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Hoyts Belconnen Cracking Down on Contraband Consumables

By earworm70 - 29 December 2012 86

Now for the important debates of the day!

My wife and I were recently refused entry to Hoyts Belconnen for the heinous crime of carrying delicious take-away Muffin Break coffees into the cinemas.  Apparently the condition of not allowing any food or drink from external sources has always been a policy of the cinema –  but has only been enforced over the last month, and of course there is no extra signage or such explaining the sudden change in heart.

My pleas that the caffeine was required to stay awake during Mr Jackson’s latest masterpiece were unceremoniously ignored by the teenage attendant, and subsequently the teenage manager, leading to a refund and a quick drive into Civic Dendy where we received no such rubbish.

Whilst I respect the business owners rights to enforce whatever policy they dream up what do Rioters think about this in the age of digital delivery?  At the very least let this post serve to give you warning to brush up your food-smuggling skills/techniques or save up for that 80 inch tele in JB.

What’s Your opinion?


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86 Responses to
Hoyts Belconnen Cracking Down on Contraband Consumables
1
Slashor 12:39 pm
29 Dec 12
#

Surely that is counter-productive to actually selling tickets. I wonder how much the make on ticket sales vs concession item sales.

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2
FoMoCo 12:41 pm
29 Dec 12
#

I and a couple of friends were also stopped the other day for the same thing. We were all rather amazed that after going there for the last 15 years (or however long it has been open) they now decide to enforce it…. I guess it is time to migrate to Dendy or start a smuggling trade…

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3
johnboy 12:42 pm
29 Dec 12
#

cinemas make almost nothing on ticket sales, so the real wonder is it took Hoyts Belconnen this long to notice.

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4
pink little birdie 12:49 pm
29 Dec 12
#

I thought you weren’t allowed to take hot drinks in to cinemas and that’s been enforced for years.

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5
MrPC 1:02 pm
29 Dec 12
#

I wonder if this counts as third line forcing.

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6
arescarti42 1:18 pm
29 Dec 12
#

Awesome, now whenever I go to the movies with friends it’ll be a contest to see who can successfully smuggle in the most kebabs and fried chicken in their pockets/under their hats. That sort of thing is no fun when you know they’ll just let you in.

johnboy said :

cinemas make almost nothing on ticket sales, so the real wonder is it took Hoyts Belconnen this long to notice.

I find this interesting, surely once the cinema has paid their rent and licenced the film, the cost of providing screenings to people is almost zero.

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7
johnboy 1:22 pm
29 Dec 12
#

Nope, the distributor pays the cinema an amount to display each session of the film (back in the day about 30 tickets worth).

All the money from the box office goes to the distributor.

Selling popcorn is always where the real money is for the cinema.

(Actually in one chain I worked for in the UK the real money to the parent company was an Irish subsidiary selling cleaning chemicals to the cinema at a 1,000% markup which repatriated the takings to low-tax Ireland. Cinemas are not a simple business, but selling your popcorn and not letting you bring in any other crap which may be hard to clean, or annoying to other patrons, is a bit of a no brainer.)

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8
arescarti42 1:29 pm
29 Dec 12
#

johnboy said :

Nope, the distributor pays the cinema an amount to display each session of the film (back in the day about 30 tickets worth).

All the money from the box office goes to the distributor.

Selling popcorn is always where the real money is for the cinema.

(Actually in one chain I worked for in the UK the real money to the parent company was an Irish subsidiary selling cleaning chemicals to the cinema at a 1,000% markup which repatriated the takings to low-tax Ireland. Cinemas are not a simple business, but selling your popcorn and not letting you bring in any other crap which may be hard to clean, or annoying to other patrons, is a bit of a no brainer.)

Fascinating.

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9
lostinbias 1:30 pm
29 Dec 12
#

Curse those employees for upholding policy. Would I be correct in assuming that you brought up their youth in your original post (“teenage attendant, and subsequently the teenage manager”) in order to express and/or stir up disapproval (“How could someone so young be a manager blah blah blah life experience blah”)?

I’m so sick of young people in the workforce being unfairly judged by the public at large. Yes, I’ve worked with some young people who are good for nothing, but I’ve worked with some who are very dedicated and skilled as well, and it’s the same with older people. Being quite young in the scheme of things I’ve dealt with older people who seem to assume that I will not provide a decent service or will screw up somewhere.

On the subject of this consumables policy, I thought it was always the case, and on the rare occasion I go to the cinema I will hide my contraband junk somehow.

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10
LSWCHP 1:35 pm
29 Dec 12
#

I’ve been watching pictures at Hoyts Belco for 20+ years, and I’ve never once purchased any of their mind-bogglingly overpriced popcorn or soft drinks. I always take the kids down to K-Mart or Coles to stock up on a couple of bags of lollies and some drinks, which are easily concealed in backpacks or deep hoodie pockets.

They can do what they like, but I’m not going to be gouged by them. If they start body searching everybody, we’ll just forget the junk food when we go to the flicks. When they charge reasonable prices for the treats then I’ll be prepared to pay for them.

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11
DrKoresh 2:51 pm
29 Dec 12
#

LSWCHP said :

When they charge reasonable prices for the treats then I’ll be prepared to pay for them.

Couldn’t agree more. Surely they’re losing out on potential profits simply because of how over-priced their snacks are. If they stuck to the RRP I’d be willing to bet that they’d start seeing more cash coming in.

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12
rosscoact 3:18 pm
29 Dec 12
#

When I was in the cinema industry in the 1990s, the distributors took 55% in the first week then a sliding scale down to 30% with a minimum fee of $150 per week.

Once a year (show weekend which was the slowest weekend of the year) we sold tickets for old films for $2 and would pack the cinema over and over again. Distributors got minimum but we made a motza on the concessions.

BTW, the cost of the packaging for popcorn is higher than the cost of ingredients. Profit is in the region of 600% and drinks are similar.

We would have liked to stop people from bringing in outside food because as JB says, you still have to clean up the filth that people leave behind. The only strict rules were no glass and no hot food. The former for safety reasons, the latter because for everyone else in the cinema it stinks.

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13
gospeedygo 3:34 pm
29 Dec 12
#

lostinbias said :

Curse those employees for upholding policy. Would I be correct in assuming that you brought up their youth in your original post (“teenage attendant, and subsequently the teenage manager”) in order to express and/or stir up disapproval (“How could someone so young be a manager blah blah blah life experience blah”)?

Totally agree.

I was witness to the same policy enforcement as the OP and (to me at least) it looks like a really hard thing to have to tell people when you’re their only avenue of recourse right there and then. I can easily see people getting quite angry over this too.

The young usher, when I was there, was reasonably professional and obviously just trying to do his job and I suspect the manager had similarly lowly powers under the shining almighty head office.

(For the record, I hate this policy)

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14
screaming banshee 4:03 pm
29 Dec 12
#

MrPC said :

I wonder if this counts as third line forcing.

No, because the cinema and candy bar are a single entity. They are not preventing you from purchasing the goods, just consuming them on their premises.

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15
goggles13 4:56 pm
29 Dec 12
#

as others have said, the cinemas make their money from the concession items. therefore, the policy of refusing entry is valid. however, the cinemas would make more money if they were less greedy and charged less for the concession items.

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