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Israeli MP Plans Passing a New Popcorn Law

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the movie-quality-assurance-law dept.

Movies 51

Israeli lawmaker Carmel Shama is taking on the tough issue of overpriced popcorn at the movies. "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 said. He plans to bring his "popcorn law," which would put limits on what public entertainment venues could charge, up for a vote when the parliament returns from Passover break next week. I'm sure Israelis are glad that they have no other issues that need to be addressed right now.

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Right (2, Insightful)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 4 years ago | (#31688804)

Because the Israeli gov't can work on exactly ONE problem at a time. Science can only work on curing cancer and nothing else.

*sigh*

Frack you, subby.

Re:Right (1)

Higaran (835598) | more than 4 years ago | (#31689370)

I'm not exactly an expert on that area, but I think he meant that they have alot of bigger problems to worry about then the price of popcorn at the movies.

Re:Right (1)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 4 years ago | (#31689676)

i read the post, i know what he meant.

i have bigger problems than what to have for lunch, that doesn't mean i should go hungry until i've paid off my student loans. In fact, i *can't* work on that problem all the time.

People can work on more than one problem at a time. Gov'ts can work on more than one problem at a time through the magic of division of labor. Science can multitask as well. As cool as cold fusion would be not all scientists WANT to work on that, some can't, and sometimes people want other things solved. Some people want hair replacement, some want smaller cell phones. It's unreasonable to ask that every smart person drop what they are doing and work on just one problem. Even if they did, the results might not be any faster or better. Israel has a few million people. Surely a few of them can take the time to figure out if popcorn is too expensive. Surely they won't be missed from the Fix the Palestine Problem committee.

It's childish to say "you can't work on $smallProblem until you've solved $bigProblem". Israel DOES have bigger problems thAn the price of popcorn. But that doesn't mean they can't take 10 minutes to work on that issue.

Don't defend stupid.

Re:Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31691150)

>

Don't defend stupid.

wow, talk about the pot calling the kettle. What right does any government have to regulate popcorn? I think the price is way too high at theaters so you know what I do? I don't buy it. Seems stupid to me that a government, any government, would waste its time on popcorn pricing. I think it is doubly stupid when you have problems as big as Israel's.

Re:Right (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31730436)

This has nothing to do with the point made by the person you are replying to and everything to do with the fact that you don't think that it should be the business of governments to regulate popcorn prices in general. (Maybe from some fairly standard libertarian instincts?) But, if you see this as within the purview of government's regulatory duties, no matter how trivial, then the point made about multitasking stands.

Re:Right (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31751814)

Making you pay exhorbitant fees for snacks at the movies is a form of bundling.

It's perfectly reasonable to regulate that. But putting a price-cap on it is short-sighted, as prices should be allowed to change over time, and no law specifying the price can adequately ensure that it's done fairly.

The right thing to do would be to pass a law guaranteeing the rights of street vendors to sell popcorn out front fo the theather and the rights of patrons to bring their own food into the theater.

Re:Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31807428)

No, the "right" thing to do is not to tell me who I can let sell what on my property, nor is the "right" thing to do to tell me that I can't put conditions on people entering my property.

If you don't like the prices, don't buy any fucking popcorn. You can survive two hours without eating popcorn. If you have a medical condition which makes that statement untrue, bring in a doctor's note and I will be pleased to provide you with popcorn, free of charge.

Everyone else, stop whining and just don't buy popcorn.

Re:Right (1)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31815686)

"Don't buy any fucking popcorn".

Damn it, if I see popcorn fucking you'll bet I'll be buying it. To hell with the cost, fucking popcorn is what I want to see!

Re:Right (1)

Anarki2004 (1652007) | more than 4 years ago | (#31849960)

you really have to look out for that hot butter though. that stuff can be dangerous.

Re:Right (1)

cheezegeezer (1765936) | more than 4 years ago | (#31759008)

>

Don't defend stupid.

wow, talk about the pot calling the kettle. What right does any government have to regulate popcorn? I think the price is way too high at theaters so you know what I do? I don't buy it. Seems stupid to me that a government, any government, would waste its time on popcorn pricing. I think it is doubly stupid when you have problems as big as Israel's.

A government has the right in fact mandate to control prices for it's citizens in fact failing to do so Like Gordon (the gofer) Brown is failing is cause for removal of said Government , A government should be looking out for it's citizens NOT for the bottom line of some overpriced smuz if they aint making enough bottom line then said smuz may want to think about lowering it's prices therefore tempting More people to purchase it produce therefore improving said smuzes bottom line or is this too intelligent for you here on slashdot

Re:Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31807482)

if you don't like the prices, you don't need to buy popcorn.

This isn't like:
  - petrol
  - medical care
  - groceries (no, it's not. You're not planning on buying popcorn at the movies to take home and feed your family)
  - gas heating
  - electricity
  - internet

You don't need popcorn at the movies to live. You don't need it to survive. There is no compulsion to buy popcorn. There's not even a remotely plausible reason for even wanting popcorn at the movies.

Don't buy popcorn.

Re:Right (1)

harrytuttle777 (1720146) | more than 4 years ago | (#31731486)

That was one of the premises of hitler's 'Mein Kampf'. Govt. should focus on one clearly defined set of goals, and then move onto the next. If you throw too many things at public at one time, the masses will get confused and not know what to do. 8-)

In the U.S, President Obama's case, he is trying to set up a system where nobody has to worry about getting sick and possibly dieing ever, and in Israel they are tackling to popcorn crisis.

hmmm (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31688886)

I wonder if he realizes they have to charge that much to stay in business. The movie companies take most of the profits for showing the movies.

Re:hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31691200)

Sounds like a broken business model that we consumers shouldn't support.

Re:hmmm (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31705758)

It's only broken if they need an outside force to prop it up. They can charge whatever people will pay. And considering people do pay the $10 for popcorn, I'd say it's not a broken business model, it's one that works quite well. Now, whether or not consumers should support the practice has nothing to do with the model being broken. It's not like the government is giving them money to offset the bad business model...

Re:hmmm (1)

tacarat (696339) | more than 4 years ago | (#31724978)

Girlfriend's large purse = blackmarket snacks. Of course, nobody at /. can utilize that market :( A good alternative are cargo pants. The trick is fitting the goods in between all the gadgets.

Re:hmmm (1)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31738422)

Re:hmmm (2, Insightful)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 4 years ago | (#31743808)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_gouging

Did you *read* the wikipedia article to which you linked? Expensive popcorn is not price gouging. Price gouging is when, for example, you raise the price of your bread from $2 per loaf to $20 per loaf after a hurricane. If your bread was always $20 per loaf it's not price gouging. Also, price gouging typically only applies to 'essentials' like food, fuel etc. A big tub o' popcorn and a liter of pepsi is hardly an essential.

Re:hmmm (2, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31693940)

The movie companies take most of the profits for showing the movies. Not if you download the movies from bittorent.

This should work well.. (3, Insightful)

dentree4 (1424693) | more than 4 years ago | (#31691162)

popcorn goes from 10 to 2, movie goes from 10 to 18 to compensate, This won't work well...

Re:This should work well.. (1)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31729456)

I think the theaters have to give a percentage of the ticket price to the movie company so it's more like ticket prices go from 10 to 25 to compensate.

dont eat and watch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31691632)

your ass is fat enough, no popcorn for you!

hmmm. (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 4 years ago | (#31691832)

that's the kind of communism the US should be turning it's back on. next: access to affordable, high-quality popcorn for all people will be a "human right".

Re:hmmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31692974)

that's the kind of communism the US should be turning it's back on.

I have noticed that you are a "communism" fanatic, with the threat of "communism" on your mind and in many of your posts. It's sort of like homophobes always think about homosexuality and see it in people and places where it doesn't actually exist. And how pedophobes view children as sex objects to exploit for their own authoritarian think-of-the-children perversions.

Re:hmmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31693090)

Don't forget the socialist road system. All roads should be privately run for profit.

Re:hmmm. (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31702796)

Yeah, man, think of the KERNELS.

economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31692028)

"Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it."

-- Publilius Syrus

What keeps me going to the movies... (1)

Dalzhim (1588707) | more than 4 years ago | (#31692090)

The only reason I go to cinema is because no one forces my hand to buy overpriced popcorn... I'm glad I'm not an Israeli!

Re:What keeps me going to the movies... (1)

Noam.of.Doom (934040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31697958)

I don't think there's any country where you are forced to buy pop-corn at the cinema; not even Israel.

Re:What keeps me going to the movies... (1)

Dalzhim (1588707) | more than 4 years ago | (#31700898)

When they restore the popcorn's price to a sane level, the price of the movie will go up. In the end, the customers will have to pay something close to the price of the movie + the old overpriced popcorn, except they won't be getting any popcorn without buying it for a "fair price". I prefer keeping the price of the movie lower while having overpriced popcorn and not be forced to buy any.

Re:What keeps me going to the movies... (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 4 years ago | (#31807526)

Next stage: ticket sales decline, so theatres attempt to attract customers by making special offers, such as "free popcorn with every ticket!"

And the only thing that changes is that people who say videogames aren't too expensive wind up making less-roundabout arguments.

Re:What keeps me going to the movies... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31719426)

In Israel, you take your neighbor's popcorn and punch him in the face. When he complains, you get the US government to kick the fuck out of him while you eat the popcorn and laugh.

Blame it on the terrorists! (2, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31693916)

Turns out screening for suicide bombers at theater doors is also a pretty effective means of keeping customers from smuggling in their own refreshments! Here's a thought: eat and drink before and after going to the theater, and raise your middle finger every time you walk past the concession counter!

Re:Blame it on the terrorists! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31827716)

You know, in South Korea, movie theaters are actually sensible. Movies are about ten bucks to get in; there's assigned seating and you can buy your tickets and choose your seats a couple of days in advance. Plus, you can bring whatever you like into the theater.

I'm with Andrew Tanenbaum. . . (2, Funny)

Slicebo (221580) | more than 4 years ago | (#31695058)

. . . microkernel is the way to go!

Re:I'm with Andrew Tanenbaum. . . (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31701088)

No way, man... I hate having to use tweezers to eat my popcorn!

Odd time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31702890)

...to bring that issue up, since well its peisach so i guess no movies have popcorn anyway currently.

Problem with broken competition (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 4 years ago | (#31709464)

This is what happens when you allow service and goods providers to dictate the usage and buying of customers. Theaters don't allow you to take in anything other than food and drinks bought from them.
There aren't that many theaters around that you could say it's the consumers choice.
They should just make it illegal for theaters to stop people eating their own food and the problem would be solved.

Re:Problem with broken competition (2, Interesting)

OrwellianLurker (1739950) | more than 4 years ago | (#31711780)

This is what happens when you allow service and goods providers to dictate the usage and buying of customers. Theaters don't allow you to take in anything other than food and drinks bought from them. There aren't that many theaters around that you could say it's the consumers choice. They should just make it illegal for theaters to stop people eating their own food and the problem would be solved.

BAH. I want the overpriced food and drinks. If they take those away, other things will get more expensive. If someone wants to have popcorn and a soda, let them. They won't starve without them. I'd support a law forbidding theaters from not allowing water to be brought in though. The overpriced goods allow ticket prices to remain relatively low.

Re:Problem with broken competition (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 4 years ago | (#31714604)

As long as I can't see into the finances of large multiplex cinemas I'm going to call bullshit.
It certainly contradicts observations.

Despite the expensive beverages, ticket prices are far from low. They're absolutely horrendous. I know of places where within the last five years multiplex cinemas have driven smaller theaters out of business and the ticket prices have since doubled.

They say they need the drinks to stay in business, but if they can't make a profit on their main product, which is showing movies, then good riddance.
Should we allow ourselves to be screwed just because some jackass scaremonger lies about how it'll drive him out of business and cost jobs?

Re:Problem with broken competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31717538)

It's the studios who take the big bucks. Local theater near me charges $4 a ticket for new movies. We asked them about it. They said It doesn't make a difference if they raised the prices as they wouldn't get any of it. I love this theater. Somehow they only need to charge $1 for a small popcorn and $3 for a large. $1.50 large soda and still in business. I see a lot of movies i wouldn't otherwise bother with.

Re:Problem with broken competition (1)

innocent_white_lamb (151825) | more than 4 years ago | (#31719430)

That's pretty much accurate, with the additional caveat that the theatre has to bring in enough money from ticket sales that the studio will rent them the movie. Some studios have a "low grossing cutoff"; theatres whose gross is below the cutoff can't get the movie until X weeks after its national release date.

Re:Problem with broken competition (1)

innocent_white_lamb (151825) | more than 4 years ago | (#31719418)

Would you go to a restaurant and bring your own sandwich?

Re:Problem with broken competition (2, Insightful)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 4 years ago | (#31722912)

When I go to a restaurant I pay for a meal. If I don't I'm taking up space. They'll throw me out even if I don't take anything along. When I go to the cinema I go there to watch a movie and have already payed for an expensive ticket.

Should a hotel confiscate your phone on the grounds that you're less likely to use the pricey hotel phone and WiFi services?
Should airlines confiscate iPods and the like because they want to force you to pay for in-flight entertainment?

Re:Problem with broken competition (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31752302)

When I go to a restaurant I pay for a meal. If I don't I'm taking up space. They'll throw me out even if I don't take anything along. When I go to the cinema I go there to watch a movie and have already payed for an expensive ticket.

Should a hotel confiscate your phone on the grounds that you're less likely to use the pricey hotel phone and WiFi services?
Should airlines confiscate iPods and the like because they want to force you to pay for in-flight entertainment?

What are the movie theaters confiscating? It's well known how theaters make money -- mostly from food/drink as the majority of ticket sales go to the studio.

I could go with an analogy, but different businesses have different customs and are run different ways.

A hotel could try to prevent you from having phones, but it would either not be very successful at it or if they are, lose a lot of business customers. However, a hotel should be free to make stupid choices just as people are.

With TV, Redbox, Netflix, and theaters, there's certainly more than one way to watch a movie - so if you don't like the policies, don't patronize the business.

Re:Problem with broken competition (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 4 years ago | (#31752940)

That's one way of looking at it, but the reason we have consumer protection laws is because without them we would be exposed to a lot more of this kind of anti-competitive behavior.
It's easy to simply say you could go elsewhere but particularly for cinema that is just not an option for most people.

Re:Problem with broken competition (1)

M8e (1008767) | more than 4 years ago | (#31773604)

What are the movie theaters confiscating?

Outside food/drinks, cameras, notebooks etc.

Efficient price discrimination, better for goers (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31715480)

Overpriced drinks and food is actually better for consumers from an "equality" perspective.

This is because, if the drinks and food weren't overpriced, everyone could buy them, but cinema tickets would have to be higher to compensate.

At the moment, people with less money can still go to see movies very comfortably so long as they just drink and eat a bit before the film. That's not a very large burden. It's also efficient from the perspective of cinemas - because with a fixed amount of seats (and a theatre that is usually not filled up), you maximise money by getting in everyone willing to pay anything at the highest price they are willing to pay. People with lots of money buy tickets and spend huge amounts on popcorn and drinks, people with less money buy tickets and don't spend on drinks. Each pays as much as they can afford.

Assuming that there is efficient competition in the cinema space, you couldn't lower the money taken without cinemas closing their doors, so they would have to get it from somewhere else.

Re:Efficient price discrimination, better for goer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31742058)

Sorry. Please read "price, wages and profit" by Marx, or, indeed, anything other than your own nutcase opinions.

"Assuming that there is efficient competition in the cinema space, you couldn't lower the money taken without cinemas closing their doors, so they would have to get it from somewhere else."

Um, no. surplus vs use value.

Oh, you know what? I can't be bothered.

Just have a little less faith in the idea that "pure" capitalism exists, and that interfering with it in any way is a bad thing.

"Assuming that there is efficient competition in the cinema space", you can't make it illegal for cinemas to use child labour, as this would involve "cinemas closing their doors"

Idiot (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#31795962)

No one is forced to buy pop-corn at cinemas. In fact, there's no rule that says you have to eat while watching a movie. Let them charge what they want. Separating fools from their money is a holy duty.

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