Filmstaden, the largest cinema chain in Sweden, has announced a ban on bringing all outside sweets, snacks, drinks and concessions into its cinemas. Though the exhibitor had previously allowed certain food and beverage items into its theatres, such activity is, as they say in Sweden, förbjuden (which for the non-Swedish speakers in the room means “forbidden”.)
In an official statement, Filmstaden’s public relations manager Caroline Hellström explained, “All forms of sweets, soft drinks and other types of food that were previously acceptable no longer apply. This is because sales at the cinemas are included as part of our business. As this is still new, I understand if it can come as a minor shock to those who have not yet heard the news.”
Let us translate from the Swedish once again. We believe Filmstaden is saying, “Hey, we’re a movie theatre that shows films and sells concessions. We’re recovering from being closed for months on end due to a pandemic that proved to be an existential crisis. While in the past we may have looked the other way when you snuck in the odd can of Coca-Cola, that really isn’t appreciated since selling such items is how we earn revenue. Would you bring your own food to a restaurant?”
The announcement sparked headlines and outrage on social media, where all outrage seems to live in current times, against the ODEON Cinemas Group owned chain. Most customers complained that Filmstaden’s prices for concessions are so high that they will choose to patronize different cinemas in the future.