If you are one of the thousands of people who enjoy going to movie theaters, you may have noticed a bizarre trend that has been taking root over the past decade. When you enter the building, have you ever spotted a telltale bar in the vicinity of the concession stand? Ten or more years ago, whenever a group of friends visited a movie theater, the menu typically contained popcorn, soda, and swarms of sugary candy, but, nowadays, that menu has evolved to include four-course meals, restaurant service (in the screening rooms), and alcoholic beverages. Ultimately, this does raise a cause for concern. Why would movie theaters (probably one of the most harmless establishments on the planet) start offering drinks that can result in drunken, aggressive behavior? Let’s take a closer look at this unusual situation and find out more.
Expand the Menu, Get More People
According to a report from the Hollywood Reporter, movie theater attendance has started to spiral downward at a terrible rate. While movie studios continue to gain revenue from ticket sales, these groups still face one large problem: the fewer the people visiting the theater, the less popcorn and soda sold (meaning a loss of revenue). So, what is the ultimate solution? According to some theater groups, the answer is “to expand the menu.”
For this reason, multiple movie theaters have started setting up bars and (in a very unusual twist) serving alcohol. According to AMC Theaters, though, these drinks were not integrated to replace popcorn and soda. Instead, these items were serve as “additional purchases.”
One Big Exception to the Argument
Nevertheless, not all movie theater groups are on board with alcohol integration. In New York State, for example, the introduction of alcohol in movie theaters is 100% illegal (with no exceptions), as a result of lobbying efforts conducted by theaters on Broadway in the 1930s.
So why is this situation problematic for the public? Simply put, the integration of alcohol is actually working. So, the next time you go to see the next Avengers film, take a close look around. There might be more than diet Pepsi in the theater.
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