It's not a hard concept: you buy a ticket, then you have to buy at least one drink. It doesn't have to be alcoholic, just needs to be a drink. The tickets are $9, and the cheapest drinks are $4, so the least you're walking away with is $13 per person. Considering you get a drink in the deal, that's pretty freakin' sweet compared to a major theater chain.
And yet some would equate that with asking for 8 pints of blood! We've had more than a few people walk out in a rage when we tell them about the 1 drink minimum.
The ones most upset about the policy generally tend to be older folks who probably see an old theater and think that ticket prices will be as old as the building.
But quite frankly, tickets don't cost a nickel anymore. The movies we show have to be paid for somehow, and it's only going to get more expensive.
And to be honest, it's not like the theater even makes money on the tickets. Out of those $9 we charge, around 7 of those George Washington portraits go to the studios and distributors. That's right: we don't make any profit on the tickets.
And it's not like we get the films for free, either. With us making about $2 per ticket, we'd need 1000 people to come see the movie in order to cover the cost we pay the distributor for the right to play it in our theater. You can understand how difficult it can be to run this place when we get suckered into playing bad movies. And this doesn't even bring into account the operating costs of playing the film, like electricity, replacement projector lamps, and equipment maintenance.
This is why the concessions at movie theaters cost so much. It's the only way we can make money. We can't raise the prices of the tickets, of course, since the studios would demand an even bigger cut of the ticket sales. The only way we can stay alive is by selling concessions, and having a 1 drink minimum is really the least asshole-ish way of staying afloat and stopping people from smuggling in their own food.
That's another thing: people who bring in their own food are also more likely to scream bloody murder over the 1 drink policy. Jerks. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, right?
Besides, who's going to sit through a 2-hour movie without a soda or something? If nothing else, the minimum gives you an excuse to have a beer or glass of wine, right?