. So odd, you'd walk into the theater, NOT get that good popcorn-butter smell, yet have the visual of popcorn in the (apparently non-operational) machines!

Guest it didn't work for them though...they now pop their own.

Edited by lala (log)

“"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.”

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Yes.... sleeping bag sized bags. I happened to walk by the theatre manager's office when the door was open - they had about 20 bags of this stuff stacked up - all the way to the ceiling! By the way... I love that multiplex downtown across from the Hyatt on Pine Street. It may be no big deal to you but here in upstate NY there's absolutely no sense of style in the public areas of theatres - it's all totally generic big box styling - strictly functional.

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I'm known among my friends as the one who makes decisions about where to see a movie based on the freshness of their popcorn. :biggrin:

But I ALWAYS take food or drink to a movie with me. Always, always. It's odd because in the rest of my life, I tend to be too law-abiding, too rule-oriented. I feel no qualms (zero) about sneaking in my bottle of water and whatever snack caught my eye on the way to the theater.

Sometimes it's Gertrude Hawk candies. Some smidgens, usually. Others, just a handful of Hershey kisses. This makes me popular among my friends to say the least.

On the other hand, I went through a [decidedly odd] phase where in my purse I would also stash...seasoned salt for the popcorn. Regular salt just doesn't taste as good. But my friends made me stop.

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If going to an indie movie house (like the Angelika, which actually has pretty good food), I'll get the popcorn or whatever. But AMC? Loews? I'm bringing food in, especially because I have yet to find the movie theatre that has good ice cream (though sneaking a cold pint of Haagen-Dazs in your pants is difficult).

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