Popcorngate: What is Quebec’s issue with movie theatre concessions?

Popcorn scandal...two words you didn't expect to see together.

Like Ontario, for better or for worse, Quebec has been moving regions of the province into less restrictive zones which are allowing certain businesses to re-open their doors. However, movie theatres have seemingly gotten the short end of the stick in something that has come to be called: Popcorngate.

So, what’s the short version? Movie theatres in certain regions will begin to open soon (some already have) but because you must wear a mask at all times while indoors you cannot take it off to eat and that includes chomping down on popcorn while you catch a movie.

Movie theatres are quite obviously outraged due to the fact that around 50% of their revenue comes from concessions. Combine that with restricting the number of people allowed in the building at one time (which is down to half) and theatres are left with only 25% of their possible revenue, keeping in mind they also have to pay royalties of 50% to 60% on the movies they show.



Many cinemas just don’t see the point in opening and think movie-goers and parents will skip the theatre until they can get the full experience again. “It just doesn’t make sense. It’s like taking a child to an ice cream parlour and telling them they can only have the cone without the ice cream in it,” said Vincenzo Guzzo, president of Guzzo Cinemas.

The premier of Quebec recently announced financial compensation to theatres that cannot sell concessions but either way, this will no doubt be an issue when they inevitably re-open cinemas in Ontario as well.


Featured image courtesy of How Stuff Works via health.howstuffworks.com