Tuesday, March 27, 2012

High cost of movie theater snacks spurs class action lawsuit

The exorbitant prices for popcorn, soda and candy at the movies fueled Michigan resident Joshua Thompson to file a class action lawsuit against his local AMC Theater.

The 20-something’s buttons were pushed when his movie house did not allow him to bring in his own supply of soda and candy which is an alleged violation of his state’s Consumer Protection Act, reports the Detroit Free Press.

His lawyer is saying the prices for goodies are extreme and in violation of Michigan’s Consumer Protection Act which is designed to prevent price gouging.

Theatres have traditionally charged three to four times the cost for their goodies. A profit center, within a profit center, so to speak. This has been going on since I first walked into a theatre in 1958. Theater owners have come to count on that extra money.

I’m going to keep on eye on this case. It may have huge implications for the entertainment industry. Oh yeah, and consumers may get a break on the price of popcorn someday. But don’t hold your breath. The chances are slim  according to Ian Lyngklip, a nationally known consumer lawyer in Southfield. ”Movie theaters are regulated, so the lawsuit won’t go anywhere,” he told the Detroit Free Press.

Sadly, he’s probably right. Still, I’m awarding a thumbs up to Mr. Thompson’s effort to challenge the status quo.

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