13 Things a Movie Theater Employee Won’t Tell You

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1. Why does it smell so good? The popcorn has chemicals in it to make its aroma fill the theater.

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2. “Extreme Digital” is actually lower quality than IMAX digital. We use it because it’s easier to maintain.

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3. For the first month or two of screening, money from ticket sales goes to movie studios. Theaters rely on concession stands to make money. That’s why concessions are overpriced. Popcorn costs almost nothing to make.

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4. I know all the methods you use to sneak in. I just don’t always care enough to kick you out for it.

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5. The only foods I trust are the popcorn, drinks, and boxed candy. I wouldn’t eat the pretzels, hot dogs, or nachos.

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6. Chances are, if you complain to the manager and he sides with you, he’s just putting on a show to calm you down. The manager might pretend to yell at me for a minute, but he’ll pat me on the back the moment you’re out of sight.

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7. Combination deals don’t save you money at some theaters. You’d pay the same price if you purchased the items separately.

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8. Think you’re saving calories by ordering a small popcorn? That “small” popcorn could have been a medium last month.

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9. Stop getting angry that your food isn't ready. Microwaves can't cook frozen pizzas in 30 seconds!

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10. No, I can’t give you extra cups. Everything is inventoried at the end of the night.

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11. Your suspicions are correct. Sometimes I sweep excess food under the seats. Movies often end every few minutes. Sometimes, three or more screenings end at the same time. I don’t always have time to clean everything up.

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12 Yes, movies start late. But they almost always end on time – otherwise, the ushers wouldn’t know when to clean up. Theaters tell you to come in early so you have time to watch commercials and previews.

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13. Popcorn keeps for a day or two. Many customers confuse warm with fresh.

Sources: Movie theater employees in California, Illinois, and Indiana

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929 thoughts on “13 Things a Movie Theater Employee Won’t Tell You

  1. well whan you to the movies you can get popcorn small bag mid bag or large but the mid and lage are the same bag i guss thats the way it is thats try to eat to as much i can or whole thing with out getting sick it ok with me and about imax of corse its not a real imax screen i been to a real imax before

  2. I actually work at a movie theatre and we throw out the popcorn at the end of the night and start fresh in the morning. And when it comes to the pizza we actually have a pizza oven that is used for the pizzas. And for the hotdogs they are one of the best options because everything for the dog you can find at your local grocery store.

  3. Just a short comment because the majority of the ones below are uninformed idiots who think they know everything; for one at the end of the night the good left over popcorn is stored in sanitary bags and tied up and put in the back, another thing one batch of popped popcorn does have artificial flavors not chemicals because on the popping oil used in the popper and the flavocal and the oil in the butter machine almost all of them say artificial flavors on them, and one last thing yes movies are expensive but the fact about concession being our source of income is true. If you figure one manager at minimum, one box office worker at minimum, two concession hosts at minimum, and two ushers at minimum that is six people who need paid. So before you complain about the theatres prices, think about these things and ask yourself can you get this experience at home for cheaper? No you cant because unless you have an in-home theatre with an actual popper then the experience will never be as good. Rant Over.

    1. I agree with you but that wasn’t exactly a short comment like you said it was going to be.

  4. I only buy a popcorn or drink and that is rare. I usually sneak in my own candy and popcorn. Also I love sneaking in taco bell food. I usually only buy food and the cinema cafe ones.

    1. Haha I do that too! I don’t usually bring in restaurant food. Sometimes I’ll sneak in a snack that I brought from home. There’s a dollar general next to the movie theater in the town I live in and whenever I go to see a movie with a friend we usually get snacks from dollar general and then we stick them in our giant purses. I love eating a snack while watching a movie but I hate paying the price at concession stand when I can get the same thing from next door at half the price if not less than half the price.

  5. Too many bad movies out these days, and concession way over priced for stale popcorn and syrupy soda drinks. Better to rent from Redbox.

  6. I worked at a movie theater in high school for a couple of years in the ‘early 90’s. I can confirm that almost no money is made off the ticket sales. The line we were supposed to give about not letting outside food in was that insurance would not cover any incident resulting from it. This was bs of course. The theater I worked for had a main location showing first run movies and a second one showing second run movies for a couple bucks. The first run movie theater always had fresh popped popcorn and the butter was actual unadulterated melted sticks that you buy in the store. The customers refused to believe that it wasn’t fake. The second run location had a popcorn machine that didn’t work. We would pop the popcorn at the first location and I would shuttle it across town to fill the bin at the second location as if it was just popped. There would always be customers who would complain that it was too cold or too hot in the theater. We would make a show of walking down the aisle and pretending to adjust the thermostat. It usually satisfied them (placebo effect). There was no way to please both camps so we would keep the temperature at a steady 70 degrees. Many customers who arrived late would come out and request that we rewind the movie! Talk about being inconsiderate of others in theater and the theaters schedule. We couldn’t rewind it anyway since it was a strip of film on a platter not a vcr. The nice perk of working there was that I got to see free movies with free popcorn and drinks. The benefit extended to girls I dated as well. It seems like nothing, but it’s a nice perk for a high school kid on limited funds.

    1. Russ, I found your post here to be very amusing, not to mention that it was also educational! Thank you for writing! :-D!

  7. I used to manage a movie theater. Just about once a week, somebody would drop a deuce somewhere in the theatre. It wasnt the same person- sometimes it would be in the balcony, and one there was a turd in the front row. Its pretty common. Another thing- ALL projectionists masterbate. I bet I fired at least a dozen in just a little over six years.

  8. We have a theatre here that still charges 2.50! We always get the large popcorn that comes with a free refill and take in our own beverages!

  9. the reason their popcorm tastes and smells so good is because of the oil. it’s coconut oil. it’s the most heathy oil used in cooking but,,,,,many yrs ago scientists said it was harmful haha. today we know now it’s actually healthier. now you know!

  10. I used to work at a movie theater. My biggest pet peeve was when customers yelled at a us for the high concession prices and said they were going to complain to corporate to get them to lower it, all the while still shelling out the money to pay for their snacks. Man that will really show corporate that prices need to be lowered. As for popcorn, had a customer yell at me once saying “I heard you don’t pop your corn fresh anymore” I was standing in front of the popcorn popper while popcorn was spewing out of the machine and an employee was filling another customer’s bag. Idiot. Theaters, like others have said, don’t make much off of ticket sales. Avatar and Titanic were two of the last movies theaters actually made money off of ticket sales. I was in high school, and the movie theater I worked at then had Titanic from opening day (December 1997) till Memorial Day 1998. On the weekends we were still selling it out in one of our biggest auditoriums (I believe it held 375 people) We wanted to keep it longer but because we were a small 6 screen theater we couldn’t because we had to make room for the summer movies. So by the end of it’s run we were making about 90 percent profit off of ticket sales for that movie. Avatar, we had it at the theater I worked at up till April, from opening day till early April in our IMAX and it was still selling out on weekends. My Big Fat Greek Wedding was also a movie that made theaters money. But now that I don’t work in the “business” anymore and have to pay for my movies I understand some of the grief I was given but not the rudeness. I found a non chain movie theater near my house that’s been in business for 20 years. Their top ticket price is 8.50 at night, whereas the theater I worked for it was 10.25 for regular/ 13.25 for 3D/ 15.75 IMAX. This theater’s snack prices are lower too. They must be doing really well if they have been open 20 years and 10 years ago the added 3 more screens onto their building making it a 9 screen theater instead of a 6 screen theater. They are all digital and didn’t raise their prices when they went all digital unlike the major chains.

  11. They also didn’t say how many of the workers eat directly out of the popcorn warmer. The ushers would walk in the back to get a drink and just reach in and grab a handful of popcorn…this of course was after they cleaned the theaters, lobbies and bathrooms. It’s disgusting, after working there I was never able to eat popcorn again!

  12. I was lucky to be an Usher / Janitor in a theater in NJ in the 50’s, got to watch all the great movies plus make 1.00 per hour, only problem was I had to see them for the entire week. LOL :)

  13. this was a slide show of ads with some movie theatre factoids in between.

  14. A 3-D movie with the unlimited refills package deal of two large drinks (we get unsweetened tea) and an upgrade to large tub popcorn costs $40. My wife and I are both working full time. We are NOT working to support the local theater! A few times a year is enough, and only for 3-D. Amazon Prime is now $95 a year. With our good big screen TV hooked to the stereo, we watch enough movies at home, zero to two a week. Oh, at home microwave popcorn is three bowls for $1. Sun tea is 8 cents a quart.

  15. That “popcorn sits for a day or 2” is totally wrong- I’m not sure what companies those people work at but at most professional theaters all popcorn gets thrown away every single night. And it’s TONS. It’s a wicked waste, but due to food laws and regulations it has to be done. (I used to work at a theater)

  16. i was given an extra cup when i asked for it, so i could share a large soda with my friend….

  17. The day old pop corn was fine, it was the horrible gross so called “butter” that really freaked me out. When I worked at a theater I lovingly called it “fish milk” for the rotten aroma it gave off.

  18. As a youth I lucked into a job driving the founder of Lowes theaters. He was then an older man and he had seen it all. We’d drive to advance or test screenings of films and based on what he saw he’d decide if the film was good enough to suit his theater’s needs. Once after seeing a very hyped film that was awful I asked him if he would save money knowing this big budget film was a stinker. Immediately he answered “Kid, good picture, bad picture it means peanuts to me. If I could make a another quarter on popcorn now that’d be real money!

  19. the popcorn is expensive because the bags we put them in are just as expensive!

  20. I would never, ever eat MOVIE POPCORN. Have you really SMELLED THIS STUFF. I cannot sit near anyone eating it. Gagsville. That is not REAL BUTTER on it either.

  21. Nothing ticks me off more when they won’t give you an extra cup or container. So I just spent $32 on two large sodas and a large popcorn, which probably cost pennies to make, but I can’t get some sort of cup or container to share it?

    Nope.

    1. Bring a small bag or plastic bag to put popcorn in. You can get an extra paper tray too.

  22. Black people like to talk a lot and yell at the screen during movies. Get used to it.

  23. Thanks for the laugh! This whole conversation is too funny, but thanks for the popcorn info. Or is that poopcorn.

  24. Trusting the hot dogs depends on the health codes for the city of the theater. In Mesquite TX the hot dogs must be discarded at end of day. In Dallas, the theaters are allowed to stick them in the fridge for the next day.

  25. We don’t go to the movies anymore. Hollywood sucks. I share my DVD collection with the Kids. They love it. Star Wars, Jaws, Poltergeist, ET….stuff like that.

    1. This happened to be a GREAT year for American movies (not to mention films from abroad); you just have to be selective…and it helps to live in New York like I do where you can see great independents, revivals and foreign films in addition to big or small Hollywood releases. Too many lazy consumers dismiss everything with the blanket generalization “Hollywood sucks.” Among my favorites this year have been “her”, “Gravity”, “Blue Jasmine”, “Twelve Years a Slave”, “American Hustle”, “Wolf of Wall St.” and several others. They might not have made critics best lists, but “Elysium” and “World War Z” were a lot of fun up on the big screen with big sound.

      1. World War Z had absolutely nothing to do with the book. They should have called it generic zombie movie with Brad Pitt.

  26. The concession prices are ridiculous….Why? Absolutely no reason why a tiny cup with ice and a little cola would cost $4. I bring in my own food and watch several other movies to get my money’s worth.

  27. Goodness…where do you guys live where you have to pay $14 just to see a movie??? That’s crazy. Our theater prices aren’t even close to that. Even with the 3D glasses you have to pay for when you want to watch one of the flicks in 3D. 2 tickets…(1 adult 1 kid) with 3D glasses and after 6pm….$23.00. That’s it and that’s an AMC theater. Our Cinemark theater and Alamo Drafthouse is even cheaper than that.

    1. Denver is one.
      $11.00 to see a standard movie.
      $14.00 to see a 3D.

      That is average.
      Just checked where one theater charged $15.00 for a 3D movie.

      And this doesn’t count the $1.50 convenience charge if you buy tickets online.

  28. 3. For the first month or two of screening, money from ticket sales goes
    to movie studios. Theaters rely on concession stands to make money.
    That’s why concessions are overpriced. Popcorn costs almost nothing to
    make.

    Seems a bad business model. Why not push back??

  29. one nice thing is movies that I’ve seen in the last two or three years are always in excellent focus, it must be new technology? I remember when it was hit-or-miss how good of focus they would be in.

  30. I think everyone already knew some of these, especially the fact that studios get most of the money from tickets and theaters make their concessions overpriced because that’s where most of the income is.

  31. I have a story I could write. Top 10 things movie goers won’t tell theater managers.

  32. I worked at a theater, and most of these are true. I trust the hot dogs, pretzels and nachos just as much as I would at any fast food joint. You take the same risks with any prepared food. We always threw away the popcorn and hot dogs at the end of the night, or the employees took them home.

  33. I haven’t done a movie in a long time. Maybe I’m getting old, but they have absolutely no entertainment value for me anymore. Going to a theater seems to be such a waste of time.

    1. …and money. Rare is the movie that is worth paying $15 to see immediately, especially when I’m paying for at least one other person. I almost always wait for it to make it to the discount theater, come out on DVD, or arrive on Netflix.

  34. I have worked in exhibition for almost 40 years, and this article is such a lie. Theatres are highly regulated and inspected, and cleanliness and freshness are the pride of every chain. Popcorn is never kept, and it is popped almost continuously to keep up with the demand. The grade of corn used is the highest available so it gives the biggest kernels when popped. there is no chemical in popcorn, it is plain corn seed and nothing more. How stupid. It is being cooked in canola oil and you smell it cooking, just like any food being cooked. Additionally, most theatres in America use two brands of hot dogs, which are all beef, made in Chicago, and rated as top in the field. The line about all the money going to studios is make-believe, with most movies settled at 50-60%. And all the stuff about pushing dirt under seats is stupid and a lie, all theatres have people to clean theatres, as well as janitor crews that scrub the theatres nightly. And by the way, trash bags are scented, so theatres would never use them, and what for? Theatre’s poppers, even older ones, can keep up with huge crowds at the theatres and pop continuously. No one would want to bother popping and storing, it has no purpose or need. Further, theatres don’t bid for movies, that ended more than 30 years ago. The article is a pack of garbage, just like the people who wrote it, and who contributed to it. The ones who claim to have worked at theatres didn’t do it on this planet, unless they were working at adult theatres.

    1. This article is just bait to draw hits on their website, this publisher is in decline, it’s an obsolete magazine.

  35. We know people smuggle in food also… Most of the time we just don’t care. (I smuggled in the stuff I didn’t get for free when I watched a movie – still do! Even thought I don’t work at one anymore.)
    If you do get caught, it’s because someone is being grumpy!
    When I worked at a movie theatre, my boss told us his favorite part was kicking kids out of R-rated movies on Friday and Saturday nights. It made his day. :)

  36. some are true and some are NOT true. I have worked at 3 different movie theaters and….. 1.) We don’t keep our popcorn for days. I have popped 10+ batches in one shift. 2.) It is true that every cup is inventoried and NO, I cannot give you an extra cup so you can share. I get asked this ALL DAY, EVERY shift. 3.) The pizza is frozen. 4.) Combo deals do save you money (well at least the one I work at). 5.) movie theaters do make their money off concession. That is why it is so expensive.

  37. I have not been to a movie theatre in 10 years. I subscribe to Netflix and Amazon Prime and keep a list of the latest films I want to see when they show up. Theatre prices have become unconscionable, due to the greed of the motion picture industry and their “creative accounting”. Same with live plays and concerts. They have become exorbitant, even adjusting for inflation. I have better (technology) things to spend my discretionary income on. Same for my wife. As for the younger set, I can recommend they read “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”, a good life-long cautionary tale.

  38. ALL OF THIS IS A LIE! I’ve worked at two different theaters, all of my friends work at different theaters, NONE of this is true.

    1) Chemicals. It’s popcorn seed, coconut oil that has butter flavoring and butter color, and a butter flavored, orange salt. The optional butter is a different butter flavored coconut oil. Popcorn always smells good, no secret chemicals are subconsciously making you buy popcorn. It’s really not bad for you if you opt out of butter and don’t add any salt to it other than the salt it’s popped with.

    5) All of the various pretzels, nachos and cheese I’ve made in my day are exactly what they say they are. Most companies use the same soft pretzel brand you buy in the frozen section at the store, they just come in bigger boxes. The cheese is a “pasteurized cheese product” but everyone knows that. Same thing that’s on easy mac or Kraft American singles or Velveeta. If you ever want to know what’s in your food at a theater, ASK. I’ve read food labels to guests a thousand times. We’re not hiding anything from you.

    9) It’s against health code to use a microwave to cook food for guests, unless it’s a specific kind of microwave and even then, no one uses those. Most places have a turbo chef, the same thing they toast your sub in at Subway. It’s a super hot, fast oven, and keeps things crispy instead of radiating them into a soggy mess.

    13) NONE of my employees, employers or friends in the theater business have EVER used popcorn that was not popped that day and we don’t store it anywhere besides the popper you see in front of you. We go through it so fast, you’re not going to get a bag that’s more than a few hours old EVER. Yes, it does keep, yes it is safe, NO, your theater DOES NOT save it in trash bags and reuse it tomorrow. I’ve taken trash bags of popcorn home for my roommates before, never would I serve it to a guest.

    Don’t buy into this nonsense. Most theaters have tons of discounts or lower priced showtimes that make it affordable. And yes, the ONLY money we make is from concessions. So if 200 people buy a ticket but only 50 of them buy concessions, we’re only profiting from those 50 people. All of that other money goes to film distributors and Hollywood. Believe it or not, we do care about the customer. If we didn’t have happy customers, we would be out of the job. No one is trying to trick you into anything. You’re an adult, make your own decisions on what food you think is safe or healthy and what you’re willing to spend.

    Another note, theater employees MUST work EVERY holiday. Yep, Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years. Almost all of them will not close early and will be slammed on holidays so the whole staff has to work. Don’t be a jerk and see a movie on a holiday. We have families, too.

    Reader’s Digest, I’m disappointed in the fool you’re allowing yourself to become. The printed word is sadly dying and your “journalists” or “writers” are failing. Hard.

    1. The movie theatre I worked at used popcorn that was popped that night on the next morning. We bagged it in a trash bag and warmed it in the machine along with fresh popcorn when we started our shifts… I’m not sure why you sound so offended by that accusation, but it sounded right on to me.
      Nothing about it sounds disgusting, in my opinion.

  39. What 11 year old wrote this poor excuse for a story? Sounds like something someone made up to sound like a know it all.

  40. WOW! I worked at a movie theater for 9 years and there is a tiny bit of truth in a couple of these statements, but most of it is just outright crap.

    Yes, some popcorn is made ahead. But not typically the case anymore. Most theaters have their poppers front and center and customers can see the popcorn being made.

    The boss pretends to side with you and pats me on the shoulder after you walk away? What the hell kind of theater manager does that? The manager sides with a customer IF the customer is right, which is most of the time. If the employee has a dressing down coming for poor performance a pat on the back is the last thing he’s going to get.

    Don’t trust the hot dogs, nachos and so on. Only popcorn, soda and boxed candy? The theater I worked in has crazy mad sanitation and cleaning requirements. At the end of the shift you could eat off the floor. We had quarterly food inspections by the city and if we didn’t pass there was serious hell raised.

    Not sure who complied this information, but they really should not have used information from disgruntled employees. This is far and away a complete opposite from my experiences working at various movie theaters.

  41. I worked in a theater in NYC back in the 90s and it is sad to say everything they state on here is sooo true. I worked concession, box office , ushered and tore tickets. One thing they left out that butter is not butter it is oil flavored seasoning and coloring. We also put a salt like seasoning on the popcorn during the popping process. Oh pray you don’t lose anything of value inside the movie theater. If a usher finds it your dead out of luck.

  42. I worked at a theater in Boston during college and will not eat popcorn because there were often roaches in the popcorn cases.

  43. Drive-In Theaters….their demise was Daylight Savings Time. With sunset delayed an hour it made the last feature end too late.

  44. If people only knew that there were industrial sized bags (even larger than Hefty lawn bags) stacked to the ceiling with week old popped corn, only to be reheated under lights, they would be bringing Jiffy Pop from home.

  45. The ‘chemicals’ they refer to are seasoning salts that are added much like a cheddar cheese powder. It’s not like anything else that is in most processed food we eat on a daily basis. Some theaters will pop a batch without it but keep in mind if you have a low salt tolerance there might still be residue in the hopper. As for other food, it depends on a lot of things. Not every theater does these practices. It would take years to gather enough info for this article. They probably only researched one or two places. And I can say that as a theater employee.

  46. “behind the scenes’ at a movie theatre… kinda makes me wanna cut myself ;)

  47. Goodness I used to go to the Newton theatre in Washington, DC for 25cents a show. It was great I have 2 brothers and 3 sisters and my folks gave us each a quarter and we walked from Lawrence St, to Monroe St., to Newton St around the corner from my grandparents house and had a blast at the movies with all our friends. I went to the show here in Lancaster, CA yesterday and it cost me $7.00. I saw Runner Runner and it was worth it. A the good ole days.

  48. I used to work at a theatre. Every night we’d put the leftover popcorn in a trash bag and warm it the next day. About 1/2 fresh, I’d say.

  49. The last time I went to the movies tickets were $6. My dad and I would sneak in our own candy and pop. We even went to a drive-in once, the last one around in our area. There’s no movies being made today that are worth the hassel and cost of going to see. I’d rather wait for them to go on dvd or watch a bootleg.

  50. Never bought concession food, always bring our own and never have had anything said to us.

  51. When my sons were young, I couldn’t afford snacks at the movie . I would snuggle a pizza for them and bring canned soda. I never was caught. When my grandkids came along I didn’t like the choices the concession stand had and the prices were to high, I would bring in bottled water, less fattening snacks.

  52. Ironically, I seem to get the best service at movie theater concession stands. Sometimes I think the line is a little long, but the people are always friendly and helpful. Why aren’t these people and/or their managers working at the restaurants I go to???

  53. It is NO secret that movie theaters have been scruing the public for many many years ! The schit popcorn is marked up at least 1000% !

  54. Theaters tell you to come in early so you have time to watch commercials and previews…

    Starting in the late 1980s (in Britain at least, where I worked as a cinema manager and projectionist from 1988-2001), the contracts under which commercials are supplied to exhibitors included a clause that banned the latter from advertising a separate ‘programme start’ and ‘feature start’ time. Until then, cinema listings in the local papers would typically say ‘Programme starts 8.30, feature starts 8.45, programme ends 10.27’ (for example). When the multiplex era of the 1980s got into full swing, screen advertising sales went up because the audience increased, and so ad reels got longer (3-5 minutes at most when I started working in the industry, but often 10-12 by the time I left it). As a result, increasing numbers of customers were timing their arrival to miss the ad reel, and therefore the advertising agencies imposed these new contracts.

  55. If everything the article wrote was true. OH well I will still go. I like a date nights with my husband . And I like fun time with our grandkids. And life goes on. Now if you cannot afford it. Make a great movie plan at home. You can always buy a new movie tape outside a local store. Well at least in Toledo.(smile) But I prefer being at the movie Theater.

  56. There are sites where you can see a pirated copy just after its release by streaming it. I will go to the theater for a good movie, there is something special about the big screen.The high cost of ticket prices is all Hollywood’s fault. They shell out millions on crap and then charge out the a$$ to cover their mistake. Hollywood couldn’t have an original idea if it was surgecily implanted.

  57. My boyfriend and I wanted to get a large drink and a medium popcorn, since we never finish the large popcorn. The girl told us that it’s actually cheaper (not a better deal, just cheaper) to get the large combo. Was I willing to spend more money to be less wasteful? …No, I was not. Thanks, friend.

  58. No. 3 is massively false! It’s seriously like 50/50 as to where the revenue goes, half to the theater company – yes, half! That said a decently-made flick is going to recoup well more than double its production costs.

  59. Popcorn costs almost nothing to make – WRONG! Due to a major drought in the midwestern states (where the majority of popcorn is grown) in 2012, the cost of popcorn has now sky-rocketed. Poor reasearch was done on that one.

  60. Well I don’t know about you….But I always go to a movie theater for fine dinning…..Please Pathetic article

  61. As an employee of more than one theatre chain, I can say that about half of these are 100% true. Many are baseless or are the result of specific employees. Overall, I would say only half of this list is accurate.

  62. To be completely honest, the whole popcorn thing isn’t true or at least it isn’t at my theatre. We pop the popcorn the minute the poppers warm up in the morning till the night with our last guests. Sometimes it’s not as fresh on the weekdays since it is a lot slower and we’re not popping as much. Also, it all depends on the employee I’ve seen people drop hot dogs and still give it to their guests because the guests was extremely rude to them. As for me, I always try to go above and beyond for you guys because I know you’re paying a crap load to watch a movie. As long as you’re nice to us we’re nice to you!

  63. its true i used to work at amc theaters. but good luck trying to movie hop or smuggle in food you might as well just try to breaking into a prison to smuggle drugs. i dont even know how i got here to this disscussion lol but amc theaters are the worst.

  64. I don’t feel the need to support the “full of themselves” Hollywood liberal types either….as someone else stated already. I have a couple of hundred video cassettes/dvds on the shelf that I’ve never watched, so I’m good to go on movies for several years…plus there’s always movies on tv available. The movie theaters will continue to exist, but without my participation. ‘Nuff said ! ! !

  65. Ok. That was a complete waste of time. They didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. The movies became a losing proposition, for me, long ago. It’s too much of a gamble to go to a movie anymore. There are far too many distractions. People’s rude kids (yes, your precious little gems) with their phones and COMPLETE lack of respect are the biggest culprits. They just won’t…..shut….up. Takes the fun out of it for everyone around them. Then you have issues with picture quality. Or the sound is out of synch. Complain about any of them and get entirely ignored by the pimply-faced manager. Now, don’t get me started on the concessions. If you are STILL paying for their “refreshments” you really are a fool. Either go see a movie and get dinner afterward, or eat first, but NEVER, NEVER buy anything at their counter. Their prices are obscene and insulting. Nope, I just set my timetable back a few months and catch them on DVD or, better yet, one of the online streaming sites. Just watched “We are the Millers”. Pretty funny.

  66. I used to go to the movies fairly often, but it is too expensive now. Besides, new movies show up on satellite within a year.

  67. what a crock of horse sh*&. I own theatres and many of these absurd comments just go to show how stupid some employees are: the comments are completely made up facts that are untrue. Chemicals to make popcorn smell good? What did you folks do …..interview 13 year olds for their wisdom? Holy cow.

  68. I always smuggle in food and drinks. My family has worked at theaters, mostly drive in and I worked at a walk in for years. Popcorn at the end of the day is thrown out, at least it used to be. I guess they save it for the next day now, nasty! Hot dogs were thrown out at the end of the day not saved for the next day. When I do to a movie and they ask if I want butter on the popcorn I *NEVER* have it put on, it’s not butter but grease. Never eat theater food, it’s too high priced and the nastiest food you’ll ever eat. I won’t tell you the rest of the secrets only known to theater employees otherwise you’d do them and I couldn’t get away with them any longer.

  69. Most people realize the food and drinks are extremely overpriced. This is one of the main reasons people decide not to go to the movies. The other reasons: Other patrons who have few or no social skills who insist on talking during the movie or being a nuisance by blinding the folks behind them with their portable device with the most annoying-ever ring tone. Unsupervised children, who wander about aimlessly while their parents, who couldn’t care less, focus on the movie. Trashed theaters…I once went to a theater that had four rows of broken seats and one surround sound speaker…and the popcorn maker was being worked on by what appeared to be a waste management worker with a cigar dangling from his mouth at the counter over the device…what the heck?! That theater mercifully closed a month later… Of course these are the worst of the worst, but there are nice theaters that are kept clean, enforce rules of etiquette and have albeit pricey, yet good food, drinks and snacks. Choose carefully and you can still enjoy the movies.

  70. Pay for movies. LOL! Welcome to 1999 and the advent of torrents! It’s very futuristic.

  71. You only pay $8.00 a month for netflix. It is a lot better than redbox! Can watch it all day everyday of the month! The movies now a days are way over priced and not worth the gas to go to see. The economy sucks. I am not going to pay someone else’s salary. Especially the actors. I prefer to eat healthier at home!

  72. I’d rather sit in the comfort of my home and smoke, pause the movie or have real food although sometimes it’s nice to see a movie on the large screen.

  73. Oh, this bit of info spoils the fun of actually pricing the individual items and comparing the total with the combo price! Even Eve said, “Add ’em.” Of course, Adam replied, “Multiply!” But that’s another story.

  74. I haven’t been to the movies in years until recently. Theaters are way too expensive these days. The only exceptions I made were to see “Pacific Rim” and “The Wolverine”, because I Wanted to see those movies in a theater. As for generally going out to the movies, I’d rather wait for the DVD to come out and borrow it from my local public library… the money I’d spend could get me more popcorn and colas from my local family-owned grocery store.

  75. I got to the movies all the time. The theater in my neiborhood is cheap ticket is 3.25 before 6pm then its 5.25 popcorn tub is 6.00 so I can afford that!! I go to the expensive theater when im only paying for myself and have no kids to bug me

  76. These aren’t big secrets. Cups and bags are inventoried, and referred to as “saleable.” Theaters often offer courtesy cups or what-not that can be handed out (“non-saleable”). How would you keep track of soda syrup or popcorn seeds? No, popcorn sizes do not decrease. Pizzas are not cooked in the microwave. Hot dogs, maybe, but only if the hot dogs on the grill are not done and the customer knows they will be microwaved. Either way, the food is delicious, safe, and overpriced. I would eat any of it, not just the popcorn and candy. Tickets sales go mostly to the movie companies, while concession profits go to the theaters. Yes, we know how you’re sneaking in, but a lot of times we have other things to do than chase you around. The movie start time is when the previews start, to the minute. Most people know this and plan accordingly. I would tell any customer any of this if they asked. We are told to appease the customers any way we can, even if we know they’re wrong. The company wants your money. I would never come down on an employee in front of a customer. Sweeping food under the seats? Some people do this – I don’t, even though the cleaning schedule is often difficult to keep up with. Something else the article failed to mention: a lot of theaters either don’t have a clock or they have one that is difficult to read in their lobby. This is because they don’t want people to realize what time it is, so they spend more time and money on video games and food and less time in the theater.

  77. I always go to matinees or the special $5 ticket at my city. I’ve been doing that for years. I’ll have my date sneak some soda/water in her tote bag and I’ll have some snacks in my jacket pockets :D

  78. these are lame. Yeah, what an insider view…don’t eat the hotdogs…

  79. “For the first month or two of screening, money from ticket sales goes to movie studios”. Not a dime to theater in 1st week of screening of a movie? Umm! So that is why Studios are so quick with gate earnings after the first week end, 1st week and 2nd week, if the movie last that long. Is that true with re-runs as well? Does the popcorn and soda rate come down in 3rd week. I do not think so.

  80. What’s wrong with the pretzels and nachos? (I’ve never trusted hot dogs).

  81. Things they wont tell you part 14. The movies suck and you are an idiot to pay so much to go see them.

  82. Back in the day my buddy worked nights sweeping the theaters and he showed me the pre-popped popcorn in huge clear plastic bags that they just dumped into the machines to warm up for sale. They didn’t pop fresh popcorn but it never bothered me. These days movies are too expensive to really enjoy anymore and I’m not spending $15 or more just for popcorn and a drink.

  83. Is it profitable to run a movie theatre? What’s the return on investment of a typical movie theatre?

    1. It was but Obamacare means the ticket prices will be going up soon so no one will pay anymore, just sneak in.

  84. I used to work at a theater and I can understand about having to clean 3 screens at once. Since I was a morning worker I was always by myself and I worked at a theater that had 30 screens. I absolutely HAD to sweep garbage under the seats because you are such in a rush to clean all your screens. Unfortunately sometimes I couldn’t make it to all my screens and some would be dirty. On the weekends though, theaters higher outside cleaning crews to clean up the theaters. Also, the popcorn is popped with Coconut oil. Of course everyone knows the butter is not real butter. :)

  85. Having managed a movie theater, I agree with all of these – except #13. Our popcorn machines were ALWAYS thoroughly emptied and cleaned at the end of a business day. However, I’ll debunk that grody suggestion and fill it with another – that “broken” chair covered with a trash bag so you don’t sit in it? Yeah, most likely the chair isn’t broken, but peed on. Happens alllll the time.

  86. From #5, “The only foods I trust…”, as an ex movie theater usher, I would scratch popcorn off that list, especially at matinee shows. The theater I used to work at would save the popcorn left in the machine at the end of the night in garbage bags, clean the machine, then the next day refill it with the previous night’s leftovers. IMO a rather unscrupulous thing to do with something that costs “almost nothing to make” (quote from #3).

    From #10, the cup inventory is used to count drinks sold, so even giving someone an empty cup would count against their sales. The same goes for the popcorn buckets. If you’re going to want a cup of water or whatever in the theater, you’ll have to bring your own — just don’t let them see it.

  87. I have worked at a movie theater for two years and I will reply to the 13 things.

    1. The smell? I do not smell it anymore (to an extent) or food biased trash for that matter. I learned that smell travels through atomic collisions in chemistry so why would being an employee make a difference?

    2. Yeah at my theater we don’t have IMAX but being an usher/cleaner. I couldn’t think of a time when talking about IMAX with customers would come up but I’d probably say that this theater was not built for IMAX screens because its old.

    3. I have brought that up a few times to customers who had complained about the food prices. It is our main source of income.

    4. I care sometimes, I mean if you are really underaged and seeing a rated R movie I would bust you on trying to get in. We, ushers, are typically busy with cleaning and other tasks (stocking) to keep track of whos where. Not to mention the hundreds of people that come within an hour (Me-“have you been in” Customer-“yeah we spoke 2-5 minute ago” Me-“Oh sorry I forgot”).

    5. I haven’t tried the hotdog, pretzel or nachos. Most employees do not eat the popcorn they are either sick of it or they care about their heart. Even with an employee discount I wouldn’t buy the hotdog (I could have that at home). I don’t really like nachos, I hate the smell of jalapenos, and I actually want to try the pretzel thanks for the reminder! Do not go to 3D movies though it is a waste of cash.

    6. What? I do not know where you got that from. At least at my place our managers discourage conflict in front of customers and smile (that’s our mask if anything). Yelling just seems unprofessional. But in our handbook “the customer is always right” phrase is driven heavily in the first few pages.

    7. I do not know, I do not work with serving the food. I sort of doubt that and the reason is bulk is cheap. The theater up-sales by offering an increase of size of popcorn for 50 or 75 cents you get more bang for you buck however are you going to eat all of that (wasted money and food)?

    8. I can’t speak for other theaters but our sizes have been consistant for a long time (our prices change due to minium wage though). Also you shouldn’t be concerned about the quantity of calories but rather the quality empty calories with little nutrion value.

    9. I am sooo glad we don’t have pizza that would be a pain to clean! Er I mean my theater doesn’t have that but concession is almost always busy and up-selling so it is hard to help the customer right away.

    10. Yeah it is from what I am told and it has been getting stricter over the months. We still have free curtsy cups (dixie).

    11. Personally I try to get every piece because I am compulsive. I am may have done this a few times early on, its more of a neglect of cleaning rather than a sweep it under situation Everything else is true speaking of cleaning its pretty filthy in their I don’t know if the night staff (third party) mops X.

    12. Yep I bring that up at least every other time people come in before we are ready or are running late.

    13. Ah I see the sources well I am not from those states however chain theaters operate the same (or at least on paper). We throw out our popcorn I have seen the connectionists through it out and sometimes keep it as a groups snack (for that night).

    This reminds me to bring up two questions I want to ask costumers “Why did you come on opening weekend” you had to to know to was busy and the weekdays are empty and cheaper. “Why did you come 30minutes-an hour early” there are still previews plus first dibs on seats isn’t that great.

  88. I love going to movies and I almost always get the popcorn (although you hafta skip a meal then). ‘Specially now that I can grab the “senior” rate. Your turn will come too…

  89. There are still “second run” movie theaters out there that charge $1 matinee rates and $4 or $5 evening rates, they are just showing movies that have already been and gone from the majors.

  90. I used to work at a theater when I was 19. Biggest tip to give you guys is this!
    Do not wear dockers to the movies at all! I see men wearing dockers and then I know money will fall out. 20 years ago I found a wad of money bigger than a paychecks worth and nobody claimed it and honestly I did not touch it for 3 weeks.

    After nobody came looking for it then it was mine! Just like the law says. Finders keepers LOOSERS WEEPERS! So no baggy pants yall! or the money is mine mine mine!

  91. I spent almost $30 to take my two kids to see the new 3D (hate it!!) movies for kids- just a way to make more money off the kid movies. The glasses s*cked- ruined the whole movie as the quality of 3D was SO poor (it was a Disney movie).
    The amount of money is just NOT worth going. They had the gall to charge $4.00 for a SMALL drink! What a rip off.

  92. chemicals in the popcorn??? Great- and we wonder why so many people have cancer!!

  93. LOL…I’ve worked concession stand for two movie theaters….these “confessions” are nothing. Popcorn keeps for a day or two? Umm I’ve seen a lot worse. We were made to scoop up the extra popcorn at night and it was kept upstairs in the projector removes…INDEFINITELY…in case of a popcorn maker malfunction…which I have witnessed and said bags of reserve popcorn used. While bagged upstairs there are constantly mice around..who can and do easily get into the bags. Same for the boxed candies…did you know mice like peanut butter? Yeah they do. And basically any food product. Or other bugs that get into the sacks of popcorn kernels. Don’t trust the soda either, foundtain nozzles that are not cleaned properly collect mildew. So many things that I’m sure any restaurant worker would say the same thing for…I just know for myself I will never ever eat at a movie theater again since the things I’ve seen.

  94. We know food at the concession is overpriced. We obviously don’t care, because unlike you, $10 is not two years income.

    We know the manager is only agreeing with us to calm us down, and will probably never reprimand you. We don’t care, because at the end of the day, you’re still at the bottom of the food chain working for scraps.

    We’ve known since the beginning of time that movies start late. News flash – some of us like watching the previews.

    It always seems like the most stupid people are always the ones who think they’re the smartest. News flash kid, we’re not morons. We know how the theaters operate, to an equal or greater extent then the guy who is sweeping the floors and pouring popcorn into buckets.

  95. Attending the movies simply is no longer economical. Its just not worth it. If you love movies like I do, invest in a nice large screen TV and rent them. Sure, there are some cheap admission days at 5 to 6 bucks. But you can rent 2 for that price. And you can make your own quality healthy popcorn and snacks at home. I recently added a quality room to my home complete with nice chairs and a big screen. Not only is it nicer, I don’t have to worry about people excessively talking or coughing all around me. Your call..but your money can be better spent.

  96. As a matter of fact I work at a movie theatre (Regal) and most of the things in the slideshow are correct, expect for the fact that we do not cooked frozen pizzas in the microwave (they are made in an oven immediately after being ordered so they don’t sit around). Also, popcorn is NEVER kept around for the next day, all the popcorn made from the day is thrown out at the end of the night, and there are definitely more than just, drinks, popcorn and candy you can trust, nachos are very safe considering they are prepackaged when given to you. People need to stop complaining about prices to us, we can’t do anything about it!! Sure, us employees get 2 free tickets a day but we still pay the same for concessions as everyone else does. We honestly are very underpaid, people who have been working there for 4 years + don’t even make it to $8.00. If you don’t like our prices, than don’t come to the theatre, easy as that.

  97. regardless..still hard to beat watching a good first-run movie on the big screen. I’ve got a pretty high end Home theater in my basement, and I still feel a need to go out and watch movies.

  98. 1. We get bored and shoot lobby patrons in the head with popcorn kernels through the vents upstairs in projection. But we can’t unless we have McDonald’s vintage huge milkshake straws.

    2. Our boss makes us collect extra popcorn buckets so he can add them to inventory and keep the overage (inventory is tracked to containers). He also likes to work the box office occasionally, and I guess there’s an angle there too.

    3. We hate our owners because they pay us beans compared to what they rake in. So if you want to smuggle food and drinks in, be our guest. We don’t get paid based on what you buy.

    4. Of course we cannot ‘clean’ theaters between shows. We simply sweep the aisle trash and popcorn to the seats, where it isn’t visible. Maybe we will pick up the popcorn containers though, since our boss gives us extra money for them.

    5. Yes, we save the day’s last popcorn and mix it in with tomorrow’s batch for the ‘cheap’ matinee crowd. Like the owners say, you get what you pay for. I should know, they don’t pay me sh**.

  99. I’ve never worked in a movie theater and all of these are pretty easy to know. Except the first one. That one was interesting (and probably why it was first).

  100. i see a lot of movies for free, by going to screenings…the only thing they cost is your time(which can be a few hours if it’s a big movie)….if i really want to see something on the big screen, that missed a screening for, then i just do cheap day specials….they’re not hard to find, just do a bit of internet digging ;0)
    as for the cost of concessions, i used to work in a theatre, so i know what companies will charge just for the “privilege” of showing their movies (g. lucas was the worst!)…it sux, n i would still bring in snacks of my own, but i at least have a better understanding of the prices….a cinema just isn’t going to make it on ticket sales alone :0/

  101. This is all true. We get our paychecks from the money made from concessions. I’d NEVER eat anything there that wasn’t packaged! You’d be surprised how many hot dog turn out green or grey, but you’ll never notice in the dark theater. The seats are disgsusting so don’t get too comfertable in them. Most of the time you can smack the seats and watch all the skin, dust, and hair fly into the air. The carpets in most theatres are sick too. The one in ours isnt black at all but bright red! And it’s against the law for employees to make you show what your hiding although they can ask you to leave if they can see it clearly. The managers wont pat their employees on the back after theyve calmed down a customer however. Everyone of our managers treats us like their personal slave and corporate ignores complaints and emails. Most need the money so they keep their mouths shut. And the bathrooms… Don’t get me started on the batnrooms…

  102. About 45 years ago I worked for a short period of time at a drive-in concession stand. At the end of the night we emptied the unsold pop-corn boxes into a clean trash can and the next day we re-boxed it and sold it first before the fresh pop-corn for the night.

  103. If you like to go to the movies, then eat before you go, and go during the day when prices are less. It also helps if you can get to 65 as quickly as possible and derive the senior discount benefit. I rarely go but the last time I paid $5.50 I believe. The best part is that I actually liked the film ( much too much violence to go with my wife ). Also note that a movie that does not play well in the U>S> may be a big hit in other Countries.
    It might also help if so many people didn’t get “whacked” in the film and then I could go with my wife. A lot of women do not like the violence. Bottom line is I saw a film with an interesting plot but way too much visible violence, which was quite unnecessary to show. Also the folks in the story that “solved” the mystery could not have done so in all reality, which takes away from the story for me. Good acting. Won’t mention the film.

  104. #4 is half way true. we do care, but sometimes it will cause too much of a disturbance to kick them out. We care about our customers. This is based off of 10 years of being a theater mgr. #5 not true. we ensure everything food is acceptable to the consumer, if we won’t eat it, we won’t sell it. #6- that’s a situational base statement, as with any business some supervisors care and some don’t. #7- just do the math yourself. #8- product size does change, but obviously a small at any point in time will be less calories than a medium. #9- who microwaves pizza???? yuck. cinemark doesn’t. they use a pizza oven. #10 is true and if you ask an employee for an extra cup that’s exactly what they’ll tell you. #11- some employees may do that if they are really behind, but at the end of the night it all gets cleaned by custodial workers who have all night to clean. #12- movies don’t start late. The posted newspaper/ internet time is the time the previews start. you just have to be aware of that.

  105. I also remember when you could buy a ticket and stay in the movie all day!

  106. I worked in movie theaters for 14 years and can say most of this is totally B.S.

    1. If you want to know the ingredients, just ask. There is no “special scent chemical.” Ridiculous.

    2.Obviously IMAX is superior because it is filmed using special IMAX cameras or digitally remastered frame by frame. IMAX also traditionally used 70 mm film stock, which is inherently superior. DUH

    3.Theaters earn a percentage of box office revenue, and that revenue increases as weeks go on. Big blockbusters might have totally different deals than the newest crappy horror movie. It is closer to an even split after a couple weeks on most movies because most movies don’t run for two months in a location.

    4.True

    5. Nachos are often bagged independently. I wouldn’t trust any food that required prep or cooking. I would never eat any meat product at a theater.

    6. This is just some stupid thing a high school kid would say. Simplistic crap. I handled LEGITIMATE complaints about employees properly. Here’s a hint… don’t be a jerk and you might get a pass for a legit complaint.

    7.Probably the case. It’s more for speed of ordering to keep lines moving. Probably a similar case at most fast food joints too.

    8. Another dumb comment. I only experienced three re-classifications of sizes in 14 years.

    9. Pointless. Most theaters use TurboChef ovens for frozen baked goods now. We used ovens for pretzels at our locations. No microwave anywhere.

    10.True.

    11. True, also due to laziness on usher’s part too. But often the schedule doesn’t allow for full cleaning. If you saw brooms and a manager in there before you, they’re doing the best you can ever expect.

    12. Increasingly true, especially at big chain exhibitors. Commonly nowadays, however, the previews are led in by ads running through the main projector. Before it was a separate small projector displaying ads. Then again, you can’t go anywhere without seeing ads and if you’re not watching commercials, you’re paying more at the concession stand.

    13.This was a practice at a theater I worked at, but we got a lot of complaints and stopped the practice. For the vast majority of my career and every subsequent theater I worked at, we ALWAYS popped fresh. The only time we sold “old” stuff was for refills after the concession stand was closed. It does not keep as well as this indicates.

    In summary, this slideshow is pointless. Ask real employees, not some kid with six months experience who thinks he knows all the secrets.

  107. I work for a theater exhibitor company. Believe me when I say there is a lot of misunderstanding about what it actually takes to get a movie on screen. First of all the producers and directors don’t make movies for your living room, they make them for the big screen. When Sony, Fox and others were talking about doing premium video on demand 30-45 days after release in theaters for $30 through Direct TV, the theater companies were not the only ones that fought that. James Cameron and many other directors fought against that as well. Because James Cameron and the others all said, “We do not make movies for the TV screen. No matter what you tell yourself or think you know, unless you have about $50,000 or more to drop on creating your own personal big screen auditorium, nothing on the market comes even close to duplicating the presentation and sound on the BIG SCREEN. Yeah your DVD may be $1 at Redbox however how much did you spend to get that big screen tv and surround sound system trying to mimick a movie theater. Many times several thousands of dollars. Theaters are constantly upgrading projectors, sound and technology to blow the doors off of any home system on the market. A lot of research goes in to every aspect of the auditorium from the curtains and sound folding on the walls to the projectors and sound systems designed to envelope you into the movie. The current digital projectors have been capable of over 4000 dpi long before the first 4k TV’s came on to the market. And some of these projectors are capable of no less then 35 trillion colors at 4k resolution on a screens as big as 50′ high by 75′ wide or bigger. The sound systems or nothing to mock either because like I said unless you have a lot of money you have to try to compete with a sound system at times capable of over 60,000 watts of power or more.

    Technically the Theaters do get about 50% of the ticket sales however most of that goes right back in to fees charged the theaters to show these movies on their screens. only 1% to, if your lucky, 3% of that 50% is profit. A very small margin. In order to keep up with the times and pay bills and employees it comes out of concession. There are many many good ways to save $ at the theater if you know where to look. Many theaters companies provide coupons or special deals on concession through their websites. Also try to see movies during matinee times and some chains even have Early Bird Specials that apply to the first matinee showtime of each film title and even have discount days. Check with your local theater for money saving information. I of all people understand how expensive concession can be but it is no difference than if you went to a game at a stadium or a concert. They are seriously inflated there as well. If you sneak or bring your own food and drinks in, you are making it harder for theaters to operate and in order to keep up with demand, they unfortunately have to increase prices. In a nut shell, stealing. You are affecting my way of life and your overall movie going experience. Because, we can’t take care of the customer effectively if we can’t pay the employees. It is a lot harder to monitor 10 or more auditoriums. You can’t just place an employee in the auditorium for the duration of the movie. We try to have a dedicated usher or 2 to roam through the theaters performing checks to quell distrubances such as cell phones but unfortunately we can’t be everywhere at the same time.

  108. Interesting article and informative. However, I think that the title should be changed to “13 Things A Movie Theatre Manager Won’t Tell You”. I worked as a theatre employee for 4 years in practically all of the positions except as the projection crew worker and management. Out of all of the staff meetings, and round table discussions the employees were only priveledged to hear management ranting on about how many sales we made for the month, employees complaining about being over worked or underpaid, working too many hours OR Not having enough hours etc…, Additionally, what the projection of sales were going to be the following month and to push for even more sales through management offering lame incentives to top performers. About the popcorn, the only thing we did was to pop the corn and sell it. No employee was ever informed in regards to anything about the behind the scenes info from the moment of hire to the day they no longer worked there. I don’t know what the current conditions are a of now working for the movie theatre things may have changed, ultimately, working at a movie theatre changed the way that I view any retail position for life, and over 13 years ago from there is why I made it my mission to work for the FEDS I havn’t worked a retail position in just that long I’ve only had one my entire life for the first and the last THE movie theatre!
    Reading this article actually gives alot of insight that suggests they truly haven’t changed thier strategies ” Inflation, High Turnover,Deceptive, Lack of regard for thier employees etc… I Agree with most of the posters they are really putting themselves in a no win situation in competition with new digital technology such as video streaming. I don’t think they will go out of business any time soon but thier revenue decreasing is certainly possible! I mean Let’s be Honest…… Would you rather go out to the Movies and spend $40-$80-$100 dollars on the Movie Theatre when a new movie comes out OR Save some much needed money that could go elsewhere and just wait and stream it from the comfort of your home for over HALF the price that you would pay for popcorn and a large soda and maybe perhaps a box of candy and then throw in a couple extra movies on top of that????? I don’t know about anyone else here but the movies are now only priveledged outings only for special occassions in my eyes. When I was a kid sure… that was the form of entertainment not much else you could do, but technology is advancing so rapidly that either the traditional catches up to the new or it starts to fade out gradually just like we went from tape recorders to CD’s and now the new thing…… Ipods, Ipads, IPhones, and Androids where you can download all of your songs AND Stream Movies where you don’t need either!!

  109. hey idiots!!! why is there no option to list newest posts first?? Not much point in showing a 2 year old post first !! What are you trying to hide?? Current, relevant posts? Actual user opinions? Reader’s Digest… what a joke… how about contributing to a real discussion? Keep posting regurgitated garbage, and keep watching your subscriber base leave. Nice work. Internet opinions must not matter to you… that’s why Reader’s Digest doesn’t matter to us. Are you listening, or just ignoring posts that don’t fit in your current marketing paradigm? Fix it, or see your subscriber base dwindle to ZERO !!

  110. I have a theater in my house… better sound, actually, Without crazy popcorn and soda prices. Home Theater should be the biggest threat to cinemas, and I’ll do whatever I can to spread the word… it is doable, even on a budget.

  111. time to update this article.. if the first comment is from 2 years ago… shouldn’t newest comments be listed first??

  112. I don’t like going to the movies much — hollywood is way too liberal and I am sick of those rich bastards trying to tell the rest of the American people how to live.

  113. Don’t trust the popcorn. I’ve worked in a theater. You know what we did with the old popcorn from the previous day? We put it in trash bags and added it to the next day’s batch. Also, the stainless steel spray cleaner used to clean the popcorn bins is toxic. It was simply sprayed on and wiped away, not washed away, so all that nasty cleaner residue got on the popcorn. Also, the “butter” is nothing but artery-clogging oil.

  114. #12 isn’t true. I’ve had to clean a theater before and the time it ending was off from our schedule meaning my cleaning of that theater was put off.

  115. Ticket prices don’t bother me much (although matinee prices should be uniformly 1/2 what an evening ticket costs, and anything before 6 should be a matinee). And I never have issues with movies beginning late. I could do without so many previews, especially the corporate-theatre-produced promotion reels. But concession prices are b.s.. I rarely buy anything to eat or drink in the theatre. Call me peculiar, but I prefer to pay 1/3 as much for twice the snacks at the local dollar store and bring it in. And no theatre can kick me out for it.

  116. WE GO TO THE EARLY MOVIES, Not just for the price but because I don’t like sitting in a crowded theater next to a stranger. I carry our bottled drinks in my oversized purse. We buy the popcorn. Total spent at the movies $17 every weekend. But I will never stop going to the movies. I hate to rent movies.

  117. I blame the movie houses because they don’t demand a better split from the movie studios. Show us a good foreign flick, charge us less, and make more money in the process.
    I blame the movie studios because they are greedy.
    I blame the actors because they are overpaid and undertalented (The stunt men and women are the real talents).
    And I blame the American public, particularly the younger people who make up the bulk of movie goers, because your patronage keeps the prices sky high. If you did not go to the movies, the actors would have to lower their demands, the movie studios would lower their prices, and the movie houses could lower their prices.

  118. “No, I can’t give you extra cups.”

    Um…any theater employee will tell you no if you ask for an extra cup. They’ll tell you they can’t give it to you, that they have to charge you full price. It’s common knowledge.

  119. Going to the theater today has replaced going to the Drive-In. No reason for anyone past college to go.

  120. Honestly, the last few times that I’ve been to the movie theater, it was crowded and the air smelled pretty disgusting.  I would think that there are a lot of germs passed around at your typical packed movie theater.  Sometimes, the volume is so high that even with ear plugs in, it is still too loud.  Regardless, we still go.

  121. Here are some first hand facts …

    1. The popcorn has no extra chemicals in it to make it smell better. The theatre receives raw popcorn in 35-50 pound sacks and cook it with popping oil which is purely canola and/or coconut oil.
    2. IMAX digital projectors are the exact same projectors used in every movie theatre auditorium regardless of size. The only difference between projectors is the size bulb they can accommodate based on the screen size. The larger the screen, the larger the bulb. Simple math and there is NOTHING special about an IMAX projector.
    3. Most studios now charge theatres an aggregate rental based on the movie performance. This means that the percentage rental the theatre pays doesn’t change between the opening and ending date of an engagement. The simple fact is that admission ticket prices would be higher if there weren’t as much profit in concessions as there is. And, by the way, the cost of raw popcorn is skyrocketing because of the midwest drought conditions. The author of this myth should go buy some raw popcorn and do the math before writing irresponsibly.
    4. True, most theatres would rather allow you to quietly cheat them by switching auditoriums and watching multiple movies for one price, than upset the rest of their customers by ejecting you.
    5. There’s nothing like a good Nathan’s all-beef hotdog.
    6. A good manager knows that the customer is the real boss and goes out of his way to make the customer happy. A good manager also goes out of his way to support his employees because he otherwise won’t have any.
    7. Yes, some theatres do a better job than others by giving their customers a better deal.
    8. Not quite. Popcorn bag sizes haven’t changed in over 15 years.
    9. Wow, they got the math right for once.
    10. That’s why all theatres have courtesy cups on hand. Yes, they all do inventory, but they also will supply cups on request because that amounts to good customer service.
    11. Wrong again. Employees aren’t trained to sweep anything under the seats. One bad employee among thousands does not an industry make.
    12. Movies usually start when they’re supposed to. Today isn’t like the old days with projectionists. Movies and preview times are programmed into an Library Main Server and computers rarely make errors.
    13. The best popcorn is not that which just came out of the kettle. The fact is that popcorn needs to dry out because freshly popped corn has too much condensation. That’s why most popcorn storage units blow warm air on the corn to remove condensation and give it a crisp taste. If you ever at freshly popped corn, you would know that it is not as crisp as that which has sit for 30 minutes or more. And, popcorn properly heated and then stored is just as good the next day as 30 minutes out of the popper.

    The author of this piece should be shot for providing so much misinformation to readers.

  122. It has never been my experience for a manager to “take the consumer’s side when an employee screws up then pat them on the back afterward!” I know several people, including managers who have been reprimanded for their behavior if they were not courteous to the consumer! I’ve also been told by the general staff and even the managers that some employees were fired on the spot for bad behavior! 

    Each time our daughter and I go out to the cinema theater, she shows her school identification b/c they offer a discount for students, which knocks a considerable amount off the cost of tickets; as for me, most of the time I’m not charged a ticket b/c of my blindness. If there is something happening on the screen that I can’t figure out, each of my daughters over many years, as our oldest is a grown woman, working toward her grad degree (4th degree total), married, & has step-children w/one having autism – but now I go with our youngest daughter so she can tell me what is happening on the screen b/c I can’t see it for myself. The manager of this particular theater is extremely kind, courteous, and either he personally helps us (most often it’s him personally) or has one of his employees help us get our popcorn as there is nothing better than cinema theater popcorn w/extra butter added and a drink for whichever of our girls goes with me or me with them. Then they help us find the right screening room with a seat that’s about 4 to 5 rows back from the screen (both girls wear corrective lenses – glasses & contact lenses) to make it easier for them to see the screen; fortunately neither of them have shown signs of my retinal eye disease as it’s genetic, albeit from a recessive gene, not a dominant one). The manager knows I bring my own drink with me b/c they don’t carry the Caffeine-Free Mt. Dews & regular Mt. Dew drinks give trigger horrid migraines and it doesn’t take much to trigger one. 

    Despite the courteous and kind nature of this particular manager, all his employees know that he won’t tolerate any screwing around on the job or treating cinema theater customers with anything short of respect! It doesn’t matter if they’re on duty at the concession stand, the window where tickets are sold, or the ushers who help cinema go’ers find their screening rooms. We had a nice conversation when 1st began going to the cinema; he runs the theater as I have run companies where I was the one in charge. You come to work to work, not play or fool around. If allowed to continue,  it costs the business money they could make from consumers and that’s money they cannot afford to lose – especially in this economy! He runs a tight ship so this #6 of 14 “things to know about the cinema theater” is total bunk. 

    I don’t know where this editor obtained the information claimed in this clip but it must have been from a crappy cinema theater that doesn’t have a lot of business and severely limited return business! Even the older cinema house that is still running after some 50 years and having undergone a restoration and update to modern code, has always been run in the same tight-ship manner. I know the owner as well as the various managers along with quite a few of the employees who handle the ticket sales, concession stand, projection room, and serve as ushers & they will all say that the owner will can them in a heart-beat if they are not doing their job. The owner and now the owner’s son who runs the business b/c his father is too elderly to keep up with everything required to run the cinema took his lessons of running the business just as tight as his father did for decades and he expects his employees, even those who are still working and were around to see him grow up in the cinema before heading off to college, each employee treats every customer that walks in the door – including my four-legged friend who serves as my eyes… My guide dog is always a major source of conversation when we got to the cinema together. 

    Although, we have had our mix-ups along the way. When our oldest daughter was a junior or senior in high school we wanted to see The Lake House at the cinema versus waiting on it to come to DVD. There is a part in the movie where a dog is in it and he’s starts barking. Of course, I didn’t realize it was a dog on the screen so I quietly scolded my guide dog who was half asleep on the carpeted section of the floor where he usually slept while I listened to the movie & because the carpeted area is clean – although, each cinema’s employees have been kind enough to keep a large blanket-type covering for the floor in order to prevent any popcorn or candies out of his fur if we came to a later viewing; it was sweet of them and prevented me from having to give my dog a quick hose off & drying out with a towel before bringing him inside. I am proud to say that the primary managers and their co-managers who handled situations when the primary manager is busy along with the other employees have always treated us with the utmost respect and courtesy when we are able to afford to go to the cinema. We tend to wait until the crowds die down some so we don’t bother anyone when I have to ask the girls what is happening in the movie, particularly during the quiet times. And, I always have one of the girls around to let me know that my guide dog is not barking or whimpering – it’s a dog on the screen. Everyone in that particular screening room got a wonderful laugh out of it; but it is important to add that they were laughing “WITH US” and NOT – AT US. Even I couldn’t help but laugh. I even apologized to my guide dog and gave him a few kernels of popcorn for my mistake. 

    In closing, this editor needs to visit a real, well-run, cinema theater because I have been in and out of the movie screening room over the course of more than a few decades and I have been close friends of employees as well as management of cinema houses and they do not act in this manner. If an employee screws up – they’re usually booted out the door!

  123. I don’t go to movies anymore.  Too expensive and usually the library has realtively recent movies which I can take out for nothing.  Many of the movies are also just plain junk.

    Hollywood celebs make too much money and should be among those labeled in our society as overly rich. 

    Boycott Hollwood.  Boycott movies that cost you money.

  124. So, dear movie theater employees, thanks for letting us all know we are being played for fools.  With all the available sources of movies outside of theaters these days, maybe we don’t need to see movies in a theater.  Looks like your jobs could be extinct before too long; nice going…
    Some things are better left a mystery.

  125. with the price you pay now to take a family of 5 out to the movies, you can fill up your car for a week!!!!!

    now the movie companies are wondering why so many people are downloading or “pirating” movies.
    get with the times, stop making Billions in profits and settle for Millions instead

  126. Pierre, SD: one movie theater (3 screens); popcorn ALWAYS made fresh in front of guests; admission before 6:00 p.m. is $6.00 for everyone – after 6:00 p.m. it’s $8.00 for adults, and $6.00 for children and seniors.

    Theater managers take customer concerns very seriously and are quickly responsive to issues. It’s a pleasant experience, EXCEPT for those pitiful souls who believe their lives are SO important they can disregard the theater’s cell phone rules. Fortunately, theater managers and staff respond to complaints swiftly and surely.

    If you cannot set aside your addiction to your phone for a 2 hour movie, you have SERIOUS personal problems and need professional help.

  127. Digital projection is crap, when compared to 35mm. It doesn’t look anything like film and there’s no grain which is what film is all about. I don’t want a pristine, perfect picture which is so clear it looks as though I’m looking through a window! It’s supposed to have the resolution of film and everything that goes with it. Digital is cheap and tacky, hence the reason I no longer pay to view films in the cinema, unless the tickets are free – and there’s no shortage of places to get these freebies either!

  128. Being a theatre manager for almost 13 years I will try to help answer some of these slides.
    1 – False, there are no chemicals in the popcorn, the aroma fills the theatre is because we pop so much of it.  Most theatres use popcorn seed, canola oil, and a yellow colored salt to give it the yellow color when mixed with the oil.
    2 – True and False, Extreme is a little bit lower quality than Imax as the screen diminutions are slightly different, Maintenance is the same.
    3- True, A large tub of popcorn casts 15 to 25 cents to make including the cost of the tub. The concession stand pays for everything in the theatre; employee wages, rent, electricity any repairs to the building and equipment etc.
    4 – True, if the movie itself has already started it is not worth the hassle to kick some one out, depending on the manager, some managers just want to be mean and will kick you out to break up their day.
    5 – False, when I worked there I ate everything, the theater just like all places that serve food are inspected by the health department at least once a year.  Theatres because of the high volume they do can actually be inspected 2 to 3 times a year and are required to maintain a high standard for its food to be sold.
    6 – False, As a manager we take all complaints and complements seriously, however a good manager will never discipline an employee in front of other employees or customers.  If the complaint is serious enough the employee is pulled to the back during a slow period and talked to in private to hear their side as well.  If it is serious enough they will be written up or if the situation calls for it terminated.  Yelling at an employee in front of others only gives the theatre a bad rep and hurts employee morale.
    7 – True, at some theatres they don’t, it is just for ease of ordering.  While at others it might save you a dollar or two
    8 – False, Popcorn and sodas are cheap, it would cost the company more to design and make new sizes of bags or cups than it is to just keep things the same, working in the theater for 13 years we changed a bag size for popcorn 1 time, when we changed the bucket to a large bag.
    9 – True, stop getting angry.  False, most theatres that serve pizzas don’t use microwaves, they use an oven called a turbo chef.  It looks like the ovens used in the subway sandwich shops only bigger.  It uses circulated heat at high temperatures to cook and heat the food.  If they used a microwave the food would still be cold in the middle, the outside would be overdone or both.
    10 – Mostly true, most theatres inventory every night, I have worked for one that inventories at the end of the theatres work week (Thursdays)  Things we inventoried daily; Cups, bags, candy, Food trays, food.  Inventoried weekly; popcorn seed, condiments, any bulk items like salt, popping oil, coke syrup, carbonation, straws etc.
     11 – At a dollar theatre maybe, at the theatre I worked at never, we would have anywhere from 30 min to an hour between showings to clean a theatre properly, and at peak times we had more ushers on duty to clean the theatres or managers and other employees would help out if concession or box office were slow.
    12 – False, the times listed in the papers or online are the times the prevues and advertisements start.  Depending on the theatre those are between 10 to 15 minutes.  The theatre knows the length of all trailers and advertisements along with the movie and closing credits so the ushers know when to clean the theatre.  We like you to get there early so you can find your seat and not have to climb over others while the previews are going or the movie itself.
    13 – Unfortunately true, popcorn that might have been popped the night before might be used for the opening shows if it is popped in back where you don’t see it.  If it is popped where you can watch it being popped it is popped fresh.
     
    6 are true
    7 are false
    1 is both true and false

  129. I do not buy the drinks from the machines, b/c have you ever went to a fast food ETC and wiped the sprout with a clean napkin , GEE the black filthy sooth is DISGUSTING…

  130. I would like them to tell me why the people working concessions are the slowest people in the world.

  131. A $1.00 for a movie we use to get in for .25 cents and could stay all day, popcorn was 35 cents and a coke was 10 cents. This was in the late 50’s to early 60’s a great time to live!! 

  132. What is this? Some teenager’s tantrum? This was a waste of my time and I stopped reading 1/2 way thru it.
    Come back when you have some REAL insider info
    sheesh

  133. Going out to the movies is like riding in the back row of a Greyhound Bus….it can and most always is a bad experience. Dirty floors and seats, overpriced snacks, nasty rude people, and a fuzzy quality picture on the screen. I would rather wait a few weeks and watch any movie on my nice large HD TV in the safety of my home.
    In my opinion movie theaters will go the way local newspapers have gone, theaters have not kept up with the times and invested back into high tech equipment, so as the go out of business they can only blame themselves. There is no excuse for any movie theater chain charging extremely high prices and still using the same old projectors they used back in 1960.

    1. Then you have gone to the wrong cinema theaters. Try to go to a cinema house that has taken the time to go through renovations and/or a new cinema house where there’s more room, many screening rooms, and plenty of employees to do all the work req’d when running a cinema house. Our closest cinema theater is almost always clean, spot-on at the concession stand albeit it can take a bit of a waiting time if there’s a tremendous crowd such as when a high-ranking move has come out and it’s the first screening or the midnight screening. 

      The manager(s), ushers, ticket takers, concession employees are all “johnny on the spot” and more than willing to help in any manner possible or required when dealing with young customers and especially disabled customers. As I mentioned in another post on this particular clip, most often (actually the last couple of years) the ticket-taker who handles sales doesn’t charge me to go and our daughter receives a discount b/c she brings her grade school identification card b/c they offer really decent discounts for students whether they are in college or grade school (K-12). My college identification card was still valid even though my days as a college student ended many years ago – the date of expiration wasn’t included so I was able to use my college identification card for the discount (I also attended 2 semesters in the art program, one was a refresher course for me; while the other was an actual class in sculpting pottery rather than throwing it on a wheel. I am a multi-generation potter but I had not worked on a wheel in a number of years so I was able to take the class as a refresher but my skills were so impeccable I was placed in the advanced class rather than the beginner pottery throwing class. The college is a small community college but they have a nice Fine Arts program. Even though I graduated from college, not this college as I attended ECU, I still received a college identification card for that particular college, which was recognized at the cinema for a discounted price b/c I was technically a college student even though I was a college graduate. My time there allowed me access to a kiln, glazes, resist, and some of my work was submitted via photos to a gallery several counties away, accepted, then shipped to the arts gallery where it went on display among the section that showcased local Native American Indian pottery made as my ancestors and others who kept the staple of living alive. Other pieces were put on display at the art center nearest to our home. I had no clue that the pieces or the manner in which I made pottery had it’s origins in Native American Indian tradition; hwr, it would stand to reason it was b/c my maternal great-grandfather, maternal grandmother, & a couple aunts taught me to throw on a kick-wheel, aka a manual wheel. It took me forever to adjust to an electric wheel but I managed. Our family worked in pottery making all types of pieces but especially staple pieces used every day for more generations than any of us can recall. All we know is that the making of pottery and even digging of pottery clay that is transformed into throwing pottery is part of our heritage; it is also how my family came to have the last name Potter, after the 1860’s law change that included all Native American Indians who did not live on the Reservations were included in the census records and in doing so, had to have a last name. But I digress)

      Again, I think you would enjoy going to the cinema theater if you were to call around to find one that is renovated recently or a newly built cinema. The cinema house along with the quality of the films are much nicer than in the 50s and believe me, I’ve spent hours at what was once called the “Teacherage,” which was where all of Ava Gardner’s items were located including her clothing from specific films and all her movies as well as a few props. When I lived in the same community where she grew up, I spent hours upon hours at the Teacherage watching her films. It’s just a shame that the nearby town swooped down and took everything then put it all in a museum where you have to pay way too much to even go in the building and they don’t offer the ability to watch the films except at certain times of the year and then it’s even more expensive! When the museum, if you will, was at the Teacherage, it didn’t matter when you came in. If you wanted to watch her movies or peruse the props and clothing from the movies (look at but not touch without permission and it was rarely given although I was fortunate enough to be allowed to hold some of the items and feel the material of the gowns she wore in the films not to mention having watched every film she made – including the cameo role from “The Life & Times of Judge Roy Bean.” I’m only sad that I was never able to share that experience with our oldest daughter as we lived in the area when she came along and was old enough to understand the history held within that building. I was even fortunate enough to have the opportunity to meet Ava Gardner some years before she passed away. She came back to the community where she grew up and I happened to be leaving the Teacherage to stop by this little Mom & Pop store when I couldn’t help but see this long, lean, beautiful limousine. I knew it wasn’t polite to stare but I couldn’t help it. A nice black shiny limousine was totally out of place in a rural area where it sat parked. As soon as the woman lowered the window, I immediately knew who she was and we had a nice conversation before her driver returned with a Pepsi (in the glass bottles back then), & a few other items that were in a bag. 

      I know that many people have made the claim that Ava Gardner could be quite the b*tch, but that day, she was gracious, kind, and she smiled the entire time I was asking her questions about her movies and dresses she wore in them that were sitting in the Teacherage at that time, she even took the time to answer all my questions. In retrospect, I can’t help but imagine that she was probably looking at me with my dark complexion from my ethnic roots and the 2 separate yet immaculate braids while reflecting upon her years as young girl who like me, ran around barefoot in cut-off jeans, walking to the store for a drink and pack of nabs before heading back home. Most Native American Indian girls wear their hair in 2 braids until about 15-16 years old then the hair is put into a single braid, which in the generations past meant that the girl was of marrying age and no longer a child – this is from a whole other era but it was force of habit as much as tradition although we don’t marry that young. I even braided my girls hair into 2 braids every morning before school until they were around 15-16 years old then I changed their braiding from 2 braids to a single braid. Many boys who grew their hair long often had it braided into a single braid in the back although the braid was a bit different from the braid of a young teenage or adult girl or grown woman. 

      There was always popcorn available along with drinks in glass bottles at the Teacherage w/plenty of comfortable cushioned chairs and couches where we’d sit to watch the movies on a projection screen. At times, the room was so full many of the kids would sit on the floor to watch the movies. This is the type of cinema I miss b/c it had a major personal touch to it. And, even better it was free although donations were welcome; I’d save money earned barning tobacco, waitressing, and catching fish and crabs in nets and crab pots that I sold to a seafood shop owner along with any oysters I was able to ice down and bring back. I’d always try to donate several dollars when I could but most of my money had to be saved to buy school clothes, supplies, and cover lunch money for my younger sibling & me during the school year before my emancipation and request for legal guardianship and physical custody of my sibling, which was approved. It wasn’t long after when we moved out of the area; I didn’t find out about the nearby town literally “stealing the exhibit to make money” until I came back to visit a few friends and check on the case for child support to help support my sibling, which never came as our parents, incl’g the alcoholic abusive father, had dropped off the grid and went their separate ways but never paid a dime in support and didn’t resurface again until the statutes of limitations had expired. I’m thankful I was able to share many things with him but my all-time favorite was when he was little and heard the DC orchestra perform in the open Colosseum that sits not far from where every president since the White House was moved to DC, stood in a protected area that was cordoned off where they take the oath of office along with the vice-president. We lived near Georgetown U, so we were literally steeped in history and historical landmarks put into place to honor the fallen in various wars along with those who are put to rest together at Arlington National Cemetery.  

      I do miss those old movies played on projection machines where the film is on a drop screen. The trouble today is there are few films that can match the beauty as well as the drawn-in plots that kept the spark to stay until the film was over in order to find out how it ended… It’s yet another bit of proof of the US dumbing down the citizens & makes me thankful our kids along with my sibling were home-schooled as well as attending public school. The home-schooling lessons taught them what they didn’t learn in a school house – most particularly is the art of how to spell along with the correct manner to go about researching a subject, word, concept, and the use of a thesaurus, dictionary, library w/the Dewy Decimal System, and other research books that are available in various stacks within the library. Each can research just about anything and put the answers in an essay form or bullet-stile list. 

  134. A lot of these behind the scenes secrets that “if only people knew”… are really totally understandable and acceptable. Like sweeping the debris under the seats, the manager siding with the staff, the stuff not to eat, the time to heat a pizza; all of this stuff is more or less what you expect, and in the grand scheme of things, it’s fine. The big problem is the prices, but that’s an American consumerism thing, a film industry “bigger=better” mindset, which we’re so accustomed to in everything we do and eat and drive etc. 

  135. Most movies are pure crap. Most movies on cable are pure crap. You will be amazed how good the movies are on turner classic movies. Give it a shot.

    As for going to the movies it is all to stressful. Why pay $10.00 to watch T.V. ads.  Don’t forget how rude most movie goers are.

    I stay home with my 70″ screen and better sound.

  136. As someone who lives with a theater manager and who loves to go to the movies I can say this is all 100% ;ies. I am very surprised that Readers digest would print something with out fact checking.  This in not only fairy tail and urban legends it mislead readers. I am very surprised at RD.

  137. I worked at a theater. We would rub i ce cubes on the hit dogs to make them plump up and look juicier.

  138. First – please excuse the typos in the last post. 
    Second – about the popcorn. Not only is the aroma created with chemicals, so is the “buttery taste”. A small popcorn can add 1,000 calories to your daily intake.  

    Not to mention a ton of triglycerides, salt, and tons of chemicals that you can’t pronounce. 

    In other words: it’s not your mother’s popcorn

  139. Extreme digital is not really lower quality. IMAX is a singular way of shooting film and is not used easily, or economically. IMA’ quality needs to be higher to prject smoothly and clearly on a standard IMAX 6 story screen. Extreme digital is perceived (key word) in the same way, same quality, when shown in a standard digital theater.

  140. Movie popcorn has such a nauseating smell that I cannot sit by anyone who eats it.  Truly, it makes me 
    gag.  It smells NOTHING LIKE BUTTER.  And, I’ll bet it tastes terrible.  Made from chemicals for sure.

  141. I work at a movie theater as an usher and concessionist…I love my co-workers about 90% of the 13 things are true. Everyone should be aware of movie and food costs by now, yet I still get, “What!!! That much for popcorn and soda! That’s ridiculous!” Be nice to workers there, we know it’s expensive, but we don’t make the prices. We are there from 5 to 8 hours sweeping up popcorn, throwing away half drunken sodas and barely touched candy boxes and restocking bathroom supplies. When people are nice we as workers will work even harder to get you to where you want to be with a genuine smile and our very best customer service! As for the people who wait in concession lines yesterday for about 30 minutes during the crazy Christmas rush and had their orders ready and a smile on their face I thank you and love you, and hope you enjoyed your movie

  142. I work at a movie theater.  NO movie theater puts a chemical in their popcorn to enhance the smell.  Have you ever made popcorn in your own home, or at work in the microwave? 

    Every job I’ve ever worked, if a customer complained, the manager would side with the customer and then tell me not to worry about it.  People don’t get mad at the employee, mostly they are mad at something in their own lives and are taking it out on the next minimum wage person they can find so they feel better about themselves.

    Most of the other stuff in the list are things that we would gladly tell you if you asked.

  143. why buy all the crap food anyway??? whats wrong with going just to see the film????

  144. well maybe if the concessions were cheaper more and more people would actually pay to get them. *gasp*

  145. Not a very good article.  I spent 7 years working in movie theatres working every position from doorman to senior management.

    Numbers correspond to slide numbers:1) Popcorn doesn’t need added chemicals to make its aroma fill the theatre.  I worked at a chain that used popcorn seed, oil, and salt…and our popcorn was plenty aromatic.  Yes, there are products like flavacol that claim to make the popcorn more aromatic, but their use is hardly universal.3) While contracts with movie studies are front-loaded, 100% of the revenue is never going to the studio.  The percentage the studio keeps (known as film rent), which might run around 90% to start, usually drops dramatically after the 2nd weekend a movie has been out.  But yes, it would be correct to say that theatres rely on concession stands to make money.

    5) There’s nothing wrong with the pretzels, nachos, or hot dogs from a theatre vs. the food from any fast food restaurant.  Theatres undergo health inspections just like other place that serves food.

    6) If a manager is regularly pretending to yell at employees, they have serious issues and would receiving coaching (or an invitation to leave) if they had worked for me.  Seriously, where do the “sources” for this article work?  Does satan run a movie theatre?

    8) Sizes really don’t change that often.  And you’ll still save calories if you order a small and eat the whole thing vs. ordering a medium and eating the whole thing.  What was the point?

    9) I suppose some chains probably do microwave their frozen pizzas, but any self-respecting non-dollar-theatre is probably using a belt-driven oven or a ‘turbochef’ or equivalent.

    10) This actually sounds like something a movie theatre employee _would_ tell you.  In fact, I had to say it many times.  But I have also never been to a movie theatre that didn’t offer smaller ‘courtesy cups’ that weren’t inventoried, such as you might use if a customer asked for water.

    12) Movies that start late, end late.  There is no fast-forward button that enables a projectionist to start a movie late but still end it on time for the ushers.  Yes, the advertised start time is actually the start of the previews, but I don’t think anyone who has ever been to a movie doesn’t know that already.

    13) Actually, it will keep for a full week, and many, many people (myself included) prefer it a couple of days old vs. fresh from the popper.  I’m just nitpicking though…the overall point made here is correct: customers do not know the difference between fresh and warm.  

  146. I am by no means a movie buff (movies these days are simply too lame). 
    Here are a few movie tips: 

    1.  Try to make the matinee (usually before 6 pm).  Ticket prices are usually a few bucks less. 

    2.   Get discounted tickets from other sources, such as Coupon Books or Groupon Deals

    3.  For Candy, head to your nearest Walgreens  – they have movie sized candies at 3 for $3.  I think 1 movie candy costs $4 or $5 EACH.  I use my wife’s purse to sneak in the goods. 

    4.  Thirsty?  There are water fountains.  Free.  For $5 for a small drink, I can buy a 24-pack of cokes.  Thank you no. 

    5.  Popcorn – I will let you use your own discretion on this one.  Popcorn is part of the movie experience.  Some things should not be skimmed on.  Endnote:  The “butter” is not actually butter, but a “butter-flavored” OIL.  I like my popcorn dry. 

  147. Remember you when buy popcorn you are really paying to keep the theater clean, witch is why we always make a point in buying a large popcorn.

  148. Haha, yes! I worked my summers in a theater in high school and got so tired of people’s impatience, complaints of our food, prices, cleanliness. SSDD. Don’t ask that kid if the nachos or the hot dogs are better. It’s a movie theater, not the Julia Child’s kitchen.

  149. Iused2 go 2 the  movies when my daughter was growing but now that she’s all growing up I stop to expensive this days I rather buy a dvd n enjoy it  in my home don’t need 2 deal with morons talking on their cellphones …….

  150. Well obviously this story is crap. If they wouldnt tell you, why the hell would they tell a reporter and blab it to the world? NO. WHat a movie theatre employee won’t tell you is things like this:

    a) It’s not uncommon for the movie theatre employees to have orgies in the theatre late night, and put movies like “Flesh Gordon” on the screen.
    b) There IS a special sauce.
    c) The theatre doesnt make money on concessions either. Most dont even break even. Kinda begs the question… How do they stay in business? Go back to point (a), and think about energy…
    d) Theatres intentionally hire ‘good looking kids’. For a reason. Lust. What a powerful motivator.
    e) Image isnt the experience. SOUND is the experience of image. We all have different vision, and it’s actually SOUND that shapes that experience. Movie theatre owners KNOW this. And exploit it
    f) How do they exploit it? The ‘digital experience’, you are not watching the same movie as the person next to you.
    g) Movies are free. Created as a result of ‘new life’. Distributors abuse this relationship and profit at your expense. All they do is provide a distribution service for what’s already “Floating in the ether”, and ‘time it’ like a machine. THink Matrix. It’s ALL timed. We’re not even supposed to ‘know’ what’s coming out next year, then they invented ‘trailers’ to cut down on ‘probabilistic sensing of the future’… Truth is, all of space and time is available on the ether, there’s a monstrous system around this all that is trying to trap us in it… I say, let it trap us, it’s an interesting experience, is it not?

  151. Well obviously this story is crap. If they wouldnt tell you, why the hell would they tell a reporter and blab it to the world? NO. WHat a movie theatre employee won’t tell you is things like this:

    a) It’s not uncommon for the movie theatre employees to have orgies in the theatre late night, and put movies like “Flesh Gordon” on the screen.
    b) There IS a special sauce.
    c) The theatre doesnt make money on concessions either. Most dont even break even. Kinda begs the question… How do they stay in business? Go back to point (a), and think about energy…
    d) Theatres intentionally hire ‘good looking kids’. For a reason. Lust. What a powerful motivator.
    e) Image isnt the experience. SOUND is the experience of image. We all have different vision, and it’s actually SOUND that shapes that experience. Movie theatre owners KNOW this. And exploit it
    f) How do they exploit it? The ‘digital experience’, you are not watching the same movie as the person next to you.
    g) Movies are free. Created as a result of ‘new life’. Distributors abuse this relationship and profit at your expense. All they do is provide a distribution service for what’s already “Floating in the ether”, and ‘time it’ like a machine. THink Matrix. It’s ALL timed. We’re not even supposed to ‘know’ what’s coming out next year, then they invented ‘trailers’ to cut down on ‘probabilistic sensing of the future’… Truth is, all of space and time is available on the ether, there’s a monstrous system around this all that is trying to trap us in it… I say, let it trap us, it’s an interesting experience, is it not?

  152. I worked at a major chain movie theater, and most of this is bullshit.

  153. Actually you don’t want to eat the popcorn or drink the soda either.  Inventory and bookkeeping is done via counting cups and bags or containers of popcorn.   I knew a manager who “supplemented” his income by collecting discarded cups and popcorn bags, refunding them out of the register into his pocket and reselling popcorn in soda in the discarded items in order to keep inventory matching receipts.

  154. [“Extreme Digital” is actually lower quality than IMAX digital. We use it because it’s easier to maintain.] You use Extreme Digital because you don’t have screens large enough to accomodate the IMAX format in your movie theater. Not to mention few movies are shot in IMAX format.

  155. as a single mother of 3  living on a very tight income /an even tighter after being diagnosed woth multiple sclerosis , i always waited for movies  at the dollar theater in north richland hills texas & i always carry a large purse on a dailey basis so no diffrent  id pack soda, candy , pop corn , & hot dogs , chips & pickles  that covers almost every thing they offer ,  i am very serious  i cant afford all the expensive food plus tickets much less at the rave theater ect  saw 1st movie narnia at rave with kids only time ever  all other x only dollar theater    ps i have never been asked whats in my bag !!!!!!!!! for 1 its an invasion of my privacey  if  they did ,  they kids were very satisfied with my  movie goodies never complained wen we got ready for a movie outing they they whay we  would pack to take  another thing if you have a  diabetic child or child with celiacs or other gluten issues youd have to bring your own food items      & now i have a grand daughter will be 2 yrs old in late january ill do the same with her, its called learing to live in tough economic times & to not buy in to the comercialism  in our counrty , from the crap at the cash register waiting in line your kid want thet are tired & hungry & want all the candy they see rt then  same as at movie theater ect  teach them wen young & off better alternatives & eat b4 shopping or seeing a movie helps & bring snacks with you  alot of kids like cracker jax just ideas ive used  with my own kids  my kids were allowed soda & candy just as i was & my gran daughter is nothing wrong with most items with moderation, with a few excetions

    hope this helps but id never buy they expensive theater items NEVER NEVER !!!!!!!!

  156. Also, you wouldn’t have to come early and stand in line (outside, sometimes) for 45 minutes to an hour, if people would just clean up after themselves.  When we have to take the time to clean up soda spills, clean up popcorn someone obviously just dumped and all of that, it takes more time to open the theater.  If the theater is relatively clean, we would be letting people in ASAP.

  157. 13 reasons I haven’t been inside a theatre in about 13 years.  That and rude aduience members who can’t STFU and mothers who bring newborns in so they can pinch them at critical moments of the movie so you can’t hear the dialogue over their screaming baby.

  158. This is insane. I’ve worked at a movie theatre for the past four years and none of this happens at my theatre. The popcorn is made fresh everyday and throughout the day. The popcorn that is left over at the end of the night is thrown away. There is no chemicals what so ever in the popcorn or butter. Popcorn is just seed and is popped with coconut oil and regular popcorn salt. The butter is made of soy and has butter flavoring. I know of some Theatres that do use actual butter. I can’t say anything about the hotdogs and/or pretzels because we don’t sell them. The ushers clean the Theatres thoroughly between shows because there is a good half hour between shows. If there’s multiple Theatres getting out at the same time on a busy night, we have multiple people clean them out. Pushing the garbage under the seats is just plain laziness. The concession prices are high because that’s how the company makes their money. The bag sizes have never changed. For the last four years our small size has always been the same size. I’m surprised that the companies/managers of the employees that answered for this article are actually doing these things and getting away with it!

  159. So true on popcorn.  The theater I worked at had a popcorn guy.  He only came in twice a week, worked a few hours, and filled our storeroom with giant trash bags of popcorn.  All we did was put it in the warmer.

  160. I rent movies at Red Box.  Who wants to pay for the overpriced tickets to help pay the million dollar salaries of the stars? Let the doofus neighbor/co-worker see it so you know whether to rent it or not.

  161. We NEVER saved popcorn from the previous night.  It’s so cheap to make, why would you? That’s disgusting.

  162.  

    i just want to share my experience and testimony here.. i was married for 6
    years to my husband and all of a sudden, another woman came into the picture..
    he started hailing me and he was abusive..but i still loved him with all my
    heart and wanted him at all cost…then he filed for divorce..my whole life was
    turning apart and i didn’t know what to do..he moved out of the house and
    abandoned the kids.. so someone told me about trying spiritual means to get my
    husband back and introduced me to a spell caster…so i decided to try it
    reluctantly..although i didn’t believe in all those things… then when he did
    the special prayers and spell, after 2days, my husband came back and was
    pleading..he had realized his mistakes..i just couldn’t believe it.. anyways we
    are back together now and we are happy..in case anyone needs this man, his
    email address abuluspiritualtemple@yahoo.com his spells is for a better life.
    again his email is abuluspiritualtemple@yahoo.com

  163. I ALWAYS bring my own food or drink..to h*ll with their thievery disguised as prices…if all the ticket money goes to the studio for the first month or two , sounds like the theater CEO’S aren’t very good at business negotiation..tough noogies….

  164. ^ clearly doesn’t work at AMC; we threw out all our unused popcorn at the end of the night. All our popcorn was fresh, usually made in the last hour or so when it was busy, yet so many people insisted on me sticking my arms under a rain of burning hot popcorn and oil splatter (which hurt like hell) so they could have fresh popcorn.

    but this person is spot on about cleaning. the ushers aren’t lazy, just extremely overworked and usually pressed for time.

  165. During the Depression, my father was a grade school kids and his family was in poverty.  He loved the movies, but they cost a dime.  To get the money, he would walk for hours along the roadsides to find errant pop bottles or tin cans that someone discarded (a bottle bottle or two could be sold for a penny and a pound of tin, which cans were actually made of then, could also be sold for a penny or two).  If he was lucky enough to earn the ten cents to go to the theater (forget money to buy popcorn or other concessions), he would get to watch a chapter in each of the serials that were playing that week (to be continued the next week if he could come up with another tens cents from hours of walking the roadsides).

    Go ahead.  Gripe about what YOU have to pay to see a movie or buy a concession.

    1.  Then he walked to school barefoot, uphill both ways. 

      Look times have changed since the great depression.  Old previous slaves would probably sneer at the complaints your Grandfather made.  So the gripes we make are in context and in time.  You can’t compare different eras.

    2.  Then he walked to school barefoot, uphill both ways. 

      Look times have changed since the great depression.  Old previous slaves would probably sneer at the complaints your Grandfather made.  So the gripes we make are in context and in time.  You can’t compare different eras.

  166. Number One is nonsense! Anybody who has worked in an office knows how pungent and permeating the aroma of popcorn is. In one office I worked in, employees were, in fact, forbidden from popping popcorn in the microwave.

  167. If you don’t want to buy the popcorn, then don’t buy popcorn. They won’t force you to buy.
    If you prefer to watch a movie in theaters then wait for the DVD-copy. They wouldn’t force you either. Simple as that. I you think they it’s not work, then fall for the advertisements. PERIOD.

  168. “#13. Popcorn keeps for a day or two. Many customers confuse warm with fresh.”
    –Well not in Florida they throw it all out at end of the night

  169. Two more things:
    1) You could have seen this plus 100 more movies at Netflix for le$$.
    2) Theater popcorn always uses Canola Oil which is horrible for you.

  170. It’s not really anything new at my age– we used to walk to the neighborhood theater (what’s that, right??)with 50 cents– 25 to get in 10 for a soda and 15 for popcorn and NO I am not 95.  I’ve stopped going– there’s Redbox and Free at the library, but for a long time, I’d sneak in my own popcorn and candy and buy a drink.  Anythihg else they sell is plain awful.  I still make my own popcorn over the stove Hate that microwave stuff– it tastes funny

  171. The point about movie sales isn’t true. Movie theaters pay a fixed rate to buy the rights to the movie, so for the first month they may not see profits, but there isn’t a contract that makes movie revenue “go to studios” for the first month. 

  172. For those who worry about movie prices, look into the theaters that offer all day matinee prices. on certain days (Like my theater has Tuesdays) which is great. You can get the theater to yourself sometimes. And look into the AAA passes if you have triple A =) 

  173. I like movie theaters and will keep going to them I get the AAA passes. to save money.

    I also go on Tues evenings they have all day matinee price at Revere Cinema in Boston. I always get popcorn with extra butter, to defy the government telling me what to do. If I want extra butter I’ll have extra butter. I wont let the government tell me what is good and what is not good for me. I like the butter. Whatever it has chemicals in it, so does everything else that tastes good. LIVE with it. Just work out and eat healthy the rest of the time and one or two times you go to the m ovie wont kill you. 

  174. get bootleg copies of everything sold on the street, who the hell wants to pay $12.00 for a movie ticket, think about your family first, not Hollywood and a buncg of ego driven overpaid actors!

  175. Nice way to get people to participate in your survey…I’ll never read your articles in the future……

  176. let’s see.. #1 is a lie, it’s just popcorn. comes in hundred pound bags, no chemicals involved. 3 is pretty common knowledge. 7 is only a problem if you can’t do basic math. 8 doesn’t even make much sense. 13. bullshit, popcorn costs pennies, no one saves it overnight and rewarms it the next day.   and half of the rest was just crap..   1/10

  177. As a former employee I can tell you that we DO get free movie passes whenever we want.  I can also tell you that popcorn is thrown out EVERY NIGHT.

  178. Another thing I heard from theater employees is that ticket prices have gone up as people have littered more!  Because so many people throw popcorn all over the place and leave bags and cups behind, more staff have had to be hired to clean up between films. They even thanked me for throwing out my cup. I told them they shouldn’t need to!

  179. That is why I always bring in my own food. Go ahead and have some wine too, they come in small bottles that fit nicely in your pocket.

  180. Actually as a supervisor in a theater, we all eat the nachos and the hot dogs.  We have pretty good quality Angus beef hot dogs.  They are the best thing on the menu.  Our pretzels and nachos aren’t too shabby either.   Also, our popcorn sizes don’t change all that much.

  181. I’ve worked at the movie theater. Nothing on this list is a huge secret. Yeah, the popcorn is a day or two old (at the most) but its warmed up and still tastes fine. Everyone knows the concessions are expensive, and that’s how theaters make money. I don’t know what NOT eating the pretzels, nachos or hot dogs is all about. I eat them. And I don’t think the garbage is swept under the seats due to time constraints…that’s just good old-fashion laziness from minimum wage workers. 

  182. Haven’t been to a movie in a long time, no real need, I am a patient person and I can wait to see the movies on DVD or “On Demand” from the cable company.   No need to put up with obnoxious people (other theater goers) in the theaters.

  183. In fact, theaters count so much on concession stand sales that Sergio Leone’s great Western, “Once Upon a Time in the West” (#2 on IMDB’s “Best Westerns” list – to Leone’s “The Good the Bad and the Ugly”) was cut from the (already cut, from 175 minutes) international print length pf 165 minutes in 1969, because the theaters complained that they needed to get in another show each day so they could sell more popcorn.

    Some of the scenes cut were vital to understanding the plot.

  184. Some right and some wrong.

    Popcorn at home stinks up the house too.  I worked in theatres for 25 years.  After while popcorn smells awful to you.  I used to say” food should have an aroma, not an ODOR”  I had to shower to get the smell off me after work. 

  185. Some right and some wrong.

    Popcorn at home stinks up the house too.  I worked in theatres for 25 years.  After while popcorn smells awful to you.  I used to say” food should have an aroma, not an ODOR”  I had to shower to get the smell off me after work. 

  186. I worked at a movie theater and never had any worries telling people half of this stuff.

  187. Wow I didn’t know readers’s digest still existed. I have warm memories of the print version but after reading this article I doubt it will be around much longer at all. Who is the target audience here, some hick in Bugtussle?

  188. “Combination deals don’t save you money…” because customers do not have more than a 3rd grade education to add prices.

  189. How about – we have people who come to the theater to count moviegoers for particular shows. If the number in the theater doesn’t match the number of tickets sold (because you snuck from one theater to another) then the movie companies may punish us by not sending us their best movies. It may not seem like a big deal to switch theaters, but it may result in you having to drive farther next time for a movie you want to see.

  190. “6. Chances are, if you complain to the manager and he sides with you, he’s just putting on a show to calm you down. The manager might pretend to yell at me for a minute, but he’ll pat me on the back the moment you’re out of sight.” 
    And theaters wonder why attendance is down. Why would I pay to see a movie and deal with poor conditions, poor behavior from other attendees and unprofessional employees? (not to mention “commercials, painfully loud sound….). An AMC in Irvine was running a different movie than the movie shown over the door. The employee we spoke to behaved as if it made no difference to him, offering to let us return and see the movie we purchased the tickets for (kill time til the next run) as if he were doing us a big favor. When I was not happy with his attitude he offered to compensate with free passes, that expired in a couple weeks… I like the big screen, but not worth dealing with the rest of the package. 

  191.                       Gee Luna… why don’t you just tell us your life story and be done with it……………Boring

  192. I work at a small-town movie theater – and in an effort to remain community friendly, the owners have made all tickets $3. We show movies in their second wave (about a month or so after they come out). You can get a ticket, large popcorn and drink for about $8. Total.

    And for all the love we get for it, I know we’re constantly struggling to meet our overhead. Running  a theater is not just concessions and sweeping. It’s security systems and projectors and sound equipment, not to mention minimum wages for workers such as myself. So while I lament how expensive the movie-going experience has become, I have a better understanding as to why those prices are so high. When you have to send most of your money to a studio, you have to inflate if only to keep yourself afloat.

  193. 1.-It’s not chemical’s it’s Canola Oil
    2.-I’ve Never heard of “Extreme Digital”
    3.-ALL box office money goes to the movie companies and yes that’s why the food is so expensive.
    4.-Yupp 
    5.-Depends on the theater. Not every theater actually cooks the food the right way or keeps the machines as clean as they are supposed to 
    6.-Yupp. We know all the rules and we can tell u them until were blue in the face but you wont listen until u hear it from my manager.
    7.-Most combo meals do save you money. If you buy a large popcorn and med/large drink you save money on the candy. It’s kinda fine print depending on what you order but in the end you usually save money.
    8.-I think they’re implying the sizes change a lot…That depends on the theater
    9.-Yupp. However if you ask nicely most theaters will bring the food to you in your theater when it’s ready so you don’t have to wait in the crowded lobby.
    10.-True. “Regal” theaters offer small 4oz cups though for free
    11.-True but if your awesome like we are here in upstate NY (not including Crossgates because they suck) we actually have a cool technique on cleaning so everything even under the seats gets swept up.
    12.-True…Trailers are AWESOME!!! …and it makes u come back *guilty* but still 
    13.-VERY True.

  194. I have a feeling that there are 13 more things, (the really disgusting ones) that they will never tell us………

  195. glad to know the first showings pay the stars,  I will wait until the movies are on video,  the stars will have less money to spend on political  campaignes….

  196. As a senior, I can go to the movies here in the Midwest for less then watching a pay movie on DIRECTV. Watching on the big screen in an audience is still a special experience.

  197. This list is stupid and misleading.As a movie theater manager for 15 years Ive told customers most of those things many times.There is no reason to hide any of it, except maybe the sweeping under the seats. I have also eaten all of those foods employees wont touch. So congrats on blowing our secrets out of the water.Oh and the popcorn does not have a chemical in it to fill the theater, freshly popped popcorn in the lobby just smells good, its popped in oil and with buttery flavoring which is what you smell.The corn kernals are simply just that.Oh and look at the cost of doing something other than going to the movies as a alternative entertainment choice the  movie compares favorably as opposed to other choices.Blame the studios for the high prices because they are the ones who cause the high prices with their high demands for ticket price percentages.Alot of this stuff is correct just not state secrets.

  198. “pat me on the back when you leave” is dependent on the demographic of all involved. A guy to a guy employee. Older female to teen male employee. Woman customer, male customer. Young teen customer, to an adult employee. Any customer to an all hispanic  staff, a hispanic customer to an all white staff, a white customer to an all black staff, A black employee with a white superior, A black customer to a white employee and supervisor. ALL these things matter as to whether the employee will be held accountable. White teen boy who gets a black woman complaining to a white older male boss? no fear at all.

  199. Ugh…authors lost me at “trust the popcorn”. I LOVE the cinema! Love going to the movies! Heck I even love the hot dogs! I worked at a theater in college n these kids just sound lazy and uninterested in film AND employment.

  200. There’s no chemicals in the popcorn.  It’s kernals, corn oil, and popcorn salt.  That’s it.  The butter on the other hand, is polyurethane something… not butter.

  201. That’s why i enjoy Netflix at home and Dvd’s from the library. I went to a movie recently and the volume inside the theater was soooooooo loud I had a headache when I left. Why does the volume have to be so loud?

  202. number 13 isn’t true. Movie theater was my first job and we ALWAYS threw out old popcorn at the end of the night. They’d let employees take it home.

  203. number 13 isn’t true. Movie theater was my first job and we ALWAYS threw out old popcorn at the end of the night. They’d let employees take it home.

  204. number 13 isn’t true. Movie theater was my first job and we ALWAYS threw out old popcorn at the end of the night. They’d let employees take it home.

  205. Customers demand all kind of respect and service for that $12. Or even at the $2 theater.

    Also, they won’t tell you that you can bring food from outside if you have a special diet. And that diet better not be Coke and Mike and Ike.

  206. I cannot sit near anyone in a theater who has a tub of that “garbage.”  The smell of it makes me
    nearly throw up.  Does not smell like “butter.”  It is chemicals and people who work in the plant where it is made have gotten ill just smelling it.

  207. I’m not going to call the author a liar, but as a former movie theatre employee I’m going to say that I believe the “chemicals in the popcorn” thing is a load of crap. At my theatre we did not pop the popcorn fresh every day as the signs might have suggested, but we certainly didn’t add any “chemicals” to make the lobby smell good. I have no idea what the buttery liquid was that we pumped onto popcorn, but it wasn’t some secret “chemical” that we added for aroma – it was just a butter substitute.

  208. This is the most disgusting piece of slander I have ever read. How about you print an article entitled ‘Thirteen things a GOOD movie theater employee with a decent manager won’t tell you?” Yes, I manage a theater and I have never ‘patted an employee on the back’ after a customer left (chances are, if they were rude to a customer or in the wrong they’re being pulled into the office to be written up or terminated after the customer leaves). Do you really support this kind of terrible article? A good employee won’t turn his back when someone is sneaking in (or how about you write an article entitled ‘Another reason your prices are so high at the movies. You sneak in and throw trash around and hey, have you ever considered how much money it costs to pay the janitorial service and the employees to clean up your mess?’) and yes, popcorn stays fresh but it’s also thrown out at night and MADE FRESH DAILY! Did one of the pay-per-view channels throw you some bucks to slam the theater business? I love how you explain the reason for the cost of concession items but still oh-so-slyly call them ‘overpriced’. Carefully written insults and backhanded ‘truths’ don’t change a piece of trash article. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

  209. All of these things are so true! I hate when people want extra cups or bags, we can give out a small free courtesy cup and box for you to put your things in, and if thats a problem…sucks! 
    It is quite beneficial getting free movies so that way you can scout out the good ones and see the crappy ones for free! 

  210. I rarely drink or eat anything at the cinema for the above reasons. If you drink something, You may miss something when going to the restroom. The Popcorn and the so called Butter are vile , I would never have Butter on the popcorn. A friend would smuggle in their own popcorn made at home in a backpack.

  211. I rarely drink or eat anything at the cinema for the above reasons. If you drink something, You may miss something when going to the restroom. The Popcorn and the so called Butter are vile , I would never have Butter on the popcorn. A friend would smuggle in their own popcorn made at home in a backpack.

  212. just like most places that serve food, you know what goes on when you work there and it loses its flavor

  213. i use to work in a dollar theatre. we found a bloated mouse in the candy counter, they pulled it out and never cleaned the area out. when i started to say something out loud they told me to shut up.  I still get iffy about movie theatre food, particularly dollar theaters.  (the little movie theaters that show movies that have recently left the theatre)

  214. I work for a Canadian Theatre company ( one of the biggest) and after 5 years I know enough to tell everyone this article is very silly.

    1.There are no Chemicals to make popcorn smells fill the theatre. This is a complete and utter lie. Have you ever made popcorn at home from a bag? Yeah it smells up the whole kitchen with a nice smell …. and for a long while– that is normal, and natural.

    2. Digital is obviously not as good as IMAX that’s why IMAX is IMAX. All theatres have gone (or are on the way to) digital projection because in comparison to the old film, it offers a clearer visual for the guest, easier to fix in case the film gets tangled up in the projection booth and also it is much safer since the old-style film is extremely flammable and combustible–  yes it is easier to run but that is not the reason for the switch at all.

    3. It is true most of the money does not go to the theatre this is why concessions are expensive. I don’t know why the above article says for the first month or two, movies are not usually even in theatres for that long… and even if they were, a portion would still go to the distributors and the actors-  who do you think pays for the actors pay cheques?  Also what bugs me about this one is any theatre employee would gladly tell you this… i’s no secret as the title of the article suggests.

    4. ”
    I know all the methods you use to sneak in. I just don’t always care enough to kick you out for it.”
    Im just going to skip commenting on this one….. it depends on the employee.

    5. ” The only foods I trust are the popcorn, drinks, and boxed candy. I wouldn’t eat the pretzels, hot dogs, or nachos.” – whatever employee said this must work at a gross and grungy theatre. Our theatres are clean and have fresh good food. The nachos are the best!6. this one is also stupid, from experience, if the guest is right… the guest is treated as such. If the guest is in the wrong, they will be made aware of it. If the employee is in the wrong- they will be made aware of it.7. Combos do save you money- that’s why they are combos. what a stupid assumption.Go ahead try it, you’ll see.8. i dont even get number 8… our sizes  have been the same for years.9. Microwave pizzas?? Wow .. not at our theatres, we have real pizza ovens you can see them come out. I have rolled and baked 100’s of them with my own hands,10. No we cannot give extra cups or bags, because it is inventoried… again NOT a secret… theatre employees openly tell the guest the reason for not being able to provide extra containers.  stupid .This article is very stupid.

    1. I dont care how much you defend the food at a movie theater, THERE IS chemicals in the topping. I’ll make you a deal, thousand bucks if you, as not a chemist, and just some guy who works a theater, can tell me exactly what every item in the topping is, same with the “cheese product” for those nachos. Now, I can’t say that the intent of those chemicals is to create a pleasant odor, but they are definitely there. In fact, I doubt you could identify the chemicals in the soda, hot dogs (which incidentally might be prepared in a clean environment, but are made from meat fillers, i.e. leftover scraps of anything animal based, turkey, pork, whatever was laying around– not exactly high quality food) pretzels or anythings really thats served at a concession stand. 

      Using the words “clean, fresh, good food” is not only a bold face lie, it’s insulting. I have come to LOVE my drive in movie theater that allows me to pay 6 dollars to bring in whatever food I like– I bring my kids tea, bags of grapes, sliced fruit, and my favorite, non genetically modified whoe grain popcorn from trader joes with my own real butter topping and sea salt– healthy  THAT is fresh food. and yes, I can tell you exactly what everything is that’s in it. 

      It’s very hard to make a clear decision on the combos since the movie theater chains I have been to in both Michigan and TN don’t label individual prices…I’m sure that is no accident. 

      I’m sorry, but I think our idea of what “good food” is has become completely distorted and I can see you’re very fired up and defensive, but this is an argument you will not win. 

  215. The “topping” they put on popcorn is not butter or margarine.  It is a soy product.  When I worked at a theater during High School, I once knew a guy who was dared to drink a dixie-cup of the “topping.”  Dude had the runs for days.  Topping is nasty stuff in large doses.

  216. With netflix & the redbox, these overpriced movie theaters will go out of business real soon!!!

  217. I worked briefly for a large chain theatre.  Go to movies Monday through Thursday. Many have single ticket takers close to the front door on those days, especially from noon to 5pm.  Ours did not even have a ticket taker at those times.  Ours was a multi-winged theatre that only had section ticket takers after 5pm and mainly on weekends.  It means you can theatre hop.  The manager usually doesn’t care as long as you continue to visit the snack bar.  Our popcorn trick was to leave the doors slightly open so that the smells get out better.  But that’s if you always get fresh popcorn.  For a major event such as Twilight fans, we pop up 55-gallon bags full of popcorn early in the week and then warehouse it in our dry storage area.  We might have 10 bags level full of popped corn.  Then on the debut day, we pull it out and fill up the machines all across the complex.  The heat lamps will do the rest of the job.  You can always dump complimentary butter flavored oil on it. Don’t feel bad, sports stadiums pop as many as 100, 55-gallon bags to have for game day.  Yes, we did delight on what you bring into our movie house.  Large boxes of pizza, small cartons of ice cream, Chinese food, your own bag of popcorn in a grocery sack, your own movie sized candy from CVS, and all sorts of drinks.  If you are curious as to why there used to be a big hole in the cup holder,.it was so a can or bottle falls through. You used to hear cans or bottles rolling down to the front aisle.  We fixed the glitch by adding a plastic cross holder so that we could sell you our own bottled drinks at tremendous profits. 
    We had what I affectionately call to this day, The Screening Rooms.  You might as well watch the movie at home with a DLP projector.  These theatres had 67 seats.  Its only purpose was to let us keep a marginal movie on the marquee just a few days longer than our competition.  Try to get there before we move it to those rooms.  Its better waiting and then going to a $1 cinema and watching it on their full sized screen. 
    Last, we are measuring you, “they are watching”.  That is Nielsen Theatre Market Research.  They report back to the producer early results of trailers.  We randomly pulled out guests who fit a demographic and show them a brief trailer.  Then we give a 5-minute computerized survey.  You can actually do the survey yourself from home but I’ll be nice and not post web pages.  However, search Sony Pictures Survey and it will let you get in from their portal.  Hey, you can win a $5000 Sony system that they give out each week.  One frequent survey is married, Latino, women, 2 kids under 10, and husband not present.  What did they think about the trailer for Madagascar III.  Did the kids understand the plot.  Will they tell their friends to watch it because of their opinion of the trailer.
    We got paid up to $15 per survey so that’s a nice spiff.

  218. I worked briefly for a large chain theatre.  Go to movies Monday through Thursday. Many have single ticket takers close to the front door on those days, especially from noon to 5pm.  Ours did not even have a ticket taker at those times.  Ours was a multi-winged theatre that only had section ticket takers after 5pm and mainly on weekends.  It means you can theatre hop.  The manager usually doesn’t care as long as you continue to visit the snack bar.  Our popcorn trick was to leave the doors slightly open so that the smells get out better.  But that’s if you always get fresh popcorn.  For a major event such as Twilight fans, we pop up 55-gallon bags full of popcorn early in the week and then warehouse it in our dry storage area.  We might have 10 bags level full of popped corn.  Then on the debut day, we pull it out and fill up the machines all across the complex.  The heat lamps will do the rest of the job.  You can always dump complimentary butter flavored oil on it. Don’t feel bad, sports stadiums pop as many as 100, 55-gallon bags to have for game day.  Yes, we did delight on what you bring into our movie house.  Large boxes of pizza, small cartons of ice cream, Chinese food, your own bag of popcorn in a grocery sack, your own movie sized candy from CVS, and all sorts of drinks.  If you are curious as to why there used to be a big hole in the cup holder,.it was so a can or bottle falls through. You used to hear cans or bottles rolling down to the front aisle.  We fixed the glitch by adding a plastic cross holder so that we could sell you our own bottled drinks at tremendous profits. 
    We had what I affectionately call to this day, The Screening Rooms.  You might as well watch the movie at home with a DLP projector.  These theatres had 67 seats.  Its only purpose was to let us keep a marginal movie on the marquee just a few days longer than our competition.  Try to get there before we move it to those rooms.  Its better waiting and then going to a $1 cinema and watching it on their full sized screen. 
    Last, we are measuring you, “they are watching”.  That is Nielsen Theatre Market Research.  They report back to the producer early results of trailers.  We randomly pulled out guests who fit a demographic and show them a brief trailer.  Then we give a 5-minute computerized survey.  You can actually do the survey yourself from home but I’ll be nice and not post web pages.  However, search Sony Pictures Survey and it will let you get in from their portal.  Hey, you can win a $5000 Sony system that they give out each week.  One frequent survey is married, Latino, women, 2 kids under 10, and husband not present.  What did they think about the trailer for Madagascar III.  Did the kids understand the plot.  Will they tell their friends to watch it because of their opinion of the trailer.
    We got paid up to $15 per survey so that’s a nice spiff.

  219. I worked briefly for a large chain theatre.  Go to movies Monday through Thursday. Many have single ticket takers close to the front door on those days, especially from noon to 5pm.  Ours did not even have a ticket taker at those times.  Ours was a multi-winged theatre that only had section ticket takers after 5pm and mainly on weekends.  It means you can theatre hop.  The manager usually doesn’t care as long as you continue to visit the snack bar.  Our popcorn trick was to leave the doors slightly open so that the smells get out better.  But that’s if you always get fresh popcorn.  For a major event such as Twilight fans, we pop up 55-gallon bags full of popcorn early in the week and then warehouse it in our dry storage area.  We might have 10 bags level full of popped corn.  Then on the debut day, we pull it out and fill up the machines all across the complex.  The heat lamps will do the rest of the job.  You can always dump complimentary butter flavored oil on it. Don’t feel bad, sports stadiums pop as many as 100, 55-gallon bags to have for game day.  Yes, we did delight on what you bring into our movie house.  Large boxes of pizza, small cartons of ice cream, Chinese food, your own bag of popcorn in a grocery sack, your own movie sized candy from CVS, and all sorts of drinks.  If you are curious as to why there used to be a big hole in the cup holder,.it was so a can or bottle falls through. You used to hear cans or bottles rolling down to the front aisle.  We fixed the glitch by adding a plastic cross holder so that we could sell you our own bottled drinks at tremendous profits. 
    We had what I affectionately call to this day, The Screening Rooms.  You might as well watch the movie at home with a DLP projector.  These theatres had 67 seats.  Its only purpose was to let us keep a marginal movie on the marquee just a few days longer than our competition.  Try to get there before we move it to those rooms.  Its better waiting and then going to a $1 cinema and watching it on their full sized screen. 
    Last, we are measuring you, “they are watching”.  That is Nielsen Theatre Market Research.  They report back to the producer early results of trailers.  We randomly pulled out guests who fit a demographic and show them a brief trailer.  Then we give a 5-minute computerized survey.  You can actually do the survey yourself from home but I’ll be nice and not post web pages.  However, search Sony Pictures Survey and it will let you get in from their portal.  Hey, you can win a $5000 Sony system that they give out each week.  One frequent survey is married, Latino, women, 2 kids under 10, and husband not present.  What did they think about the trailer for Madagascar III.  Did the kids understand the plot.  Will they tell their friends to watch it because of their opinion of the trailer.
    We got paid up to $15 per survey so that’s a nice spiff.

  220. I worked briefly for a large chain theatre.  Go to movies Monday through Thursday. Many have single ticket takers close to the front door on those days, especially from noon to 5pm.  Ours did not even have a ticket taker at those times.  Ours was a multi-winged theatre that only had section ticket takers after 5pm and mainly on weekends.  It means you can theatre hop.  The manager usually doesn’t care as long as you continue to visit the snack bar.  Our popcorn trick was to leave the doors slightly open so that the smells get out better.  But that’s if you always get fresh popcorn.  For a major event such as Twilight fans, we pop up 55-gallon bags full of popcorn early in the week and then warehouse it in our dry storage area.  We might have 10 bags level full of popped corn.  Then on the debut day, we pull it out and fill up the machines all across the complex.  The heat lamps will do the rest of the job.  You can always dump complimentary butter flavored oil on it. Don’t feel bad, sports stadiums pop as many as 100, 55-gallon bags to have for game day.  Yes, we did delight on what you bring into our movie house.  Large boxes of pizza, small cartons of ice cream, Chinese food, your own bag of popcorn in a grocery sack, your own movie sized candy from CVS, and all sorts of drinks.  If you are curious as to why there used to be a big hole in the cup holder,.it was so a can or bottle falls through. You used to hear cans or bottles rolling down to the front aisle.  We fixed the glitch by adding a plastic cross holder so that we could sell you our own bottled drinks at tremendous profits. 
    We had what I affectionately call to this day, The Screening Rooms.  You might as well watch the movie at home with a DLP projector.  These theatres had 67 seats.  Its only purpose was to let us keep a marginal movie on the marquee just a few days longer than our competition.  Try to get there before we move it to those rooms.  Its better waiting and then going to a $1 cinema and watching it on their full sized screen. 
    Last, we are measuring you, “they are watching”.  That is Nielsen Theatre Market Research.  They report back to the producer early results of trailers.  We randomly pulled out guests who fit a demographic and show them a brief trailer.  Then we give a 5-minute computerized survey.  You can actually do the survey yourself from home but I’ll be nice and not post web pages.  However, search Sony Pictures Survey and it will let you get in from their portal.  Hey, you can win a $5000 Sony system that they give out each week.  One frequent survey is married, Latino, women, 2 kids under 10, and husband not present.  What did they think about the trailer for Madagascar III.  Did the kids understand the plot.  Will they tell their friends to watch it because of their opinion of the trailer.
    We got paid up to $15 per survey so that’s a nice spiff.

  221. You know that blockbuster movie that everybody has been waiting to open for six months and you know it is going to sell out every show for the first weekend? The first screening in the morning won’t even be half full. This even works in Manhattan. Also, I think 3D is a total ripoff. The look is not that much better for the extra money.

  222. yeah, sorry for the theaters, but with sticky seats and inconsiderate jerkballs on cellphones, i’d rather watch movies at home.  

    saving all that cinema cost – i can afford a new really big hi def tv, and bigger still every few years. 

    plus, then maybe the people acting in movies who do nothing more than tell other’s stories won’t get the zillions of dollars they demand, paid for by all those theaters (using our $$$$) with their nasty seats and armrests – and kids (or other idiots) will instead idolize people who are truly great and accomplished, and all will be good with the world.  i’m a happy cable camper.

  223. Soda is also hugely profitable – the cost is something like $0.25 a liter in bulk.  Thus on a $5.00 soda they’re probably making $4.25-$4.50 of pure profit.  Wholesale cost for boxed candy is around $0.40-$0.50 and sells for $4-$5.  So… make no mistake, the theaters are making big money on concessions.  

  224. To Jaxsearch, who complained about looking too young to qualify for the 60-plus senior discount at the movies:  The solution to that problem is simple.  At the boxoffice, simply show your driver’s license (or other photo ID that gives your birthdate), and–Bingo!–discount granted!  That also shuts up the wiseguy or wisegal who doesn’t believe you!   :-)

  225. Been to 3 movies in the last few weeks, which is more times than I’ve been in the last 15 years.  The $6 matinee is not bad, but to get a bag of popcorn and drink is $10!  Ridiculous.

  226. I have naturally dark brown hair and because i have never smoked and tried to stay out of the sun, I look slightly younger than 60, which is the local theater’s cutoff for senior discounts. The cashier has essentially told me he doesn’t believe me anyway, my husband (who’s mostly bald, has gray hair and is younger than I am) gets embarrassed, and I feel silly asking for so,ething the company’s policy says I can have.

  227. Sorry all you “movies are too expensive” people, but people LOVE going to the movies. They are not “dying out”. Studios invest millions of dollars in them for a reason: they make money. All the after-market sales like DVDs and rentals and etc more than make up for any lost revenue after a movie is off the screen, so stop acting like you’re going to bring down the industry: your paltry dollars don’t mean much. Look for record numbers of people “not going to the movies” when Batman opens in a couple of weeks.

  228. Sorry all you “movies are too expensive” people, but people LOVE going to the movies. They are not “dying out”. Studios invest millions of dollars in them for a reason: they make money. All the after-market sales like DVDs and rentals and etc more than make up for any lost revenue after a movie is off the screen, so stop acting like you’re going to bring down the industry: your paltry dollars don’t mean much. Look for record numbers of people “not going to the movies” when Batman opens in a couple of weeks.

  229. If you go to the Century movie theaters chain, ask for headphones at the custimer service section to offset the douchebags that talk during the show. It’s free but do the honorable thing and return it.Don’t run off with it.

  230. I love how your article is full of it. Did you do your research in one place?

  231. Number 5 cracks me up!!!!

    I worked at a movie theater for a couple years in high school.   At the end of the night the popcorn is put in a garbage bag and reheated for the next day. (hence, I would not want to eat that!!!)   The hot dogs are fine, if they don’t sell they are thrown out, it’s the buns that are counted for inventory purposes!  As for the nachos, the chips move so much they don’t sit idle and the cheese is either boiling hot or put in the cold locker at the end of the night…  inventory on them is counted on the trays you receive when you order them.  Same with soft drink cups.

    whoever wrote this should actually learn more about the business before pretending to know anything about it.

  232. We got to the frist run movies 5 times a month but we never buy any drinks or food there.  We are lucky our movie theater is in a area that has about 10 places to eat, we go early and eat good food for about 75% less money.  Now how stupid would they be to keep over charging on the snacks they have to offer.  Come on it does not take a scholor to understand with the all we have to dealw ith going to a $25.00 per person movie is not on the our top priorties.

    When you have kids who drink and eat h ow can a family afford to take all the kids and supply them with refreshments you might as well go to Disneyland at least you have the whole day for your money!  A family can rent movies for a buck at the super market and while your there but micro pop it is always on sale like a buck, then get a liter of soda for less than a buck…see I figured person…a DVD, popcorn, a liter of soda, a candy grand total $4.00 plus tax.  STAY HOME!

  233. I go to the movies nearly every Friday. I always insist on my pop corn fresh and hot from the popper.  I am a senior so I get the senior discount,  $5.00.  I also never go when the movie is new,  too many people and too much noise.  There have been time when I have been the only person in the theatre.  most enjoyable that way.

  234. actually one movie employee told me this,that they make most of their money from concessions cause me and my cosine was complaining why was everything so high 

  235. Okay, admittedly I haven’t been to the show in years.  But during the 90’s (and before) I went practically every day.  Maybe the new multiplexes have built themselves in such a way as to stop this…but I doubt it.

    Look at number 3:  the theater is only making money from the concessions for the first couple of months.  I knew that all along, plus how many pictures last more than a couple of months now?  The studios are eager to get them on dvd.

    And then there’s 4:  we know how you sneak in.

    Put them together, along with a presumed number 14, the kids running the place couldn’t care less, and what do you have?  A recipe for dividing that exorbitant cost of viewing a film, a way to make your outing a paid-for double feature.  (Or more.)

    Go in with a newspaper schedule of the start times, and a watch.  When the first movie (the one you paid for) ends, check which other one is about to begin, and start to amble over there.  But on your way, buy a box of popcorn.  Now you’ve just given back to the theater, you’ve just put money in the kids’ pockets, and they won’t throw you out no matter what.

    Nor should they.  That 12 bucks you paid coming in goes right back to the studio; that 3 bucks you paid for the popcorn is what pays their salary.

    They’ll never admit this, but as long as you keep buying popcorn and concessions, you should be allowed to see all the films you like.

    Would the studios approve of this?  Hell no.  But then, they’re the ones who have manuevered themselves over the years to have this stranglehold on theaters.  And if the theater-owner (and, by default, his employees) happens to want to treat you as a guest and allow you to see some film free of charge, that’s his business.

    And all for the price of a box of popcorn.

  236. For my wife and me, a movie at the theatre is like a nice restaurant: we only go once a year. It has to be a movie we really want to see…maybe even “waited” for. A far cry from when we used to date (25 years ago). Those days, we’d see two, sometimes three, movies in one weekend.

    1. only one movie a year? no offense but you and your wife sound boring. 

      1. Coming from someone who most likely practices boring in the mirror.

      2. I know. Right? But we’ve been together for 31 years — married for 26. And we make each other laugh every day. Every day! We’re into many things — and we’re always sharing stuff with each other. I guess, for some people, there’s more to life than movies.

  237. For my wife and me, a movie at the theatre is like a nice restaurant: we only go once a year. It has to be a movie we really want to see…maybe even “waited” for. A far cry from when we used to date (25 years ago). Those days, we’d see two, sometimes three, movies in one weekend.

  238. other things you didn’t know:

    if the 3D movie looks a little dark to you, its not just the glasses. projectionists are supposed to calibrate the bulbs to a specific light level for each film. but this process is time consuming and tedious so it almost never gets done correctly.

    projector bulbs have strict operating limits but are often used for more hours than they were built to last because bulbs cost 3k each. light loss can be the result.

    the type and thickness of glass used for the portholes is often not ideal for digital projection. it’s too thick and cloudy. dust and dirt just make it worse.

    movies always start at least 2 minutes late. if the schedule says 2:30, projectionists are told not to start the movie before 2:32 and after that we have a 5 minute window in which we are still considered on time so your movie may very well be 7 minutes late before the previews even start.

    there’s always at least 15 minutes of previews and sometimes more. we have strict orders for which previews go on which movies and in which order. “trailers checkers” attend theaters often to make sure we’re showing the correct previews. that being said, we sometimes skip or fast forward through the previews if a technical problem has caused the show to start late.

    if you stay to watch the ending credits for the latest running show of the night, we hate you. it’s 2:30 in the morning and we want to get the machines shut down and go home asap. i’ve often turned the lights up really high during the credits to hint to that last couple that it’s time to GO.

    WE CAN SEE YOU HAVING SEX. there’s humans in the booth less of the time since the advent of digital projection but we’re still up there! and we have to look through the port glass to do quality checks. you’re never alone. we can see you from the booth.

    3D movies are only worth the money if they were filmed in 3D. a re-release of beauty and the beast 3D is just a way to take your money. the quality wont be near as good as a movie filmed with a 3D camera.

    films have digital watermarks that only the producers can spot. if you try to pirate, either by stealing the drive or filming the screen, they can track down exactly which theater it came from.

  239. I am a former movie theatre employee and I can verify all these statements are correct from my experience!!!

  240. dont blame the movie theaters for prices.  movie theater employees make minimum wage, will smith gets 50+ million for a movie.  and how come no one complains about the prices of concessions at sporting events?  and the comment about MGRs supporting their employees is true, mostly because customers like to complain that they didnt like the ending of a movie or that prices(set by corporate board members) were too high, leave your unhappiness with life at home.

  241. I grew up as the child of a self admitted popcorn snob.. I know the difference between warm and fresh popcorn ;-)

  242. A. Don’t go.
    B. Sse up a nice home Theater.
    C. What ch what you want, when you want.
    D. No more out of control people.
    E. No more water cokes and crap Pop Corn..
    Home is where it is at…

  243. How about the fake coupons? We used to give out little cards entitling the holder to “50 cents off our regular price for a large soda” without telling them that anyone who walked up without a coupon also got the same 50 cents off. I don’t know if they’re still allowed to do that, though.

  244. How about the fake coupons? We used to give out little cards entitling the holder to “50 cents off our regular price for a large soda” without telling them that anyone who walked up without a coupon also got the same 50 cents off. I don’t know if they’re still allowed to do that, though.

  245. How about the fake coupons? We used to give out little cards entitling the holder to “50 cents off our regular price for a large soda” without telling them that anyone who walked up without a coupon also got the same 50 cents off. I don’t know if they’re still allowed to do that, though.

  246.  I agree, movies are TOO expensive, TOO dumbed-down for teen-age males. We need more chick flicks, more kiddie movies, & movies for adults! BYOF (bring your own food & pop). Also, the Blockbuster gets the Oscar!

  247. The difference between Extreme Digital and IMAX is miniscule.  It is not enough that it would make make any appreciable difference to the average movie goer.

  248. You forgot to mention the high school junior running the projector is clueless. The thing that most infuriates me about going to the theater these days is after I’ve paid the price for a ticket I’m then subjected to the same commercials I get watching TV at home. Ad time pays for what is essentially a free service (TV broadcasts). I still don’t like it, but I get it. What I don’t get and find completely inexcusable is being subjected to the same commercials after I’ve PAID for my admission to the showing. I have a pretty high end home theater (dedicated room, D-ILA projector, 12 foot screen, 6000 watt sound system, supremely comfortable theater chairs) but I would still go to a decent theater for some of the blockbuster action movies and put up with the stench and filth and rude people were it not for being subjected to television commercials with my paid admission. That was just the last straw for me. We wait for the video releases at our house and fast forward through the ads.

  249. THIS is what the employees don’t tell you?  I have a secret, too!  Anything on that List of the Boringly Obvious that amazes anyone here simply shows that movie-goers are more stupid than the minimum-wage “inner sanctum” of employee drones.  You probably think Memorial Day sales at department stores are amazing and valid, too. 

  250. She missed a big one. Employees are supposed to say “Do you want butter FLAVORING on your popcorn.” Its not real butter, it a synthetic blend of oils.

  251. The “go to the movies” business model is totally outdated and inappropriate for contemporary technology. I’ve got a 58″ plasma tv in my studio apartment, and a sound system that compares favorably to the ones in the cinema. Take the real estate costs, the ridiculous concession marketplace and the projector infrastructure out of the picture, and just distribute first-run films via internet on services like Netflix, Hulu and XBox.  There are better places/ways for us to “commune” as a society than in movie theaters — just pointing out that while cinemas may have survived the advent of television, they will not survive the 60″ LED flat panel combined with massive bandwidth, home theater receivers and in-home wireless speaker technology.

    1. Not true it is about getting out of the house and losing all my problems for a few hours. If at home phone does not stop.

  252. Having managed a theater for 5 years, I can verify not all these statements are true.  But the truest line is about the concession sales:  that’s how theater’s make the bulk of their money.  Box office sales usually begin to make revenue for the theater after about the 3rd or 4th week of its showing, even if it is a minute amount.  My theater never recycled popcorn:  we either allowed the employees to take the leftovers home or just threw it out (it is really cheap, but quite yummy!)  NEVER eat anything but the popcorn or candy or boxed goods that are sold at the theater.  I wholeheartedly agree with this.

    As far as complaining customers; 90% of the gripes are over trite situations either the customer created or is beyond our control.  Berating my employees never helped a customer’s cause.  It only served to guarantee them never getting what they asked/complained about  (sorry, customer service only goes so far and presentation is very important.) 

  253. Lol… Readers Digest.. At least there’s one place for the grannies to hang out

  254. I once saw a theater manager make the concession counter staff wash mold off a full case of hotdogs before cooking them.

  255. Alright, that was a waste of 3 minutes of my life.
    Who the hell is Ilana Struass and how did she get a job as a writer?

  256. The average cost per ticket in 2011 was $7.94. In 1971 it was $1.65. Adjusting that amount for inflation and it would be $9.22. It’s actually cheaper to see a movie now.

  257. dvd out soon…pop and popcorn at home…still cheaper and i get to keep what i bought.

  258. I don’t go to movies any more. Waste of time and money. Most of them aren’t worth paying for. We usually just wait until they come out on regular cable. We don’t even think most of them are worth paying for on PPV channels. As for food at the theaters, I used to take a bag of M&Ms for each of us and just go out for ice cream or drinks AFTER the movie.

  259. I don’t go to movies any more. Waste of time and money. Most of them aren’t worth paying for. We usually just wait until they come out on regular cable. We don’t even think most of them are worth paying for on PPV channels. As for food at the theaters, I used to take a bag of M&Ms for each of us and just go out for ice cream or drinks AFTER the movie.

  260. TRUE  during my time working maybe not so much now.. but would work

  261. Hotdogs and  Pretzels  are placed in the morning.. and rotate all day and into the last shift if no one buys one.  Hotdogs and Pretzels are heavy foods so  hardly anymore will wanna buy them at the midnight shows. The more fatter the less customers wll wanna buy more then one.. thinner dogs and people willy buy more then one

  262. This is  TRUE.. and thats why the employees upsell items and thats why there are all those combos. But what is not said that  the higher the prices the less people are going to buy and hence bring outside food in. A trick  is to add a bit more salt to the popcorn  making the customer more thirsty with that salt they will have to come back for another drink. lower the food items  and more variety will allow customers to  not bring in those leftover and buy a popcorn. Also certain movies are not good popcorn movies and some are good ones. Horror movies do not make good  popcorn movies but comedies and dramas do…

  263. The reason the popcorn looks yellow is because its the canola oil or butter flavoring used..In other words its not  real butter. I know of this because I worked in a movie theater for 20 years..

  264. I happen to work in a movie theater, and what people dont realize that the overpricing is done for a reason. People pirate movies, and movies studios have to re-coperate loses somehow. Concessions is overpriced in order to cover overhead, and sometimes theres little profit leftover. Theres employees to pay, electricity to pay for(One projector uses enough energy to power a small house) companies who supply our concession items need to be paid, and other items such as condiments, toilet paper, seat covers, garbage bags, etc need to be paid for. When we say we cant give you extra cups for inventory purposes, we mean it!  EVERYTHING gets counted at the end of the night. We need to match sales with inventory, if its off even a little bit it throws everything off, especially when it comes to ordering more stock. Thats not cheap. I recieved shipment several times and checked to make sure everything was there and accounted for, and when I saw the invoice I nearly sh*t myself because we were spending anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000 on just one concession shipment from one company alone. We deal with about three different companies for concession items Who know how many other companies we deal with for things like the projectors, bathroom supplies etc. 

  265. Hostile article written by someone who should just wait for it to be on cable

  266. #14:  I am a loser with no marketable skills so I work in a theater.


  267. Popcorn costs almost nothing to make.”

    That’s a secret? Who doesn’t know that? lol


  268. Popcorn costs almost nothing to make.”

    That’s a secret? Who doesn’t know that? lol

  269. You have no idea what you are talking about…no Exibitor pays a studio 80%. Most deals starts at 60/40 (in the studios favor), then 50/50, then 40/60 (in the Theatres favor).

  270. You have no idea what you are talking about…no Exibitor pays a studio 80%. Most deals starts at 60/40 (in the studios favor), then 50/50, then 40/60 (in the Theatres favor).

  271. Bring in outside food, or downloading a pirated movie is YOU justifying stealing because you think you are entitled to something. Movies are a luxury, not a necessity.

  272. I am a movie theater employee and have been for almost 30 years. I don’t know who they talked to or what theater change would allow this to happen but not where I work. There are several inaccurate statements. I remember getting yelled at by a customer one time because the sales tax they paid went up, and it was my fault. Or the time, I had a customer cuse me out because the movie they watched was a horror movie and the movie poster did not promote it as a horror movie. However, she did sit there and watch the whole thing.

    Also, one of the comments stated that the theaters will put themselves out of business. That is wrong too. The theater chains are hand-tied due to the studios that produce the movies. The average profit on tickets for a theater is roughly 20% which works out to be about $2.00. The theater chain I work for has actually refused to show certain movies because of how much the studios want of the ticket price. So concession is the only way to make money to pay for the building, utilities, and other overhead expenses. Yes. The studios are shrinking the window from a movies released in a theater to a movie released on DVD. I believe most are down to a 90 day window, but think of this, if the studio only had DVD sales to make profit, then they will jack up the price on the DVD’s. Everything is a balance.

    Next time you get upset for paying $7 for popcorn, remember that $10 beer that you got at your last sporting event. You did not mind paying $10 for beer so why would you get upset for paying $7 for popcorn?

  273. Most of AMC Theaters failed to provide all closed-captioning  availability 
    for the deaf people who doesn’t understand what the movie said over again.

    We all deaf people feel that the AMC Theaters still abused to overcharge more
    than $12.00 to up to deaf people who suffered to don’t understand the movie
    action said at all times.

    We all deaf people feel that AMC Theaters should accept to provide the lower
    child price for the deaf people without providing closed-captioning availability.

  274. When I worked at a theater, if you asked for “extra butter” it cost 25 cents more. If you just said “lots of butter” it was free.

  275. Tienes
    razón. Cines sólo van a ponerse fuera del negocio. Con películas está
    disponible en DVD mucho antes tras el lanzamiento que solían, menos
    gente se molesta con entradas sobrevaluadas, alimentos sobrevaluados y
    gente hablando en sus teléfonos.

     

  276. Tienes
    razón. Cines sólo van a ponerse fuera del negocio. Con películas está
    disponible en DVD mucho antes tras el lanzamiento que solían, menos
    gente se molesta con entradas sobrevaluadas, alimentos sobrevaluados y
    gente hablando en sus teléfonos.

     

  277. Wow…what a great article!   And such insight!   Look out, here comes the next Pulitzer winner

  278. Movie makers go out of Business ??????   Ha!  HA!  HA!  Never happen .

    WhenI was a kid the under 12 price was 10Cents and adults 25 centas.

    right aftere World War 2 they learned there is no limit to what the public will pay to see a movie.

    They may complain about the price of food , housing or medial care ,But movies,Never.

  279. I worked at the Woods Theatre in downtown Chicago for a few days as a teenager in the late 60’s.   They kept  many large bags of popcorn in the basement.  Fresh popcorn was a myth.

  280. Many theatre corps. have gone bankrupt because the only profit is from popcorn, soft drinks and candy. Hollywood, unions, overpaid actors, and producers have driven the cost up to the current levels. That is why you see so many mindless movies targeting teenage boys who consume the most junk food. The article should place the blame to those who have caused the problem in my humble opinion. Cheers

  281. this isnt true. The profit margin on concessions is astronomically higher than it is for tickets, HOWEVER, the actual amount of money taken in my tickets dwarfs the amount made with conessions. studios take anywhere from 40-50% of tickets sales depending on the theater and the film. theaters pay anywhere from 8-15% of the retail concession price. The average concession revenue per customer (this includes customers who dont purchase concessions) averages $3. so even though the margin is less on tickets. clearly 60% of a $10 ticket per customer is much more money than 85% of $3. In fact the concessions typically make up 30% of the overall profit.

  282. this isnt true. The profit margin on concessions is astronomically higher than it is for tickets, HOWEVER, the actual amount of money taken in my tickets dwarfs the amount made with conessions. studios take anywhere from 40-50% of tickets sales depending on the theater and the film. theaters pay anywhere from 8-15% of the retail concession price. The average concession revenue per customer (this includes customers who dont purchase concessions) averages $3. so even though the margin is less on tickets. clearly 60% of a $10 ticket per customer is much more money than 85% of $3. In fact the concessions typically make up 30% of the overall profit.

  283. Man, what patronizing outfits.  Check out the bow tie in slide 6 and the dude in a blazer and weird little hate in slide 11.

    As if working the concession stand isn’t an embarrassing enough job as it is they make you wear that stupid looking crap.

  284. Another secret the employees don’t tell you.  They know you’re sneaking in your own bottled water and snacks.  I see the empty wrappers when cleaning up between showtimes.

    1. “sneaking in”??? Kiss my belt buckle, I carry what I will in my bag. Seriously, sneaking in bottled water? Er, no, I’m bringing it.

  285. ALL popcorn now-a-days have chemicals in them. Yes, even at home. Ever wonder why your whole house smells of popcorn when you make a microwavable bag? chemicals. They are in such a tiny amount that it really won’t hurt you

    1. You can microwave regular popcorn in a regular paper bag, you just have to close the bag well.

      I have meet people who think popcorn is only made in microwave bags and theaters.

  286. ALL popcorn now-a-days have chemicals in them. Yes, even at home. Ever wonder why your whole house smells of popcorn when you make a microwavable bag? chemicals. They are in such a tiny amount that it really won’t hurt you

  287. Also found the convience of changing to a movie of choice should I find the one of choice boring ,inappropriate for the ones viewing or just plain garbarge or my time frame has to be changed especially when it comes to family schedules and needs.

  288. I worked at a movie theatre when I was in college.  The popcorn cups were picked up off the floor and used again.   The hot dogs that were not sold were put into the refrigerator and offered for sale the next day.  Eating at the theatre is just a habit that can be broken.  Eat before or after.  The food there is just junk anyway.  

  289. I worked at a movie theatre when I was in college.  The popcorn cups were picked up off the floor and used again.   The hot dogs that were not sold were put into the refrigerator and offered for sale the next day.  Eating at the theatre is just a habit that can be broken.  Eat before or after.  The food there is just junk anyway.  

  290. 1-2. No, I can’t say I was ever briefed on popcorn chemicals and digital imaging. 

    6. That’s an exceptional manager. Pats on the back aren’t usually doled out liberally at minimum wage jobs.

  291. I used to work at a Cinemark and it was their policy to throw away popcorn at the end of the day. Employees were allowed to take it home, but it was NEVER redistributed to the general population for profit.

  292. Disagree with #13. I worked in a movie theater for three months at the concession stands. We emptied out all the popcorn poppers and threw out the old popcorn EVERY SINGLE night. Sometimes we did this in the middle of the day too.
    We would time it well enough towards the end of the night – so we didn’t make too much popcorn just to throw so much away.

  293. As consumers, we all know this, it’s why many of us quit going to the theaters. I’d rather watch a movie on dvd, at home, with surround sound with people I care about, rather than en masse with filthy, loud crowds. I don’t like to sit in a nasty chair that has food all over it. Dont like to walk on a tacky floor where some retard spilled their cola. Don’t like to hear others on their cell phones or talking amongst themselves. And food is expensive enough without having to pay the premiums for the theater. I’m actually quite surprised theaters still exist today. But there are those that have to see a movie on a screen the size of wall of that building. I agree that is better than my home theater experience. But some movies just aren’t worthy of those gimmicks to make them watchable.

  294. Stop with the articles that make us click through multiple pages. That’s my que to stop reading.

  295. I worked in a movie theater through high school.  Some of this is accurate, but the popcorn having nefarious chemicals in it to make it smell better?  The worst thing we did was switch from coconut oil to canola oil.  And while we did reuse popcorn from the day before, we would always pop a fresh batch if requested or if we didn’t think the popcorn tasted right.  I even popped special batches with no added salt for people who requested it.  The same went for the rest of our food… we were actually pretty good about pitching anything that looked overdone or stale and were happy to make things fresh if they were requested.  And, just to be clear, I worked at a chain theater, so it’s not just the indies that pay attention to quality.

    Also, they’re dead right about the split… the theater’s take for the first few weeks or month is miniscule as most of that goes to the studio.  That means the concession stand has to pay for the lease, the electricity, the equipment, and the staff.  It’s not ideal, but that’s how the business has been run for decades.

  296. When I was 8 years old in 1961 a movie cost $0.25.. What has changed? Government money printing maybe? 

  297. Best time to find money in a movie theater is durring the holidays.
    After the movies I found over $400 once!  

  298. Best time to find money in a movie theater is durring the holidays.
    After the movies I found over $400 once!  

  299. From the reaction, It should have been 13 things almost no one cares if a theater employee tells.

  300. Unfortunately, some of the other things they won’t tell you are 1) shut the hell up;  2) turn that cell phone off;  3) take that screaming baby out to the lobby.  I haven’t been in a movie theater in years and have no intention of ever going again.  

  301. Unfortunately, some of the other things they won’t tell you are 1) shut the hell up;  2) turn that cell phone off;  3) take that screaming baby out to the lobby.  I haven’t been in a movie theater in years and have no intention of ever going again.  

  302. I prefer watching movies at home where I don’t have to sit through commercials and previews and people talking.

  303. I’m a senior and get in Harkins theaters for 6.50, I bought their tee shirt and get free popcorn for a year, I bought their special cup and get a drink for a dollar. I go offen and it cost me 7.50 for the total package, a great deal.

  304. why would a movie theate EMPLOYEE not tell these things. In fact I am one and have.

  305. I read a few comments about it being too expensive. I agree when I was young I used to go to the saturday afternoon  movie every weekend without fail. But it only  cost 25 cents to see a movie sometimes it was increased to 35 cents for some special movies but it was a  bargain and a way of life. Now its over $7.00 + and its hard to enjoy a movie with crying babies people talking sticky floors and dont forget the evil smells when its crowded in the summertime bad breath body odor foot odor. poor air conditioning and heating I would rather buy some snacks and watch  something on TV. In the clean quiet and comfort of home.  Of course now I have lung cancer and cant be trapped in a building with people that might make me sick

  306. As the mom of an EX movie theater employee there are these stories and so many more.  I noticed this article didn’t touch on the rats that run throughout the theaters. (while the movies are playing)  My son worked at one of the busiest (and supposedly nicest) theaters in the DFW area.  

  307.   Most of these are very true. #1 I do not agree with. We use Orville
    Redenbacher popping corn, 100% canola oil and popcorn salt to make our
    popcorn. Anything that you cook gives off some kind of smell, it doesn’t
    need to have chemicals. #2 I cannot comment on because I have never even heard of “Extreme Digital”. #3
    is EXTREMELY TRUE. We make next to nothing on ticket sales and when our
    customers complain about prices we tell them it’s because of the movie
    companies spending so much to make the movies. #4 I do indeed know every
    way that you could possibly sneak into a movie, HOWEVER we will
    probably kick you out (depends on how we’re feeling that day). #5 We are
    very sanitary at this theater (although all of them should be as we are
    inspected) I would (and have) eaten anything that I would sell to a
    customer. #6 They hit the nail on the head… enough said. #7 We do have
    combo deals that are not really deals (in fact, one labor day the
    manager put up signs for a “double dog” combo special for that day when
    we have that combo available 365 days a year). We do have real deals as
    well and we will tell you if there is a cheaper route. We know the
    prices are ridiculous so we do try to help our customers if we can. #8
    We’ve never changed our sizes so… #9 If it is busy and we sell out of
    ready to go pretzel bites, we immediately put on more but we cannot
    always help the wait so we ask if you are willing to wait. Most people
    aren’t but I couldn’t care less, I have other things to worry about. #10
    A small soda doesn’t cost 4.75; a small soda in cup does though. We
    count cups, bags, plastic trays, and candy so no, you cannot have an
    extra but I will gladly give you a tray or courtesy cup. #11 Although we
    do not always get EVERYTHING, we clean the theaters as best we can. We
    wouldn’t have to take so much time to do it though if you would throw
    out your own trash instead of leaving it for us :). #12 We have
    approximately 7-9 minutes of previews before the show really starts. Our
    start times are the start of the previews. And ushers need to know when
    movies let out so they know which theaters can begin seating. #13 We
    NEVER keep popcorn at the end of the night. We have heard tales that
    other theaters do this but we make it fresh everyday. I think there
    should be a #14; We hate it when you put your feet up on the seats in
    front of you… it breaks a $100 seat that you only paid $15 to sit in.
    And a #15 If you manage to sneak in your own contraband food, throw the trash away; that’s just rude.

    1. Oh, a manager, how quaint. I don’t really believe your PR. The predatory business model has led to the kind of customer that doesn’t care about you or your business. It’s your own fault. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

      The faux-righteous indignation is pathetic.

  308. I work at a movie theater in New Jersey. Some of these are TRUE, but the difference is, is that we will tell our customers these truths if they ask.

  309. I can’t stand a theater… Tickets are sky high, food and drinks are 10 times or more overpriced, and there is always one loudmouth yakking on a cell phone.

    I rent a movie and watch it at home on our 65″ HDTV. With Blu-Ray, the picture is as good or better than the theater, and ours has a 1,200w surround sound set-up…
    Movie theaters are just postponing the inevitable.. they are a doomed business.

  310. To the persons authorizing print of false information,I am addressing the article entitled “13 things a movie theater employee won’t tell you”. Of the 13 things, only one point can be considered a truth. So that leaves 12 false statements about movie theaters. I am proving Ms. Strauss wrong on all points minus 1 which is relative anyway. I have the right to argue this with you because I am an independent theater owner and would like to provide you with the truth.  I’ll give you one truth and that is the concession pricing being inflated. This point has been beaten to death and everyone knows it. Does it really matter to the throngs of people that are in line to purchase these items? Obviously not. They are there to buy snacks and drinks and don’t mind paying for them. If they didn’t want to pay for them they wouldn’t. It really is that simple. I would like you to provide me with information leading me to ANY retail food establishment that had no inflated pricing on their food drinks and candy. I’d also like you to pay for it as well.2. The popcorn has chemicals? Seriously? Have you looked at the ingredients to 99% of American food lately?  The FDA has allowed the addition of these chemicals to everything since 1946. There is nothing to purchase that doesn’t have chemicals other than organic food which I believe is far better. I’d like you to take me to any restaurant or fast food establishment that doesn’t use chemicals in their foods. Please let me know when you find one, I’d like you to put it directly into my hands so I’ll believe you. Our popcorn at our theater is made with Flavacol salt and coconut oil bars and 100% American grown corn. I’ve never had anyone complain of illness from my popcorn. And it smells good because of the butter and salt being cooked in our Cretor’s popcorn kettle that was made in 1948. Ms. Strauss lied about me putting chemicals into my popcorn. My attorney agrees.3. Extreme digital. On a technical level this actually makes no sense. There are two main platforms in which to present a film. 35mm which is film, and digital. Digital is digital and thats all. Extreme digital is not lower quality. There is 2k digital and 4k digital files. At its basics this is just pixel amounts with 4k providing more pixels and ultimately a clearer picture. IMAX is only a larger screen, but presented in digital format usually being 2k. People who love movies can tell the difference between 35mm, digital, and IMAX. We run the best 4k projector available and anyone can tell the difference between this and 35mm. Ms. Strauss says that the quality of extreme digital is lower than IMAX makes entirely no sense. IMAX is only a larger presentation of the same digital file. Another false statement.4. Ms. Strauss says that we don’t care about people sneaking into a movie without paying. As a business owner, I care very much about people trying to cheat me out of money. I would like you to put me in touch with ANY business owner who is trying to make a living with their business and does NOT care about someone stealing from them. 5. Ms. Strauss doesn’t trust hot dogs, pretzels, or nachos. If Ms. Strauss has ever been to a grocery store to purchase any of these foods then she has purchased the exact same food we provide. How can she eat anywhere with not trusting anything? Our hotdogs are wrapped and refrigerated and heated at required temperatures. We use fresh yellow corn chips and Gehl’s cheese for our nachos. We add cheese to our nachos when they are ordered, not hours or days before. Our pretzels are purchased from our local grocery and arrive frozen. We also store them frozen until they are ordered. This way they are not stale or old when they are served. Has Ms. Strauss ever eaten anything that was frozen before she ordered it? She also says that she trusts the popcorn drinks and boxed candy. Didn’t she just say that the popcorn has chemicals in it? Why would she trust “chemically altered” popcorn over chips that are bagged from grocery store. How can she be sure that the boxed candy doesn’t have some awful ingredient in it worse than pretzels? Have you ever looked up palm kernel oil? Check it out. The same goes for cokes that come in a bag from a distributor. How do we know what’s in these? Ever checked into Aspartame that is put into these diet drinks? Check it out too. She just proved how well thought out her article is.6. Ms. Strauss says that a manager will put on a show to side with a patron when they complain about something. This to me sounds as though it was just an added story in the article to boost up the point levels. But I will address it like the others. This point is skewed quite a lot and attempts to make ALL theater managers look like puppets. As a manager, I will address any problems encountered with our patrons directly and fairly. Honestly, 9 times out of 10 the patron is asking or demanding a product or service that we do not provide. We strive to provide every conceivable option and product specifically for theater goers. Our staff is trained and fully capable of providing the best customer service and 99% of the time patrons are thankful for that. Very rarely does anything happen where a manager needs to get involved other than just to answer questions. Never has there been a need to yell at my employees in front of a customer or even yell at them at all. I don’t have the time to play mind games with the customer. Someone behind them needs a refill of our delicious popcorn.7. Small popcorns were once medium sized. This is a mute point. Any business can change portions of what they serve at any time. However, with movie theaters ordering bags and tubs on a consistent and regular basis, I seriously doubt they would go out of their way to change advertising, train employees and restock their supplies just to be sure that you consumed 100 more calories of popcorn. It is ultimately up to the consumer to ask how many ounces of popcorn is in a small medium or large popcorn. Get a kids pack if you are watching calories. 8. While we don’t serve pizza at our theater, I can argue this point along the same lines as the last subject on popcorn size. Again, it is up to the patron to decide if they’d like to wait a few minutes on their pizza to cook. Aside from a few dine in movie theaters, pizza will have to be heated anywhere and this is common knowledge and again not limited to just movie theaters.9. Extra cups? Is this a serious problem to the buying public? I’ve never been about to go to the movies and then decide not to because they won’t give me an extra cup. Occasionally we have a patron that wants an extra cup and I happily give them one. What they do with it is up to them. I have not lost any money on extra product going into that cup. Some theaters give you such a large cup that it is almost necessary to have another cup to carry it all to your seat. Our theater’s large cup is 32 oz with a free refill. If you drink 64 oz. of soda in an hour and half then you have a severe problem and don’t need to worry about the extra cup anyways. 10. Everything is swept under the chairs. I actually do not approve of this at all. This comes down to management not monitoring their staff. Our floor is swept and mopped EVERY night. Our floors are not the typical sticky floors you might find in other theaters. Inevitably there will be something underneath a theater chair, but have you looked under the booth at your local eating establishment lately? Why is this directed only at movie theater and ALL of them for that matter? You can ask anybody that has ever been to our theater and they’ll tell you how remarkably clean it is.11. The movie starts late but ends on time so that you are forced to watch previews. Is this such a bad thing? To see what movies are coming out soon? It’s called advertising. I’d like you to show me anywhere in the world where there is a retail business that has zero advertising. Yes, sometimes our movies start late, maybe ten minutes at the most, but I don’t do that so that my employees know when to go in and clean. This makes no sense at all. Are you saying that my employees cannot see people coming out of a theater door? What does your statement “But they almost always end on time – otherwise, the ushers wouldn’t know when to clean up” actually mean?    I’d like for you to explain this where an educated and rational person could understand it please.I want you to actually look at your remarks and see how slanderous they are. Especially the food based ones. These statements are false and need to be retracted. Saying that chemicals are added to my popcorn is completely false and almost warrant a lawsuit for slander. Is Ms. Strauss angry at movie theaters? Why is this directed at movie theaters? I would like to add that all theaters are not created equal. Ours is a pristine jewel of a theater and is completely independent of big chain theaters. If Ms. Strauss would like to change her idea of theaters, she needs to change her venue. Don’t group all theaters together, we are all unique in our own ways. I invite you to our theater and let us change your mind. Best Regards,Shane SpencerPalace TheatreCanadian, TX

    1. You’re one out of tens of thousands of theaters in the country.  Congrats that you’re so fastidious.

      Unfortunately, as a PAYING member of the public, I’ve given up on you and your ilk.  I don’t go to theaters any more precisely because of the reasons the author quotes.  You do gouge people at the concession stand.  Just because people are paying your inflated prices doesn’t mean they don’t have a problem with them.

      Most theaters are filthy.  Yours apparently isn’t.  Good on you.

      We don’t like your advertising.  In no other venue (grocery store, car dealership, mall) are we forced to review their advertising before we can enjoy our purchase.

      She didn’t slander anyone.  If you do have an attorney they’d easily tell you this.  Grow up.

  311. I’ll repeat my popcorn comment — can’t see it here.  I cannot sit near anyone who eats that stuff.  Smells good?  Gag.  Butter never smelled like that.  It makes me nauseous and I have to hold my nose as I pass the concession counter.  Everything in the “butter” is chemicals.  People were sickened who worked in the factory that made that stuff.  Look it up on the Internet.

  312. I’ll repeat my popcorn comment — can’t see it here.  I cannot sit near anyone who eats that stuff.  Smells good?  Gag.  Butter never smelled like that.  It makes me nauseous and I have to hold my nose as I pass the concession counter.  Everything in the “butter” is chemicals.  People were sickened who worked in the factory that made that stuff.  Look it up on the Internet.

  313. Also, (where did my popcorn story go?) I always sit in the last row of the theater at the top because people put their filthy shoes on the seats in front of them and up there — no one sits behind you.

  314. Also, (where did my popcorn story go?) I always sit in the last row of the theater at the top because people put their filthy shoes on the seats in front of them and up there — no one sits behind you.

  315. Movie popcorn smell nauseates me.  I can’t sit anywhere near anyone who is eating it.  Smells no more like BUTTER than skunk.  Truly obnoxious.

  316. Movie popcorn smell nauseates me.  I can’t sit anywhere near anyone who is eating it.  Smells no more like BUTTER than skunk.  Truly obnoxious.

  317. As for Combos cost the same, if the typical american would LEARN to add, they could figure that out for themselves.  Even if it does save you money it might not be.  If a large soda costs $5 and a large popcorn $6 but you can buy the two together for $10.50, yes you saved $.50 but what if a medium drink costs $4 and that would be plenty….now that combo just costs you $.50 more than you could have spent.

  318. My Brother works at a movie theatre and He didn’t know about this stuff. And He almost never has to stop people from sneaking in (not a whole lot of people do.)

  319. This list is ridiculous.  Two items noted are true, like a majority of a film’s gross goes to the studio and most theatre chains inventory their cups. However, I would completely disagree with the rest of your list. While I am sure that you can find a few 16 year olds to tell you whatever you want to hear, I know that they are the exception and not the norm.  Others items are just completely untrue and inaccurate. I have worked for movie theatres for over 25 years and I can tell you that going to the movies is better now than it has ever been.  Sure, people like to complain about the prices. But a movie theatre is extremely expensive to operate.  Again, most of the box office goes back to the studios, who spend a $100 million to bring you something you have never seen before for 10 bucks.  And just imagine what the electric bill is each month on a 60,000 square foot building, not to mention $1000 for every projector bulb and all of the other unknown expenses to the public.  Going to the movies is a special occassion and a chance to interact ina group experience that you will never be able to get at home or at the RedBox. It is too easy to criticize something you know nothing about to fill up a page. Do your homework next time RD. And everyone else just get a popcorn and appreciate not knowing all the work and expense that is required for you to escape for a couple of hours.

    1.  My complaints about the expense is not against the theater but the theater is the only place I can withhold my dollars (hence protest the expense).  I REFUSE to pay $10,$12,$15 per ticket when, if I wait a few months, I can rent it for $1 and eat my own popcorn. 

  320. Haven’t been to a movie house for 4-5 years.  filthy seats, overpriced, rude/loud people.  Ya’ll can have it.

    I do miss the drive-in though.

  321. When I grew up in NYC in the 1930’s  Radio City Music Hall gave ya two fresh out of Hollywood movies and a brilliant and  spectacular one hour stage show.The stage would rise on an elevator with musicians like Artie Shaw,Benny Goodman playing .And it was cheap to see even by those low wage days.In 1940 it cost about quarter( 25 cents).By the mid fifties it was still cheap at 50 cents.However the ROCKETTES AND THE STAGE SHOW PEOPLE WERE WORKING for VERY LOW WAGES.Nowadays I hear since I no longer live there that they only have the stage show NO MOVIES and last I heard about five years ago that cost  75 ! What 75 cents ?  NO! SEVENTY FIVE DOLLARS.Oh how I long for the GOOD OLE DAYS  

  322. When I grew up in NYC in the 1930’s  Radio City Music Hall gave ya two fresh out of Hollywood movies and a brilliant and  spectacular one hour stage show.The stage would rise on an elevator with musicians like Artie Shaw,Benny Goodman playing .And it was cheap to see even by those low wage days.In 1940 it cost about quarter( 25 cents).By the mid fifties it was still cheap at 50 cents.However the ROCKETTES AND THE STAGE SHOW PEOPLE WERE WORKING for VERY LOW WAGES.Nowadays I hear since I no longer live there that they only have the stage show NO MOVIES and last I heard about five years ago that cost  75 ! What 75 cents ?  NO! SEVENTY FIVE DOLLARS.Oh how I long for the GOOD OLE DAYS  

  323. This piece is so off base. The source it ” Theater employees” are you kidding me. I am the owner of a local independent theater and the points are gross generalizations and mostly “Urban Legend” type reporting. Chemicals in the popcorn? I guess oil and flavorings are made of chemicals but isn’t everything we eat? Yea we make money on Popcorn and soda but do you have any idea what it costs to build and operate an theater? We get a % of the films revenue but it is a sliding scale with most of the revenue the opening weeks of a film go to the production company. We do better on the better films that continue to attract an audience for several weeks.
    If the operator of your theater is not operating a clean facility with good food and service go to another theater. Theaters are going to stick around because the best home theater just isn’t the same experiencing a film in a good theater!

  324.      When i was 10 yrs old i could go to the movie and watch a double feature movie, news reel and cartoons plus popcorn , coke and admission for 9 cents, and stay all day if i wanted, but my parents made less than a dollar a hour at work . So i would find coke bottles. I  could get 1 cent for 3 of them..P S i also could watch the mice and rats run across the stage for FREE ,but also had to watch for mouse droppings in the popcorn,

  325. About the cups being inventoried each night- if the count is short, that cup you threw out after the movie probably got washed-out and added to inventory.  Believe me, I’ve done it many times.

  326. maybe we can find something to filter thru are houses to make it smell better and heip our attitudes

  327. Go to an independent theater, not a chain theater, and most of these issues go away.

  328. First the movie theaters said 12 and over pay adult prices, while 13 and over pay children’s prices. Then in 1968, the MPAA ratings were started: G, PG (M then GP then PG), R and NC-17 (X then NC-17). PG-13 was added in 1984 after the release of Gremlins. R says no one under 17 admitted without parent or guardian. Since 1968, the 13-to-16 years old are informed they are old enough to pay adult prices, but, are not old enough to see an R rated movie without a parent or guardian, In other words; since 1968 they are selling two adult tickets instead of one for the R rated movie to the 13-to-16 year old. Since movie theaters make most of their money from the snack bar, why don’t they say 17 and above pay adult prices, while 16 and under pay children’s prices. Thank goodness for HD TV and Blu-ray/DVD players. I do not like the double standard treatment of the 13-to-16 year old and the R rated movie that has been going on since 1968 and will probably continue well into the forseeable future. Movies are getting too expensive with 3D, IMAX/IWERKS and 48/60 frames per second films.  The cost of paying two adult tickets to take a 13-to-16 year old to see a quality R rated movie is absurd.

  329. I worked at a theatre for years, and this article is straight on, except the manager never actually yelled at me or anyone else in front of a customer. The manager would promise to “talk to” or otherwise discipline an employee, and then later mock the customer with that employee. The serious, caring manager is an act. But then, the indignant customer routine is an act too. 

  330. I have a friend who used to work in a movie theater in high school. In those days, the popcorn cup inventory was how they knew how much money was taken in, so some of my friend’s enterprising co-workers figured out that they could put dirty cups on the stack, pocket the money equal to that number of orders, and still have their cash drawer balance. Ewwwwww!!!

  331. Another work of Reader’s Digest Fiction…

    1. The popcorn is popped in oil with flavorings. Yes, it has an aroma, but to say there’s “chemicals” in it makes it sound like we’re lacing it with toxic waste. It’s essentially the same popping oil you can buy at the grocery store (the good theatres use coconut oil). Now the butter? That’s not really butter. That’s a flavored oil as well.

    3. Depending on where the theatre is & what their prices are, the admission money can go to studios for longer than the first few weeks of a show. It costs a minimum of $300 to rent a movie for a single theatre & those are movies that have been out on video for up to multiple years – the newer the movie and the longer the theatre has it, the more expensive it is. Sometimes the concession money goes to the studios, too… the price we’re charged doesn’t matter how much we take in for admission.

    6. That really depends on what the complaint was about. If it was my fault or mess up, I’m getting reamed. If you’re a stupid customer – congratulations: you’re the story of the day & all the employees will hear (and laugh) about you.

    7. If you know how to add, you can see if the combo will save you money. Can you add? If not – take the combo & don’t waste my time and hold up the ever growing line that’s forming behind you. If it doesn’t actually save you money, it’s at least no more expensive than buying them separate.

    10. This is completely true, but it’s not something we won’t tell you. Either way, complaining about this doesn’t work because we have no control over it – it’s the head office – write to them & tell them to get us bigger courtesy cups. Believe me, we’d rather split up your large into 2 or 3 smalls so you can share because it’d probably prevent some spills and make cleaning up at the end of the night easier.

    11. We may not get everything cleaned up between shows, but it will be spotless by the end of the night. There’s just not enough time between shows. That sticky floor? Not us. It was the idiot who spilled their drink and didn’t let us know. We don’t see *every* spill. Letting us know you spilled your soda would allow us to be prepared to clean it up in a timely manner & thusly prevent the stereotypical sticky theatre floor. It’s sad how few have the courtesy to do so.

    12. The time listed is the *showtime*. Showtimes include previews (not the advertisements like the slideshow with movie facts or local businesses). If the movie was starting late, the movie would be ending late. ::facepalm::

    13. Make sure you go to a theatre where the popcorn is popped fresh daily. Easy as that. I know there are theatres that sneak you day old popcorn because it’s easier, but not all of us do that. The decent theatres will start popping their popcorn either just as the first customers are coming in for the night or about a half hour before the first showing of the night, depending on how busy they plan on being.

    I work at a theatre where we don’t have nachos or pretzels or pizzas or even icees. We don’t have IMAX or 3D, and we won’t be digital until at least next year. But we will serve you FRESH popcorn with a smile and do everything we can to ensure you have an enjoyable movie experience. If there’s a wait, we tell you there’s a wait & you can readily see that we’re just as anxious about getting you your food as you (usually our only wait is popcorn if we need to pop another kettle). Our current small popcorn used to be our medium, but that’s not just limited to theatres – it’s something that’s happening all over the US & in other countries, too.

    If you want the best movie experience, go to one of the smaller chains. You’ll get better customer service and most likely higher quality snacks (and usually pay less, too – why pay $12 in a mall multiplex when the single screen theatre downtown is showing the same flick for $6?).

  332. Factory packaged foods are the ONLY SAFE items to purchase and eat in the theater. If BLACK MOLD FOUND IN ICE MACHINES is safe go for it. I wouldn’t drink ice or soda for sure.

  333. Factory packaged foods are the ONLY SAFE items to purchase and eat in the theater. If BLACK MOLD FOUND IN ICE MACHINES is safe go for it. I wouldn’t drink ice or soda for sure.

  334. As a movie theater manager, all but the last one is correct.  Well, technically it is correct, too, but we never kept day old popcorn.  Always made more.  But that is a very accurate list indeed.

  335. i’ve worked at a movie theater, and actually, the popcorn, candy and drinks are the foods you can trust least. all the “real” food has an expiration time around 2 hours, and a beef hotdog slow cooked for an hour is really tasty! the popcorn can be sitting there all day if no one buys it, the candy near the front (or back, depending on the display set up) sometimes doesn’t get rotated out for months at a time, and the teenagers behind the concession counter do NOT clean the drink spigots nearly as well as they should (can you say thick black mildew?). no, no. better to just bring a large purse and visit the $1 store, first. as long as you don’t flaunt your secret snackage, no one cares. :)

  336. i’ve worked at a movie theater, and actually, the popcorn, candy and drinks are the foods you can trust least. all the “real” food has an expiration time around 2 hours, and a beef hotdog slow cooked for an hour is really tasty! the popcorn can be sitting there all day if no one buys it, the candy near the front (or back, depending on the display set up) sometimes doesn’t get rotated out for months at a time, and the teenagers behind the concession counter do NOT clean the drink spigots nearly as well as they should (can you say thick black mildew?). no, no. better to just bring a large purse and visit the $1 store, first. as long as you don’t flaunt your secret snackage, no one cares. :)

  337. i’ve worked at a movie theater, and actually, the popcorn, candy and drinks are the foods you can trust least. all the “real” food has an expiration time around 2 hours, and a beef hotdog slow cooked for an hour is really tasty! the popcorn can be sitting there all day if no one buys it, the candy near the front (or back, depending on the display set up) sometimes doesn’t get rotated out for months at a time, and the teenagers behind the concession counter do NOT clean the drink spigots nearly as well as they should (can you say thick black mildew?). no, no. better to just bring a large purse and visit the $1 store, first. as long as you don’t flaunt your secret snackage, no one cares. :)

  338. Goodness me~! The photo accompanying #6 just may be the most irritating thing I’ve encountered on the internet. You just know he’s a Kevin.

  339. You forgot the biggest “I won’t tell”   The “butter” on the popcorn isn’t butter and you wouldn’t want to see it before it’s melted….It looks like lard when it arrives in buckets.  

  340. Most of these “hidden” comments are already known by people so it’s really no big surprise.
    Any who thinks otherwise is just fooling themselves!

  341. Pretty dumb article.  Most of this is obvious, patently false or no big deal.  Next, it will be “Crazy, shocking secret #14:  Ticket prices keep going up, which is why movie sales keep breaking records even though fewer and fewer people go to the movies each year.”  What???  Really??? Scandalous!!!

  342. Pretty dumb article.  Most of this is obvious, patently false or no big deal.  Next, it will be “Crazy, shocking secret #14:  Ticket prices keep going up, which is why movie sales keep breaking records even though fewer and fewer people go to the movies each year.”  What???  Really??? Scandalous!!!

  343. Pretty dumb article.  Most of this is obvious, patently false or no big deal.  Next, it will be “Crazy, shocking secret #14:  Ticket prices keep going up, which is why movie sales keep breaking records even though fewer and fewer people go to the movies each year.”  What???  Really??? Scandalous!!!

  344. #6 is a horrible statement. At no time should any manager YELL at an employee in front of ANYONE. Have a little respect, mistakes happen.

  345. booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo lol

  346. booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo lol

  347. booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo lol

  348. …”Thinking Is FREE”….I Take My Movie List To The Library & Wait For Them To Call Me When They Arrive…

  349. I call BS on the popcorn thing.  Popcorn naturally fills the room with that smell.  The CONSTANT popping on new batches is going to only fill it more.  A well used popcorn machine will make a room smell like popcorn even if it’s not even being used.

  350. It is not even CLOSE to month or TWO of release that the theaters get nothing. It falls from the very first week, though for the first 4 weeks or so it is still very much in the studio’s favor. But by the end of the second month, it is close to 50-50

  351. It is not even CLOSE to month or TWO of release that the theaters get nothing. It falls from the very first week, though for the first 4 weeks or so it is still very much in the studio’s favor. But by the end of the second month, it is close to 50-50

  352. I worked a movie house in the 80s.  Ushers reuse tickets and pocket the cash from the second selling.  Popcorn cups in good condition were reused and that cash was also pocketed.

  353. Popcorn cost’s almost nothing to make? Let see, are the kernals almost free, the electricity almost free, the oil, almost free, the labor to make it, serve it and ring up the sale on the register almost free? I am not saying that it inn’t over priced, but almost free is ignorant of any business sense.

  354. Most of these are completely wrong.  No theater(at least none I’ve worked) keeps popcorn around for a day or two.  It goes stale after a few hours.  And there aren’t added chemicals to make the popcorn smell better.  Also, start times are when the movie previews begin, and nearly always start on time.  There is usually only one projector, and missing the start time on one movie could ruin the start times for all the movies the rest of the day.  Obviously, if we know the end time, then we know the start time.  
    And ushers have more than enough time to sweep a theater, they don’t just hide it under chairs, or they would not be working there. 

  355. A little bit over sci-fi.  Chemicals, chemicals.  Whatever you think you’re putting in something, some scents just lift and spread anyway.  Maybe you’ve given it a slight edge–to the butter I’m sure.  My mom must have done that to her dinners growing up–or else how else did our whole house smell like food???  Likewise, hot dogs are hot dogs.  If they’re good, they’re good.  Ff.  ::

  356. A little bit over sci-fi.  Chemicals, chemicals.  Whatever you think you’re putting in something, some scents just lift and spread anyway.  Maybe you’ve given it a slight edge–to the butter I’m sure.  My mom must have done that to her dinners growing up–or else how else did our whole house smell like food???  Likewise, hot dogs are hot dogs.  If they’re good, they’re good.  Ff.  ::

  357. Something else to think about is that theaters are actually forced to charge so high for the concession items. That is they pay their employees. As for the tickets price, 92% of that goes back to the production company, meaning on a $10 ticket, $9.20 of that goes back to Paramount, Fox, etc., the theater only gets 80 cents of it. If it wasn’t for the production companies demanding such high fees, the concession products would be much cheaper. Where it gets out of hand is theater companies like Regal raising ticket prices over what is necessary just to try and milk it more.

  358. hehe yeah they are overpriced. spielberg joked one time that if you make Harry Potter you make a billion dollars. I don’t see any need to put more money in their pockets, but that’s just me

  359. All you people are just not sociable, complaining about the cost. Stay home and never enjoy being out. That’s a life you can keep and that I will never be a part of, I have kids that love going to the Movies and if it cost me a $100.00 to have that precious moment with them, that’s a small price to pay. 

  360. I have not been to the movies in 10 years and will never again it is easier to get satelite and order from the house and it will cost less than going to the movies by a large amount. My popcorn cast almost nothing and my drinks come from Walmart save your money and enjoy the movie at home.

  361. I have not been to the movies in 10 years and will never again it is easier to get satelite and order from the house and it will cost less than going to the movies by a large amount. My popcorn cast almost nothing and my drinks come from Walmart save your money and enjoy the movie at home.

  362. I have not been to the movies in 10 years and will never again it is easier to get satelite and order from the house and it will cost less than going to the movies by a large amount. My popcorn cast almost nothing and my drinks come from Walmart save your money and enjoy the movie at home.

  363. I have not been to the movies in 10 years and will never again it is easier to get satelite and order from the house and it will cost less than going to the movies by a large amount. My popcorn cast almost nothing and my drinks come from Walmart save your money and enjoy the movie at home.

  364. LOL! Thats pretty funny. I used to work at a movie theater years ago and most of this stuff is true!

  365. I’m curious to what chemicals you’re referring since where I work we either coconut or canola oil, popcorn, and salt nothing else and real butter on top. Before you make a blanket statement maybe you should state what chemicals to which you are referring.  Microwave popcorn has plenty of cancer causing chemicals that have only been recently removed. Our popcorn comes in 35 lb bags and lists no chemical additives. Our popcorn makes the news and cities list of number one popcorn consistently. We have done it the same for the 20+ years I’ve been there. Please clarify your remarks.

  366. It’s just so much easier to stay home where the atmosphere, movie viewing, and food is SO much better.  No wear and tear on the car and no getting all dressed up to sit in the dark and get all stiff in the joints!  I know many people still love to go, but for the spoiled and lazy, home is just better!

  367. But seriously, some of this stuff is way off. Nobody cares about Readers Digest anyways, and it’s probably because of bogus articles like this. RD isn’t even a has-been, it’s a never-was.

  368. Absolutely 100% not true. I design cinemas for a living, “Extreme Digital” or any of the private label large format auditoriums are often of a higher quality than IMAX, and have the ability to play far more titles.

  369. I worked in a theater.  That’s when I realized how dumb most of the public is.  I was asked what time the midnight movie started, and how much it cost on dollar night, by people who were NOT joking.  We put a clock in the box office to avoid constant questions about the time, and people would ask “if the clock is right.” A man came roaring out of a PG-rated film ranting about the bad language.  He thought PG meant “pretty good.”  

    Another woman screamed at me for lying about having matinees.  The theater across town charged a lower price for their matinees, and she insisted that the word “matinee” means a movie with a lower admission fee.

     Seating was not reserved, but a large party of adult moviegoers pitched an obscenity-laced fit because the party of teenagers (who, in contrast to the adults, were extremely civilized) wouldn’t get up and let them have their row of seats.

    Parents tried to use us as free babysitters. They’d drop the kids off for the first movie, expecting them to watch the movie over and over until they got off work. It got so bad in the summer that we started clearing the theater after each showing, and told kids who protested that they needed to call their parents. Mom and Dad would rant at us when they picked them up.  Sorry, you only bought ONE ticket.

    People would show up thirty minutes into a showing and expect to be let in free “because we’ve missed part of the movie.”  No, sir.  I’m sorry. Would you like a ticket to the next showing?

  370. I worked in a theater.  That’s when I realized how dumb most of the public is.  I was asked what time the midnight movie started, and how much it cost on dollar night, by people who were NOT joking.  We put a clock in the box office to avoid constant questions about the time, and people would ask “if the clock is right.” A man came roaring out of a PG-rated film ranting about the bad language.  He thought PG meant “pretty good.”  

    Another woman screamed at me for lying about having matinees.  The theater across town charged a lower price for their matinees, and she insisted that the word “matinee” means a movie with a lower admission fee.

     Seating was not reserved, but a large party of adult moviegoers pitched an obscenity-laced fit because the party of teenagers (who, in contrast to the adults, were extremely civilized) wouldn’t get up and let them have their row of seats.

    Parents tried to use us as free babysitters. They’d drop the kids off for the first movie, expecting them to watch the movie over and over until they got off work. It got so bad in the summer that we started clearing the theater after each showing, and told kids who protested that they needed to call their parents. Mom and Dad would rant at us when they picked them up.  Sorry, you only bought ONE ticket.

    People would show up thirty minutes into a showing and expect to be let in free “because we’ve missed part of the movie.”  No, sir.  I’m sorry. Would you like a ticket to the next showing?

  371. I went to a matinee with a middle schooler and two high schoolers the other day. We bought two (small) drinks, two (small) popcorns and the total for the outing came to nearly $65. RIDICULOUS. Sorry, movie industry: until you improve the quality of product (e.g., make movies worthy to be seen on the big screen) I’ll stay home and spend less than $10 for pay-per-view, my own (freshly made) popcorn, and drinks. 

  372. Fior the first two weeks, Hollywod takes 95% of the ticket sales. After two weeks it drops significantly. If you want to help theaters, wait until the movie has been out two weeks.

    We already know that popcorn and drinks are overpriced. Drinks are also overpriced in restaurants, to help them cover for cheaper food prices. It all evens out in the end. The hotdogs taste amazing. Not sure how they do it. The pretzels always suck and take about 5 minutes to microwave.

  373. As the manager of a movie theatre, I can tell you that most of the items here are flat out false, or gross exaggerations. And common sense will also tell you this is the case.

    For example: Concessions are not over-priced. The price reflects the cost structure of running a movie theatre. Sure you can buy a bag of popcorn and pop it at home for a small fraction of what it costs at the theatre, but that popcorn you pop at home isn’t paying for projection and sound systems that cost as much as luxury cars; it’s not paying for heating/cooling large spaces; it’s not paying the insurance for a public gathering place.

    Theatres use several standard sizes for popcorn and soda. The names may change by location, but the sizes are pretty consistent. Popcorn usually comes in a 46oz, 85oz, 130oz, or 170oz bag or tub. Soda usually comes in a 16oz, 20oz, 32oz, or 44oz cup. And most theatres have the sizes on full display for anyone to see.

    Theatre food is just as safe as what you get in any restaurant. We are subject to the same food handling laws; we are inspected by the health department; and we are required to have certified food handlers in most states.

    Yes, popcorn does stay fresh for a few days. But I think most people can see, hear, and smell the fresh popped corn coming out of those poppers as they come in the doors.

    Yes, some theatre employees do sweep the popcorn under the seats, and some managers don’t take customer complaints seriously. As with any business, there will be good employees and managers, and their will be poor ones.

    Finally, if you think movie tickets are over-priced, here’s some food for thought. The national average ticket price in 2011 was $7.96. The average ticket price in 1971 was $1.65. Adjusted for inflation, that 1971 ticket would cost you $9.22.

    1. Justin you are being overly sensitive since you know the secret is out. I know, I worked at a movie theater in high school. Yes it was a long time ago but these things are true. I saw it all from day old popcorn being bagged and reused, hot dogs that should have never been put on the spindles etc. the house isn’t always thoroughly cleaned because there isn’t enough time. And sorry to say the concessions “are” overpriced in comparison to anywhere else, not just at home. Look at the candy, much cheaper to buy at the grocery store.
      But I do feel the concessions are justified due to the ticket structure so I’m not taking the side that it is wrong. Sport stadiums and other events do the same things.
      As for the complaints, I’m sure this varies on a case by case basis but in a public arena the job is to keep the public calm.

  374. As the manager of a movie theatre, I can tell you that most of the items here are flat out false, or gross exaggerations. And common sense will also tell you this is the case.

    For example: Concessions are not over-priced. The price reflects the cost structure of running a movie theatre. Sure you can buy a bag of popcorn and pop it at home for a small fraction of what it costs at the theatre, but that popcorn you pop at home isn’t paying for projection and sound systems that cost as much as luxury cars; it’s not paying for heating/cooling large spaces; it’s not paying the insurance for a public gathering place.

    Theatres use several standard sizes for popcorn and soda. The names may change by location, but the sizes are pretty consistent. Popcorn usually comes in a 46oz, 85oz, 130oz, or 170oz bag or tub. Soda usually comes in a 16oz, 20oz, 32oz, or 44oz cup. And most theatres have the sizes on full display for anyone to see.

    Theatre food is just as safe as what you get in any restaurant. We are subject to the same food handling laws; we are inspected by the health department; and we are required to have certified food handlers in most states.

    Yes, popcorn does stay fresh for a few days. But I think most people can see, hear, and smell the fresh popped corn coming out of those poppers as they come in the doors.

    Yes, some theatre employees do sweep the popcorn under the seats, and some managers don’t take customer complaints seriously. As with any business, there will be good employees and managers, and their will be poor ones.

    Finally, if you think movie tickets are over-priced, here’s some food for thought. The national average ticket price in 2011 was $7.96. The average ticket price in 1971 was $1.65. Adjusted for inflation, that 1971 ticket would cost you $9.22.

  375. So pretty much theaters take us for idiots and suckers…. hmm good luck with that and the internet hollywood.

    1. Actually, if you can’t use your own experience and common sense to see that most of these are false or exaggerations, than you are showing yourself to be an idiot.

  376. So pretty much theaters take us for idiots and suckers…. hmm good luck with that and the internet hollywood.

  377. this is one messed up page.  have to back and back and reload the page and click next it goes back to #1.

  378. this is one messed up page.  have to back and back and reload the page and click next it goes back to #1.

  379. I don’t go to movies often anymore because the theaters are always cold.  It doesn’t matter if it’s winter or summer –  I can’t stay warm even with my winter coat on!  I recently wrote to my local movie theater to ask why it was so cold.  I was told that it was always set at 70 degrees, but that’s really not possible when I’ve got three layers on and I’m still cold.

  380. This is why I have what my family calls the “movie purse”
    Oddly, it always comes in way larger then it is when we leave.  Though we haven’t even made it to a move since last summer.

  381. I can’t enjoy the movie without watching the previews. I go early just for that.

  382. The business/profit model for American cinema is outdated; Hollywood just doesn’t seem to care about anything except selling more 3D tickets.  With Netflix, Redbox, and bootleg well on the rise, the movie-viewing populace has sundry choices to paying upwards of $10 for a prime-time cinema experience.  All the while, concessions prices seem out of touch with a stagnant economy.

  383. everything you sell is a chemical. Everything is made of chemicals. Some are created by nature, some by people. Either kind can be good, bad or indifferent.

  384. everything you sell is a chemical. Everything is made of chemicals. Some are created by nature, some by people. Either kind can be good, bad or indifferent.

  385. And the popcorn is over-salted in order to make you thirsty for the expensive sodas.

  386. And the popcorn is over-salted in order to make you thirsty for the expensive sodas.

  387. I haven’t gone to a theater in over 10 years since they are noisy, stinky, costly, and FOLLYWOOD hasn’t made a movie in years that is worth my time going to a theater. At least watching FOOLYWOOD movies at home on my big screen monitor, I can change channels once I realize they aren’t worth my time – and most aren’t worth my time. Theaters don’t give you your money back once you realize the “product” isn’t worth the money.

  388. I haven’t gone to a theater in over 10 years since they are noisy, stinky, costly, and FOLLYWOOD hasn’t made a movie in years that is worth my time going to a theater. At least watching FOOLYWOOD movies at home on my big screen monitor, I can change channels once I realize they aren’t worth my time – and most aren’t worth my time. Theaters don’t give you your money back once you realize the “product” isn’t worth the money.

  389. I haven’t gone to a theater in over 10 years since they are noisy, stinky, costly, and FOLLYWOOD hasn’t made a movie in years that is worth my time going to a theater. At least watching FOOLYWOOD movies at home on my big screen monitor, I can change channels once I realize they aren’t worth my time – and most aren’t worth my time. Theaters don’t give you your money back once you realize the “product” isn’t worth the money.

  390. I haven’t gone to a theater in over 10 years since they are noisy, stinky, costly, and FOLLYWOOD hasn’t made a movie in years that is worth my time going to a theater. At least watching FOOLYWOOD movies at home on my big screen monitor, I can change channels once I realize they aren’t worth my time – and most aren’t worth my time. Theaters don’t give you your money back once you realize the “product” isn’t worth the money.

  391. I haven’t gone to a theater in over 10 years since they are noisy, stinky, costly, and FOLLYWOOD hasn’t made a movie in years that is worth my time going to a theater. At least watching FOOLYWOOD movies at home on my big screen monitor, I can change channels once I realize they aren’t worth my time – and most aren’t worth my time. Theaters don’t give you your money back once you realize the “product” isn’t worth the money.

  392. I haven’t gone to a theater in over 10 years since they are noisy, stinky, costly, and FOLLYWOOD hasn’t made a movie in years that is worth my time going to a theater. At least watching FOOLYWOOD movies at home on my big screen monitor, I can change channels once I realize they aren’t worth my time – and most aren’t worth my time. Theaters don’t give you your money back once you realize the “product” isn’t worth the money.

  393. I haven’t gone to a theater in over 10 years since they are noisy, stinky, costly, and FOLLYWOOD hasn’t made a movie in years that is worth my time going to a theater. At least watching FOOLYWOOD movies at home on my big screen monitor, I can change channels once I realize they aren’t worth my time – and most aren’t worth my time. Theaters don’t give you your money back once you realize the “product” isn’t worth the money.

  394. I haven’t gone to a theater in over 10 years since they are noisy, stinky, costly, and FOLLYWOOD hasn’t made a movie in years that is worth my time going to a theater. At least watching FOOLYWOOD movies at home on my big screen monitor, I can change channels once I realize they aren’t worth my time – and most aren’t worth my time. Theaters don’t give you your money back once you realize the “product” isn’t worth the money.

  395. I haven’t gone to a theater in over 10 years since they are noisy, stinky, costly, and FOLLYWOOD hasn’t made a movie in years that is worth my time going to a theater. At least watching FOOLYWOOD movies at home on my big screen monitor, I can change channels once I realize they aren’t worth my time – and most aren’t worth my time. Theaters don’t give you your money back once you realize the “product” isn’t worth the money.

  396. I haven’t gone to a theater in over 10 years since they are noisy, stinky, costly, and FOLLYWOOD hasn’t made a movie in years that is worth my time going to a theater. At least watching FOOLYWOOD movies at home on my big screen monitor, I can change channels once I realize they aren’t worth my time – and most aren’t worth my time. Theaters don’t give you your money back once you realize the “product” isn’t worth the money.

  397. I haven’t gone to a theater in over 10 years since they are noisy, stinky, costly, and FOLLYWOOD hasn’t made a movie in years that is worth my time going to a theater. At least watching FOOLYWOOD movies at home on my big screen monitor, I can change channels once I realize they aren’t worth my time – and most aren’t worth my time. Theaters don’t give you your money back once you realize the “product” isn’t worth the money.

  398. I haven’t gone to a theater in over 10 years since they are noisy, stinky, costly, and FOLLYWOOD hasn’t made a movie in years that is worth my time going to a theater. At least watching FOOLYWOOD movies at home on my big screen monitor, I can change channels once I realize they aren’t worth my time – and most aren’t worth my time. Theaters don’t give you your money back once you realize the “product” isn’t worth the money.

  399. I haven’t gone to a theater in over 10 years since they are noisy, stinky, costly, and FOLLYWOOD hasn’t made a movie in years that is worth my time going to a theater. At least watching FOOLYWOOD movies at home on my big screen monitor, I can change channels once I realize they aren’t worth my time – and most aren’t worth my time. Theaters don’t give you your money back once you realize the “product” isn’t worth the money.

  400. I haven’t gone to a theater in over 10 years since they are noisy, stinky, costly, and FOLLYWOOD hasn’t made a movie in years that is worth my time going to a theater. At least watching FOOLYWOOD movies at home on my big screen monitor, I can change channels once I realize they aren’t worth my time – and most aren’t worth my time. Theaters don’t give you your money back once you realize the “product” isn’t worth the money.

  401. I haven’t gone to a theater in over 10 years since they are noisy, stinky, costly, and FOLLYWOOD hasn’t made a movie in years that is worth my time going to a theater. At least watching FOOLYWOOD movies at home on my big screen monitor, I can change channels once I realize they aren’t worth my time – and most aren’t worth my time. Theaters don’t give you your money back once you realize the “product” isn’t worth the money.

  402. I haven’t gone to a theater in over 10 years since they are noisy, stinky, costly, and FOLLYWOOD hasn’t made a movie in years that is worth my time going to a theater. At least watching FOOLYWOOD movies at home on my big screen monitor, I can change channels once I realize they aren’t worth my time – and most aren’t worth my time. Theaters don’t give you your money back once you realize the “product” isn’t worth the money.

  403. For the same price of one theater ticket I can watch 100 movies a month from Netflix. They don’t have new releases, but most Hollywood new releases are crap based on comic books or toys.
    Also, in the thousands of movie theaters in the USA, you will not find one piece of food for sale that is not bad for you, with processed sugar, and canola oil on the popcorn is a slow poison. In my opinion, Hollywood and the theater owners are shooting themselves in the foot on full automatic.
    In 2008 at Director’s Guild of America’s digital seminar, it was revealed that more people were watching Youtube than all the TV channels combined. Because TV and Movies are mostly loud pointless shoot outs and explosions, your audience has left the building. There are no more $100 million dollar openings, that is now the exclusive domain of video games. In the current business climate, the mantra is “Adapt or Die.” I don’t see the theater owners adapting at all, just showing the same crap in 3-D, just like they did in the 1950’s when they were afraid of Television. I believe there will always be a market for theater viewing, but it is in the process of being pared down greatly to a niche status, where only charismatic Theaters like Hollywood’s Cinerama Dome will survive, but you basic mall multiplex with a dozen theaters will eventually become extinct.

    1. And aren’t most of these lefty FOLLYWOOD freaks the first to tell you to stop wars, violence, killings, …. yet they promote war, violence, killings, in graphic displays in their pointless movies.

    2. And aren’t most of these lefty FOLLYWOOD freaks the first to tell you to stop wars, violence, killings, …. yet they promote war, violence, killings, in graphic displays in their pointless movies.