Update 16 Popcorn, Alcohol, and Movies

Alcohol and Movie Theaters

In the really early days, movie theaters did not serve popcorn—too messy.

Then, after a time, popcorn became a staple in movie theaters. Along with popcorn, people ordered soft drinks.

But sagging ticket sales have theater owners trying something new. National theater chains and regional and independent movie theaters are turning to alcohol. 

Alcohol at movie theaters?Some movie theaters are experimenting with serving alcoholic beverages.

In places as diverse as Girardeau, MO; Hilo, Hawaii; Lexington Park, MD; and Muncie, Indiana, theater owners are lobbying their local policymakers to allow them to serve liquor along with popcorn and candy. Some 500+ theaters are now serving alcohol country-wide.

Popcorn and movie ticketsPopcorn is not the only thing available at movie theaters.

Once again, movie-going in America is changing.

Naturally, serving alcoholic beverages in movie theaters is controversial. Children ages 12 to 17 and young adults ages 18 to 24 are the most frequent moviegoers across the country. At one national movie chain, adults who buy liquor for minors are not reported to police. So, then the chain can point to the lack of police reports to get liquor licenses for theaters elsewhere.

Red and blue alcoholic beverageRed and blue alcoholic drink for "Wonder Woman" movie.

To make matters worse, some chains are serving drinks with color (blue martinis with red raspberries) to correspond with the movies. In this case, the red and blue were for the release of “Wonder Woman.”

Alcohol has a high profit margin. Movie theaters sales are lagging. Hence, the push toward liquor at the movies.

Lots of questions, though. Is it really a smart idea to send drinkers into a darkened auditorium? How many underage people are getting alcoholic drinks from adults?

Some communities are accepting the idea of “Adult Beverage Concept Theaters.” Others are not. In places where the policy makers have agreed to alcoholic beverages in theaters, but the community does not, the people are pushing back through lawsuits.

Beer at movie theaterPopcorn and beer go together and now some movie theaters will offer both.

But in places where the policy makers have said no to liquor in movie theaters, the theater owners are filing lawsuits.

Not certain where this will end, but one thing is for certain: the lawyers are getting rich.

From: Voices of the Governing Institute Newsletter


Students and Stale Movie Popcorn

Duke University conducted a study of students who are in the habit of eating popcorn at the movies. What they discovered was that people who are in the habit of eating popcorn at the movies will eat it whether the popcorn is fresh or stale.

If the students ate the popcorn with a goal of eating something good while watching a movie, they ate less when the popcorn was stale.

But the students whose goal was just eating popcorn at the movies, ate just as much if the popcorn was stale or fresh.

All of the students preferred fresh popcorn.

The study proves that addictive behavior will cause people to do negative things because the behavior is an automatic learned behavior.