Movies Without Popcorn


While the government of Canada warns people not to travel during the upcoming spring break, threatening strict quarantine measures upon returning to the country, the government of Quebec is attempting to provide some activities for kids during the week-long March break.

What can reopen, beginning this Friday, are movie theatres. However, the selling of food – popcorn included – will not be allowed. This has caused some cinema owners to decide not to reopen. It seems that without food sales, it’s not worth reopening. They point out that money from snack sales offsets the admission fees. Without popcorn revenue, cinemas would have to charge $25 admission.

The goodies we brought to the theatre were most welcome, after all you had paid your admission. It was a movie theatre, not a restaurant – it was a Bring Your Own Food establishment

When I was a kid we used to go to the movies. Montreal, as was the case in most cities, had its share of movie theatres – we Anglophones didn’t call them cinemas, to us they were movie theatres. These often elaborately designed single-screen theatres showed films every night and had matinees on the weekends and during school holidays.

I recall the price being 75 cents before seven o’clock at which time the cost of admission shot up to a whopping $1.25! For that princely sum you were treated to a cartoon – usually Blake Edwards’ Pink Panther which could be used in both French and English theatres as there was no dialogue – in addition to the main feature.

But that’s not the issue, the price of everything has gone up over time, it’s just what happens. As I recall things, the admission fee got you into the theatre to see the movie. There were, of course, snack bars where you could buy soft drinks, popcorn, candies and chips. But these were just for convenience because many people, perhaps most, brought their own snacks to the movie.

There were, of course, snack bars where you could buy soft drinks, popcorn, candies and chips. But these were just for convenience because many people, perhaps most, brought their own snacks to the movie.

I’m not talking about smuggling in contraband Twizzlers or Reese’s Pieces, sneaking past ushers who look like they want to pat down movie goers. The goodies we brought to the theatre were most welcome, after all you had paid your admission. It was a movie theatre, not a restaurant – it was a Bring Your Own Food establishment

Many’s the time we would bring in, openly and honestly, a box of a dozen Dunkin’ Donuts and  Dairy Queen milkshakes. Others brought submarine sandwiches or even hamburgers. Some folks even made special snacks at home and, along with a thermos of coffee settled in to enjoy the movie and munch on a ham on rye.

These days the film is almost an afterthought; once you get past the vast array of food on offer at exorbitant prices and run the gamut of the umpteen video games in the lobby, you can finally settle down to watch the feature.

Long gone are the days when movie theatres were in the business of selling admission to films and providing convenience snack bar counters, but were BYOF!

Published by DCMontreal

DCMontreal - Deegan Charles Stubbs - is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

One thought on “Movies Without Popcorn

  1. Dear Deegan, My very first date with Chris was a movie….either Catch 22 or MASH. It was the twenty-fifth anniversary of Famous Players Theatres and the tickets were a quarter each….such a big spender. As it happened, just before the feature started, Chris’s seventeen-year-old brother arrived with three of his friends and came to sit with us….he’d spotted us when he walked in. I don’t remember any popcorn, but we did go for coffee after the film….and Chris brought along his Laughing Bag (remember those?) I knew he was a keeper. Linda

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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