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12 Movie Theater Secrets That You Definitely Didn’t Know

Despite the rise of Netflix and must-see television, there’s still something unparalleled when it comes to the experience of going to a movie theater and watching a new release amongst a crowd of fellow cinephiles.

Ticket and snack prices may have surged over the years, which has caused many moviegoers to establish their own secrets to get by. However, movie theaters have been keeping a number of secrets themselves.

Here are 12 secrets movie theaters don’t want their guests to know.

1. High volume can be damaging to your ears. There are audio system standards and volume level requirements that cinemas are supposed to abide by, but still many will regulate the sound to their preference. Explosive action films (anything with Michael Bay’s name attached) can exceed the recommended level that is considered healthy for your hearing.

2. Popcorn is wildly overpriced. There’s something about popcorn and a movie that has most of us shelling over a lot more than we’d spend on even a box of bags. While we all know movie theater popcorn is overpriced, to put it into perspective, an ounce of movie theater popcorn costs more than an ounce of filet mignon.

3. Theater cleaning schedules don’t allow for a thorough clean. Most employees only have a few minutes in between a movie’s crowd exiting and a new one entering. With this, a majority of employees admit that the cleaning job is lackluster. While there’s an overnight cleaning crew, if you’re catching the last show on a Saturday night, you might want to double check your seat first.

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4. Snack bar combos aren’t always a better deal. Employees are required to push combos but most of them don’t actually save you any money. Take a moment to do the math and you’ll realize that there is a variety of sizing options that will get you a better deal than what’s being highlighted on the signs.

5. Popcorn smells good for a reason. Can’t get that movie theater popcorn taste at home? There’s a reason for that. Some movie theaters have their own secret recipes to take their snack to the next level, but a lot share the extra ingredients of a coconut and canola combo alongside food additives.

6. At least once a week employees have to break up movie-goers getting it on. The movies have solidified themselves as a perfect date spot, but apparently, some couples can’t wait until they get home. Many movie theater employees have revealed that they regularly have to interrupt couples going all the way and it’s usually in an animated family film that is nearing the end of its theater run.

7. You can get blacklisted from a movie theater. Many cinemas maintain a list of people banned from attending in the future. The most prominent reason people will get banned is due to piracy, but multiple attempts to scam the theater or inappropriate behavior can also land a name on the list.

8. Commercials before movies are on the rise. Upcoming movie trailers are there to sell you on future tickets, but you’ve probably noticed a lot of other commercials (mostly for cars for some reason) before the previews. Revenue from these ads have been increasing over the years and many theaters will start the movie later than scheduled to get more people to see them.

9. Employees don’t care if you sneak into an R-rated movie, just do it right. Underage moviegoers have tried a ton of different ways to get into an adult film, but don’t realize that the employees don’t care as long as they don’t get in trouble. Many movie theater employees collectively agree that no one is going to say anything if you buy a ticket for one movie and walk into another.

10. Piracy is no joke. Movie theaters are pretty nonchalant about most things, but when it comes to someone trying to record a movie, there’s a hefty fine attached. The MPAA rewards employees for calling out acts of piracy and those caught could very well be arrested once authorities are notified.

11. There’s rarely someone in the projection booth. The projectionist’s job has truly become obsolete with automated digital projectors. Theater employees regularly check in on a movie to make sure it’s running properly, which means if it isn’t you’re better off telling someone than waiting.

12. Getting a free movie pass is easy if you go the right way about it. Annoying teenagers or rambunctious children usually warrant a free movie ticket even if the rest of the screening goes swimmingly. If you have a complaint ask to speak to a manager and if you’re nice about it, you can usually always get a free movie pass.


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