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Should outside food be allowed inside cinema halls or not?

Updated on August 22, 2010

Answer this poll and let's check what the public opinion is

Should outside food be allowed inside cinema halls or not?

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Cinemas should either decrease the price of their food items or allow outside food

I would say that either outside food be allowed inside cinema halls, especially in multiplexes where price of the food items sold is very high when compared to the market price or the cinemas should decrease the price of the food items to economical rates.

For an example, just consider this scenario:

A master who gets confronted with an important meeting, instead of throwing away the tickets for a movie running in a multiplex into dustbin at 11th hour hands, he hands it over to his maidservant. Pleased with an opportunity to show a movie to her kid, she dresses her kid up smartly and takes her to that cinema just in time. On the way, she buys a packet of chips for rupees 10, so that her kid can have it during the interval, but unfortunately guards at the entry gait of the cinema did not allow her to enter cinema premises with that packet of chips, so she politely hands it over to the guard and watches the movie.

During the interval or break, when other kids were munching popcorn and other eateries which almost cost as much as the tickets, her kid asks for the same. She was not able to afford it, neither will she able to control the kid who is envious of other kids who are eating those unaffordable stuff, which is not unaffordable outside.

Unable to control her kid, she drags him out and gives him back those chips which guard had kept at the entry gate. Now, she is out and she cannot watch the other part of movie and neither can her kid who after munching it wants to get back inside to watch the rest of the movie.

Now does not this lady have a right to complain that let these folks be given license only to show movie and not to sell food items at unaffordable prices. Even if they continue to sell it, why restrict someone from carrying food items from outside who cannot afford it or don't want to spend money on it. I have even found that mineral water, which is a basic necessity, is sold double than the market price in cinema halls these days.

Now, I ask you one thing that should outside food be allowed inside cinema halls or not?

Many people say no because they think that is how business goes, one entity snatches away an attribute of another entity on the fact of survival and entertainment. The entity snatching away the money are these multiplexes and the entity giving the money for entertainment are us, the consumers.

So I say we should be allowed to carry outside food inside cinema premises after a thorough checking of the food items. Certainly, no one wants to pay more than the actual cost of something, be it a middle class or upper class, no point paying 20 bucks for a bottle of 10 bucks, so at the bottom, it hurts all of us but because it is a multiplex, no one complains, but it hurts.

Now consider this, outside foods are allowed (okay allow only limited type of foods inside, not the one like the family picnic). Customers would be happy more than ever as they get to see their favorite movie as well as much their favorite food without bothering how much money is left in their wallets after buying the expensive tickets.

I would like to give you my own example in a multiplex.

After watching half of the movie in the interval, I asked for a bottle of water and I was told to pay 20 bucks. I handed out 10 bucks and the guy told me politely sir it is 20 bucks and not 10, and I said but the bottle says 10 bucks, what will you do with the remaining 10 bucks, he ignored and kept the bottle back and said that it is what everyone pays here and this is what the price is and if you do not believe me, just have a look at the menu list. Obviously by now, I had caught the attention of many behind me, although not saying anything but by the their body language, I understood that they were backing me up. So I proceeded with the guy and asked him to call his manager, as I wanted to talk to him. I was unaware that the manager was already behind me and was watching me. He came over and politely took me out of the crowd and told me that this is the price we have kept for selling this item and if do not want to purchase it, it's your wish. So what I do now, I just told him that yes I am feeling thirsty and I want to drink water, so here are your 20 bucks and please at least give me water to drink.

So you can see how these multiplexes are making money and I think these two examples are sufficient enough to prove that outside or home food should be allowed inside cinema premises or the multiplexes decrease the prices to economical standards as people who come to watch movies come from different classes, upper class, middle class, and lower class and if they are allowing outside food, the food should not be a family picnic type but should be a small one, or the multiplex owners can keep a specific amount of weight to be carried inside cinemas, just like in airplanes. For safety reasons, all food items should be thoroughly checked.

An insight into cinema halls

An inside view of a cinema hall
An inside view of a cinema hall


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    • profile image

      CJ 7 4 years ago

      Jst met similar case in INOX kharghar .. i had mineral water bottle in my hands .. i was asked to deposit before entering, to which i refused to deposit ,saying its water i brought from home.. you know what they did next ??? one of their guy said that the water will be checked if its home water.. and he really did by smelling it.. Pathetic . seriously steps to be taken asap regarding negligent professional behaviour. Jst all these views should reach to those people

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks for your insightful comments friends.

    • profile image

      Tina 5 years ago

      I do agree that outside food like biscuits, chocolates chips should be allowed. Suppose a person is advised by the doctor not to eat outside food,in that case what should he do- carry a packet of biscuit and enjoy the movie or sit at home. People go to cinemas for some relaxation and entertainment not to follow some stupid rules which doesnot make sense. I believe there should be some modification in the terms and conditions.

    • Jurbas profile image

      Jurbas 6 years ago from Perth, Western Australia

      The reason cinemas need to charge so much for food is because they get minimal profit on ticket sales.

      Cinemas rent the films for a couple grand upfront and then have to pay a percentage per ticket.

      The way for cinemas to make money is to sell food items at a high price.

      It's not the cinemas fault but the movie distributors who charge such a high price.

    • profile image

      Hmmm 6 years ago

      They go right through your bag. Trust me, I've tried it :)) I think it's very wrong. I won't buy cinema food for that reason - I refuse to buy from someone who don't look after their customers.

      Yes I know that they're probably just trying to look after their business, and I have respect for the staff and that point etc etc but I still don't think it's right.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 6 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Yes I agree with your comment roadrunner0924, the theaters are going to charge in one way or another.

      Thanks htodd.

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 6 years ago from United States

      Great post ,Thanks

    • roadrunner0924 profile image

      roadrunner0924 7 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      While I do agree the prices are too expensive the trade off would be extremely high ticket prices. The theatres make their money on the food sales. Remember they have to pay all the employees plus the companies they are getting the movies from.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 7 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thank you so much Allen D'Souza for writing those two important points. This is a real eye opener.

    • profile image

      Allen D'Souza 7 years ago

      2 points:

      1. Not allowing outside food in the name of security can be challenged as a Restrictive Trade practice in the Monopolistic and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC).

      2. Selling above the MRP is downright illegal and you can lodge a complaint with the Legal Metrology Department or Ministry of Consumer Affairs.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Or they can allow some light food items like sandwiches, burgers, chips, etc. so that they don't make their premises and especially their seats dirty but they must either lower their rates or allow something. That's the voice of most patrons.

    • vanidiana profile image

      vanidiana 8 years ago from Depok, Indonesia

      I agree with you, people should be allowed to bring their own food for the movie. Otherwise the food's price sold in the cinema should be lowered, because the high price really doesn't make any sense!

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Go ahead with it skiboski.

    • profile image

      skiboski 8 years ago

      its for school and thanks.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Which type of report skiboski. Are you going to publish that report on the net? If not, then it is fine but if yes, let me know.

    • profile image

      skiboski 8 years ago

      i agree with the topic and i would like your premission to use parts of this in a report.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks a lot for the voting Sally. Up until now, 4 people have voted on this poll and the answer is yes because the cost of food inside cinema hall is too much and unaffordable.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Good to see the poll. I voted today.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks a lot Sally's Trove for showing your concern and sharing your personal experience on this issue. Sorry for the delay but today, I have created a poll regarding the same. Please vote so that the general public get to know each other's opinion on this. I agreed 12 months back and I have no doubt in saying right now also that food from outside should definitely be allowed inside cinema halls. Thanks for your feedback on the poll update. I missed that one.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Your topic is as valid today as it was 12 months ago when written.

      My daughter likes to take me to the movies now and again, and on our last trip, I was horrified to see that the cost of a tub of popcorn and a drink exceeded the cost of the ticket. Now I ask you, what does that say about valuing the worth of the movie against the worth of the snack? I'm inclined to laugh, or maybe I just have to keep from crying, or worse, blowing my stack, so to speak.

      Your example of the mother and child is both touching and frightening. Here the mother has a chance to do something very special for her child, but the experience turns sour with the child not being able to enjoy everything in that place that other children can afford to enjoy. You can take your own food to the zoo (here at least)...why not to the cinema?

      Where's that poll? :)

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks Mr. Shah for showing your concern on this issue. Yes, I agree with all your points and I know that this is totally injustice with the patrons but if you think anything can be done by raising voice against this, I will be definitely there. You can contact me at

    • profile image

      Akshay Shah 8 years ago

      hi Soni,

      Now a days, these multiplaxes even doesn't allow to carry water bottle. Even they dont allow chocloates and sweets (pipperment). How can one prevent the patrons for carrying such things as water and chocolates. In fact, they are interested in selling the itmes without price tags e.g. Popcorns, Samosa, sandwiches for that they can charge anything.

      Yours was a case of water wherein its basic necessity and one buys with whatever price one need to pay. However, in case of chocolates etc. they are supposed to fight with the customers. That's why they sell the softdrinks in Packed glasses (fountain) so that there may not be any question of quarrel.

      In fact, one is supposed to mention date of manufacturing, date of expiry, weight, price and even green or red mark on packed food items. For sandwiches, Samosas, burgers these rools are just on paper.

      Well, I supposse a PIL can be filed for these. All like minded people should join together includeing legel personells like advocates, solicitors etc. An e-mail campaign would sever the purpose and if someone strong will awake, definitely one can bring change. Just leave a comment on my email id also so that i can be aware and can take part in a movement..

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 9 years ago from New Delhi, India

      NDBEES, I agree with your viewpoint that why we should eat or drink the food we do not like to eat, especially in the cinema halls whereas you can find good food for example if you purchase a burger from a McDonalds outlet outside, you have to pay 30 bucks whereas inside you will be paying for an unknown brand burger for double than that that means 60 bucks and also when the quality of McDonalds is superior than the quality of the so-called cinema hall. It looks like the movie watcher is forced to eat highly-priced food inside the hall premesis whereas he/she can get better quality of food outside at half price.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 9 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks for agreeing with my view Medallion. Yes, I will create a poll today but can you tell me what should I write in the question for the poll. Thanks for dropping by.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 9 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks for the appreciation Bhoge, Yes the price is not double but more than double these days @ cinema halls like PVR, Satyam cineplex, fun cinemas, etc. and I know these multiplexes better, as I have worked with one of them from 1999 to 2000.

    • Medallion profile image

      Medallion 9 years ago from Australia and France

      Yes, you are correct.

      The price of food items at cinemas is high, and it would be worth a poll.  However, they are able to charge their choice of price.

      If the majority of cinema goers would forego the munchies for a few days, the point would be made to be more reasonable, and still make a profit.

      It's all about value!

      Great value can still be given, and a profit made.

      If you can get a crowd to not buy food for a few days at your cinema complex, the message would reach management.

    • NDBEES profile image

      NDBEES 9 years ago from DEVON

      Complete rip off. They do the same in england in a lot of cinemas. Its a point of principle too. Why should you eat what they provide, especially if you don't like it. Good point well made.

    • bhoge profile image

      bhoge 9 years ago from India

      Soni excellent hub i think they should reduce the cost, so that common people can afford to pay. But now it is almost double the amount what we get out out side as you said. Thanks for sharing. I think you can put a poll capsule to debate this LOL


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