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Jerusalem - Israel May Curb The High Price of Popcorn and Soft Drinks

Published on: April 1, 2010 08:25 PM
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FILE - Ultra orthodox jewish boys buy popcorn at a street stand in Bnei Brak.  Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90FILE - Ultra orthodox jewish boys buy popcorn at a street stand in Bnei Brak.  Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90

Jerusalem - It is the source of angst for cinemagoers worldwide – why is the price of popcorn so high? Now an Israeli politician is threatening to introduce legislation that would ban cinemas in the country from overcharging for snacks and soft drinks.

Carmel Shama of the governing Likud party will attempt to introduce the measure when Israeli MPs return from their Passover break next week. He claims to have cross-party support for the move, which is fiercely opposed by cinema chains and other public entertainment venues where it would apply, such as sports stadiums and concert venues.

“We have to put an end to this. The public should not have to mortgage their houses for a soft drink and a snack,” Shama tells today’s Yediot Aharonot newspaper.

A large box of popcorn costs about $5 in Israeli cinemas, more than double what it would be in a supermarket and 10 times what it would cost to make at home. Yet Yaacov Cohen, owner of one of Israel’s largest chains, said cinema owners made virtually no profit from ticket sales and would struggle to survive if food sales were limited. “It would destroy the entire industry,” he told Yediot.

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Two years ago, researchers from Stanford and the University of California in Santa Cruz found that members of the public were not being ripped off over the cost of popcorn and other confectionery – because profits were used to subsidise cinema tickets. While they accounted for only about 20% of gross revenues, food and drink sales represented some 40% of cinema profits, the researchers found. This was because 100% of proceeds went straight into an exhibitor’s coffers, while ticket revenues were shared with movie distributors.


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Read Comments (7)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Apr 01, 2010 at 08:46 PM Anonymous Says:

This would be a wonderful outcome for yiddeshkeit. If the movie theatres would no longer be able to subsidize their admission tickets from the sales of popcorn and soda they would have to double the price of admission tickets. Such a price increase would discourage yidden from going to these trashy movies and instead spend more time learning or doing mitzvot.

2

 Apr 01, 2010 at 08:53 PM Milhouse Says:

This is what happens when ignorant politicians interfere in the free market. If anyone is really interested in why cinema popcorn and candy costs so much, economist David D. Friedman wrote a whole book explaining it and some similar questions: _Price Theory: An Intermediate Text_, which currently seems to be out of print, but can be read on the web at http://daviddfriedman.com/Academic/Price_Theory/PThy_ToC.html

3

 Apr 01, 2010 at 10:35 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

This would be a wonderful outcome for yiddeshkeit. If the movie theatres would no longer be able to subsidize their admission tickets from the sales of popcorn and soda they would have to double the price of admission tickets. Such a price increase would discourage yidden from going to these trashy movies and instead spend more time learning or doing mitzvot.

your soooo wrong. just take a look at the cost of cigarettes. tell me one person you know that stopped completely smoking because of the cost of cigs.

4

 Apr 01, 2010 at 11:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Milhouse Says:

This is what happens when ignorant politicians interfere in the free market. If anyone is really interested in why cinema popcorn and candy costs so much, economist David D. Friedman wrote a whole book explaining it and some similar questions: _Price Theory: An Intermediate Text_, which currently seems to be out of print, but can be read on the web at http://daviddfriedman.com/Academic/Price_Theory/PThy_ToC.html

Correct, it's Economics 101. What a dope.

5

 Apr 02, 2010 at 03:15 AM Jewish 1st Says:

he would do the most good for israel if he would close those places on Shabbos

6

 Apr 02, 2010 at 06:33 PM Anonymous Says:

It wouldnt help bc the cinema would raise ticket prices instead

7

 Apr 03, 2010 at 07:22 PM Anonymous Says:

This has got to be an April Fool article!

8

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