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Suspension of disbelief, getting detached from the real world, yes, even manipulation are all perfectly fine as long as you consent to them.

Ohh but there were free drinks and the lighting was just so and it made me feel so good -- so clearly defrauding the place that made me feel that way, even when I rationally knew that was what was going to happen, is perfectly OK.

Are you also OK with stealing popcorn at the cinema because they manipulate you into feeling scared/happy/sad/whatever?

This is why we can't have nice things.




I would never steal popcorn from the theater, but I would definitely smuggle in my own bag of it.

The theater house rule is that no outside food or drink is allowed, but clearly the only purpose of this rule is to support the brazen markup of food and drink at the theater's own concession stand.

I find it difficult to find any harm to the theater in eating smuggled popcorn rather than popcorn purchased on the premises, even when playing Devil's advocate as hard as I possibly can. My worst attempts even end up replacing 90% of the theater employees with a row of vending machines and a subway-style turnstile.


Agreed that there isn't really any harm in a generalized way. You might be surprised to learn that movie theaters (as they're currently operated) don't really get much from the ticket sales, however.

I have a friend who used to be a supervisor at movie theater, and he told me that ~80% of the theater's ticket proceeds went directly to the movie distributor. This is apparently normal in the movie industry.

If concessions went away, theaters would probably need to raise their ticket prices a lot. Even if you drastically cut the employees, there's still rent/taxes/insurance/cleaning. The last two could also conceivably go up in price if it became normal to bring in your own food.


> I find it difficult to find any harm to the theater in eating smuggled popcorn rather than popcorn purchased on the premises, even when playing Devil's advocate as hard as I possibly can.

economics of movie theatres: https://arstechnica.com/uncategorized/2006/01/5905-2/




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