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The Daily Dish Food and Drinks

Major Shocker! Your Approach to Smuggling in BYO Movie Snacks Has Been Wrong All Along

You're saying I don't need to buy a $7 dollar water? 

By Marianne Garvey

Of all the times I silently whisper to myself, "I am not my mother, I AM NOT my mother," one is when I'm sneaking previously purchased snacks from Duane Reade into the movie theater. Hustling past the ticket taker strapped to the nines with Gummy Bears, Sour Cherries, and chocolate bars is not my proudest moment, but saving money makes me feel happy and wise.

Oh God, I am my mother. She loved going to the movies; she also loved stuffing her purse with Twizzlers, chocolates, and sodas from the drug store and smuggling them past the ticket taker and concession stand like she was crossing the border into the U.S. armed with cocaine and elephant tusks. "Ma, it's Twizzlers, stop shaking," I'd say. It was highly embarrassing for a kid. And now I'm a pro at it. Go figure.

It's the thrill of it. Oh, the thrill of sneaking your own food into the movies and saving a few shekels. You'll never charge me $50 for popcorn NEVVVEEERRRRRR! Water? A buck across the street, you crooks!

I even upped my mom's game — I've dragged in deli sandwiches, pizza, wine, yes wine, whatever, go get your gavels, judgmental Marys. I'm not bothering anybody. I'm like a mouse in the movies. A little rosé with a rom-com is like stumbling in to find a cottage with a cozy fireplace on a stormy night. (Plus the wine store is next to the candy store so it's a one-two stop.) I also like going to the movies alone, so this party for one is really my idea of a good time. There's something to be said about doing something as an adult you think is innocently sneaky. Pro tip: Just make sure to buy a wine with a twist-off cap so you're not stuck for two hours with a corked bottle and no opener.

That's why after all this effort, it shook me to my core to find out that bringing your own snacks into the movie theater is A-OK. Wait... what?!

Yup, all the times I pretended I was a very big lady with Sour Patch Kids and Reeses Pieces and giant water bottles tucked into heavy coats and 60-pound purses was for naught. Turns out you're actually allowed to bring your own snacks in. Take that money-sucking concession stand. I will have a house someday. Just trying to save a buck and not pay $55 for some gummies and a soda only find myself living on the sidewalk outside the movie theater in a few years was a wise choice, I thought. 

Well, one ticket taker blew the lid off the whole lie when he tweeted about moviegoers bringing their own snacks inside.

"Got a new job at a cinema and it’s changed my life, asked my boss 'what if we see someone taking their own food in' and she said 'Ryan, it’s a myth, people can bring their own food in here' my life has been a lie."

Ours too, Ryan, ours too.

Many readers replied with the great lengths they had been going through to smuggle their favorite snacks in. 

Some insisted that their local movie theaters, like Regal Cinemas, went as far as to search bags to ensure cinema goers weren't sneaking in food or drink, despite Ryan's revelation. Um, OK, TSA.

But most just enforce a "no hot food" policy, and a no alcohol policy, leaving ticket payers free to bring their own treats in — which does not include rosé.

So if you happen to see a wine bottle-shaped "baby" under my shirt, please look the other way. The snacks I will now openly carry. Thank you in advance.  

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