is it really illegal to sneak food into the movie theater?

NetherCraft 0

sometimes i take my mom to the movies and i stop by the gas station or the dollar store and buy soda and chips or sometimes take sandwiches from home and she gets all nervous, like, OMG theyre gonna find out! YOU carry the bag, i dont wanna get caught! imagine if they search our bags? how embarrasing!

the movie theaters in the city we live in sometimes hire police officers as security. can they realy do something?

i mean from my understanding, if they see you holding food that isnt from their theater they can tell u to eat it before you enter, or something like outside food is not allowed in the movie room, please finish or dispose your snack. but can they really go thru your bag if its really big? or it sounds like soda and ice moving? even if its not obvious, if its just a big bag, can they really do or say anything?

and so yeah.. it it really illegal? well not illegal, i cant find the right word, but are you really not allowed to take things in?. can they comfiscate if your eating in the movie theatre and they see you?

lol thanks for your help guys

17 Answers

  • Let me begin by saying i work in a movie theatre and have done so for the past 10 years.

    1. NO it is not illegal to bring in outside food. But if the theatre has a policy posted about not bringing in any outside food, they do have to right to kick you out and not refund your money, if you are caught.

    2. On a side note, Food that is brought into the theatres STINKS UP THE THEATRE. That McDonald’s may smell good when you bring it into the theatre, but when the doors are closed and not oƿє-ṅєd again for 2 hours, with all the people smashed in close together, the smell gets to be horrible. Imagine that it is 120 degrees all the time and no one bathes; that’s only half as bad as a theatre smells after someone leaves their ‘big mac’ .

    3. Most people bring in their sandwiches or what ever and then leave their trash in the theatre. The ushers are NOT there to clean up after Starbucks and Subway. We would be more than happy if Starbucks wanted to start paying us. Ushers are there to sweep popcorn and babysit (we serve alcohol at our theatre).

    Hope that answered your question.

    (I do love working in movie theatres; I know the reply is a little…harsh. but i’m glad someone asked. Now you all know, so don’t be surprised, you’ve been warned.

  • It’s not illegal, that is you are breaking no laws, to take outside food into the theater. They cannot force you to show them the contents of your bag. On the other hand, they have no legal requirement to let you into the theater. If you don’t comply with their rules – like not bringing in outside food – then they can ask you to leave the theater. And if you refuse to leave when asked, then you ARE breaking the law – you are now considered to be trespassing on private property, and they can have you arrested for trespass. But if you are willing to get rid of the outside food/drink when asked, they really can’t do anything to you then.

    Part of the reason they don’t want you bringing in outside food and drinks is because most theaters make almost no money on the movie tickets – yeah, hard to believe given what a ticket costs. But the ticket price usually just barely covers the price to the theater of renting the movie from the studio. The theater makes much of it’s money, if not all, from selling snacks and drinks. Which is one of the reasons why they are so unwilling to let people bring outside drinks and snacks in.

  • No, it’s not illegal, it’s just not allowed by most theaters. Additionally, any theater can ask to see inside your bag for security reasons. You can decline by refusing to enter the theater, but if you want to see a movie in their theater, you’re obliged to abide by their rules. That being said, the worst thing they can do is ask you to leave, so I bring food in all the time. Just be discrete.

  • Well, it’s not illegal but it’s their rules. Don’t abide then don’t get in.

    I always sneak snacks in as they have never searched my rather large handbag!

    They have however, looked into my friends plastic grocery bag and kept her snacks at the door…

    I suppose if you make it obvious you are taking in your own food they will stop you. I’m not even sure if they are allowed to search you! Thought it was only the police who can confiscate/ search.

    We pay enough for the tickets without having to buy snacks at extortionate prices!

    We need someone who has been illegally searched to sue before it will change anything!

  • It’s a policy-thing, not a law. But as a private business, they have the right to do whatever they want — if you buy a ticket, you’re supposed to be living by their rules.

    They can ban you from their theater, but that’s about the extent of what they can do to ya.

  • there are no signs up at the theaters near me anymore that say “No outside food or drink aloud” i think they gave it up for inflated prices and commercials adds before the movie., they used to say, no book bags, but that could easily have been so you didn’t smuggle beer in, and public drunkenness is a crime. any way, bringing in snacks is not illegal at all, the police and security are there to protect you from actual crimes robberies/fights . i think snack sneaking might be frowned open, so i do keep it on the down low, and always clean up after myself, which is more than i can say for every one else.


    It is not illegal anywhere for you to bring your own food/ snacks

    But some places have a policy/ rules that you are not allowed to and they can kick you out …

    If refuse to leave THEN your doing something illegal

  • Nah, its not illegal to sneak food into the movie theatres. I work at Regal Cinemas and we don’t

    allow people to bring in outside food because of health codes. If that person was to have a reaction

    or attack due to the food they ate it would be bad. Thats why the movie theatres make fresh food and

    popcorn. Hope I helped.

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