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3 Ways Movie Theaters Price Gouge Customers

Updated on May 4, 2012

Movie Theater

Wikimedia Commons; by Arthur Jacob
Wikimedia Commons; by Arthur Jacob

Movie Theaters Love Customers

Movie theaters love paying customers. Especially during the release of summer blockbusters.

Did you know that movie theaters don't just make money off of regular ticket sales?

They also find other ways to gouge customers' wallets, like at the concession stands. Read the following carefully so you don't fall victim to the movie theater vendors.

Popcorn Seasoning

3 Ways Movie Theaters Make Huge Profits


3 Ways That Movie Theaters Profit Off of Customers:

  1. More salt? Theaters will sell you a small popcorn seasoning for $1.50/unit.

    If you happen to not like the complimentary butter/popcorn salt available, you can buy your own flavors. Available in: Ranch, White Cheddar and Jalapeno. Don't buy more salt for pre-salted popcorn!
  2. Showing not-so-new movies for the Redbox price. One local theater in my city recently changed to selling $1.50 movie tickets. The only catch is: the movies are ones that are leaving theaters and are available to rent. However, they do sell concessions at an exorbitant price - much higher than other theaters. An XL refillable bucket is $33.50 and costs $3.50 every time to fill it, while a one time Large popcorn is sold at $7.50 a bag. Yep, this theater is engaged in price gouging, and many people don't even realize it.
  3. Watch the same movie in 3D! Some movies in the theaters also have a 3D showing, but the 3D showing costs several dollars more, even if you bring your own 3D glasses. What a rip-off! I would rather not pay for my headaches.


Hand Over Your Wallet

Wikimedia Commons; by WellingtonM
Wikimedia Commons; by WellingtonM

Why Pay More?

Why should customers have to pay crazy high prices for popcorn and sodas at the movie theaters?

I think customer should have the option for cheaper alternatives, which some smaller (non-chain) theaters will allow.

I think it is an outrage to pay more for concessions than for the price of tickets.

Enjoy the Movies

Despite the several ways that theaters attempt to price-gouge customers, the movies can be a fun way to relax and enjoy a blockbuster.

So be cautious the next time you go to the movies, and be sure not to pay out more money for concessions than you do for your tickets!

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