How to Save $8.99

by Hamilton Nolan

Bright golden 'POPCORN' letters on a red wall above movie theater concession stand; patrons lined up to buy snacks.
Dave Crosby [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

My most recent jaunt to the movie theater was plagued by an all too familiar problem. When I stepped up to the snack bar to buy some delicious popcorn, I saw the prices and promptly lost my appetite. A “medium” popcorn cost $8.99. Eight ninety-nine? For a modest bag of corn? I was forced to choose between enduring a movie without a snack and compromising my financial integrity. Though I’m not a gambling man, I’ll wager that many of you have felt the sting of the very same predicament. 

Here’s the good news: It doesn’t have to be this way. You can fight back against popcorn extortion. All it takes is a little bit of planning, and a whole lot of love for Hollywood’s magic and an accompanying desire to see that the full experience of that magic—which includes eating popcorn—is available to people of all income levels. 

Most movie theaters will tell you that you’re not “allowed” to bring in your own snacks. Some even search your bags. Don’t let this outrageous carceral atmosphere dissuade you. In fact, my methods for affordable popcorn consumption are expressly designed to thwart such Gestapo tactics. 

It’s a paywall, but a small one

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