13 Things a Movie Theater Employee Won’t Tell You

Find out behind the scenes info about your favorite place to see the next blockbuster.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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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