Is it okay to sneak food into movie theaters?

I’ve always thought it was stealing and lying, but my priest says it’s okay because the movie theaters have no right to make the rule.

I have other friends who say they think it is okay because snack prices at the theater are so inflated.

Kind of a silly question, I know. :o

ok try these.
buy buying a ticket, you are agreeing to use the services of the theater, the door has that little sign that says no outside food.
they make available food for you to purchase and a bathroom to use for your convenience , you are not required to use them.
you may be breaking a simple contract, “but a sin unsure”.
:hmmm: i’ll have to defer to a moral theologin.

Good grief, will it never end? :rolleyes:

Cinemas don’t want you to bring in your own snacks because they want to make money on their own concessions. One is not required to abide by that rule if one can get away with breaking it, considering the fact that they allow snacking at all in the theater. The only thing the theater is legally, morally, or ethically entitled to require is that you pay for your ticket to see the movie.

Now they do have the right to exclude you if they catch you carrying in outside snacks or drinks. But if attempting to “sneak in” that way consitutes sin, then anyone who did nothing else wrong would probably qualify for sainthood.

None of this, of course, applies to true contraband such as alcoholic beverages. And in the old days, it was normal to leave all one’s garbage under the seat for the crew to clean up. Nowadays we take our trash out with us, and to fail to do so is in my opinion a greater offense (let’s not even talk sin here) than to walk in with a package of M&Ms in my coat pocket.

I take in my own bottled water - mostly because I carry bottled water all over the place. I also allow my kids to take in one candy bar or whatever - if we have them in the house. I wouldn’t let them take in a bag of popcorn.

I think movie theaters are such a big rip off. I recently saw the Nativity Movie and I was freezing so I bought a small hot chocolate - for $3.50. That’s more than Starbucks charges!

I guess I wouldn’t use the word “sneak.” That would make me feel guilty. I’d say, “You may take one candy bar in with you…” :o

It actually depends on the cinema regarding outside food. I work at a cinema that’s inside a mall. Because of that, they allow outside food and drink.

a few months back, my wife and i went to a saturday afternoon movie… it was lunchtime so i went to burger king, got 2 double whoppers with cheese and a small fry… wrapped them in the bag and put them into my jacket to bring into the theater…

you should have seen the looks we got from the others in the theater when we pulled out these two huge burgers and the whole theater smelled like a barbeque…

priceless. my wife and i just laughed the whole ride home over that one… good times. good times.

the REAL sin at your local cinema is the rehased, no talent movies being perpetrated on the average theater goer at $10 a ticket. that is the sin.

I still don’t know…when you agree to use their facilities, do you agree to abide by their policies?

chrismyster, my brother and his wife once took hard tacos to a theater. I couldn’t believe it!

I know this is a little thing to fret over, but I have enough purgatory time coming without adding anything. :wink:

I was thinking the very same thing.
Kathy

Every once in a while, I like to defend the bad guy. Movie theaters that have their own food concessions are regulated by their local county health department. Not only does outside food jeopardize the theaters standing with the health department as the production, storage and safety of that outside food is unregulated by the theater, it exposes the theater to liability if YOU get sick eating it. I agree with the theater. It is no different than if you decide to take a round table pizza to your local dominos pizza to eat it. They have every right to object as you are subjecting them to liability to the local and state authorities. :thumbsup:

My husband used to be assistant mgr. at a theatre. They paid him a small salary and with the overtime they made him work, he was making about $3/hr. Despite this, the $3.25 they charge for a candy bar, etc. he still maintains that because they make no money off the tickets, only off concessions, that it is stealing when you bring in your own food. Do with that info as you will.

That holds true at gas station mini-marts but you are not obligated to buy a candy bar at their escalated prices. My car that holds the gas that I just purchased there also may hold a candy bar that I bought at K-Mart and I don’t consider that a sin. Many poor families can barely afford to take their kids to the movies much less feed them a $50.00 snack. All you’re obligated for is the admission ticket because you are going to see a movie. Any other conveniences are at your discretion.

Maybe this is what purgatory is for, we sin by knowingly breaking the rules, this sin is only venial, and we are not truly sorry about committing it. In purgatory, all these little sins that we have committed, and justify them in our minds are burned away so we can be perfect when we enter the glory of heaven.

I’ll run outside to get sick but still take my chances none the less. Besides have you seen the amount of butter they put on your popcorn? The affects may not result for years to come.:rotfl:All kidding aside, I still don’t see a sin being committed here as the intent is not to steal from or jeopardize an establishment. It’s to allow you and your kids a day at the movies where otherwise you may not. No difference than packing a lunch when you go to Disneyland.

This is a good comparison.

Besides, who has ever been to a theater with good food? I’ve only ever been to one that served anything worth eating – and that was over twenty years ago!

If you buy your ticket there, you agree to abide by the rules. Not holding up your end of the aggreement in wrong. Justify it all you want…it’s wrong. Just as wrong as your plumber, teacher or lawyer not doing what they contract with you to do.

Yes, the prices are outrageous…so…are you telling me you can’t survive 90 minutes without a coke? If you want to do the movies your way, rent on DVD and have a five course meal during the show.

Movies are really expensive. Prohibitavely so for most families. I’m on a budget too, but going to the movies is a luxury, not a right. When my kiddos were little, a decade went by that I never stepped foot into a theatre. We don’t have cable either.

Not being able to afford luxury is not an excuse to break the rules. Probably not a huge sin, but that doesn’t make it right either

Well, if they make no money from the tickets, but only on concessions then the argument is effectively made that stealing is going on if someone does not go to the concession stand regardless.
And I truly have a difficult time believing $17.00 for two tickets does not afford them a profit margin.
Perhaps if the costs were more reasonable at the concession stand more people would go there, and profit from the concession stand would be greater…

There is no such agreement written upon the ticket, nor implied in the purchase. The ticket simply means I have purchased a spot in whatever theater for the duration of the movie. At most, I have seen the tickets used as coupons at the concession stand.
An odd practice if this is really where the profit margin is.:hmmm:

And really that is the final analysis. It boils down to the respect given to the establishment but that respect should be reciprocated by fair market value of their product. None the less, I feel that there are far greater transgressions in social justice.The “intent” is what matters and I feel in most cases if the prices were competitive there would be no need to “sneak” snacks into a theatre. We all must do some soul searching.:confused:

Well let’s consider now. 17.00 for two tickets. say 300 people attend the movie. that’s 2,550.00. Now we do not know how much the movie itself costs or the production costs. We cannot calculate the costs of the food concession. But if we consider each employee is making say min wage 7.25 an hour and they have ten employees maybe that is 725.00. Then there is the real killer workman’s comp. If they are in California one can add another 25% min onto the 725.00. Then there is the liability insurance for any customer contemplating a slip and fall over the velvet ropes or out of the balcony. The janitorial costs. There is the liability insurance for anyone who bites down on popcorn and gets the clerk’s wedding ring instead. We can consider maintenance to the building, the projectionists costs, etc. I am sure we have not touched the tip of the iceburg here, but if we really think about it we can immediately understand why so many theaters have gone out of business in the past twenty years. In our county alone, we have six empties and one working. Twenty years ago, there were seven working movie theaters not including the drive ins. Now, one. and no drive ins. I wonder if perhaps anyone really wants to be able to go to a movie anymore.

If you don’t think they are offering their goods at fair market value, don’t go there, or don’t purchase the items or services that you feel are unfairly priced.

My husband is a professor. Lots of students think that since tuition is high…they are owed a degree, reguardless of whether they earn the grade. This past semester a student was shocked that he brought her to honor court over a paper that she did not write herself…she paid for it online…so it was hers…what right did he have to expect her to earn her own grade? How did it hurt him that she paid for her paper rather than did the work herself?

Even if you don’t hurt the theatre by sneaking in snacks…you may be doing a number on your own integrity.

like you said…we’ve all got some soul searching to do.

My record is far from spotless, but I’m not going to try to justify my poor behavior. It’s mine, I chose it, for less than admirable reasons, end of story.

:yup: This is exactly what I think, too. I have “very religious” friends who routinely hide snacks/popcorn/pop in their diaper bags or big purses when going to the movies. I was dumbfounded when I first saw someone do this. If in doubt, call ahead and ask the manager if it is okay to bring in your own snacks. I’m pretty sure of the answer, but at least there’s no doubt as to what the rule is. If we’re not honest in little things, it can easily lead to not being honest in big things. Like cheddarsox said, most of us can survive 90 minutes without a snack/drink for Heaven’s sakes…

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.