Nice News – Honesty Is Alive & Well

Don - November 4, 2006

I just received a card forwarded to me by the manager at the theater I own in Orem Utah. The card reads: “Dear Manager, I carried 2 small candies and a diet coke into your theater the last time I was there. I feel that was not right, so I’ve enclosed $5.00 which is about what I would have paid if I had bought them there. i’m sorry – - it won’t happen again. Sincerely, a customer”

I had to smile. I’ve read stories like this before, but this one happened to me and I have mixed feelings. I guess it’s good that she (I can telling by her writing) finally felt guilty enough to do this. But I feel bad for her that she would feel so guilty. I’d be satisfied if everyone would just quit bringing food in…but then again just think how rich I would be if everyone felt guilty enough to pay me for all the times they did.

If you’re going to sneak food in, then do it because you think it’s ok to break the rules the owner has established. Don’t feel bad or guilty about it. If you’re going to feel guilty, then feel guilty enough not to do it in the first place. If you feel guilty later, then by all means send me the money.


  1. If you feel guilty later, then by all means send me the money

    I had a situation where they didn’t carry what I wanted to eat, so I offered to pay them for the food if they would just let me take in what I wanted to eat.

    Does that count?

    Comment by Stephen M (Ethesis) — November 4, 2006 @ 8:44 pm

  2. I’d say so, Steve:)

    Isn’t it ok if they feel guilty at first while still taking food in but do it enough (while feeling guilty enough) to finally take the action to do right? Change is usually (for me, anyway) a gradual thing.

    Comment by Bret — November 4, 2006 @ 10:57 pm

  3. I don’t feel guilty about sneaking candy into the theater, although I think I only did it once. What troubles me is how difficult it is to smuggle popcorn and a hamburger into the theater.

    Comment by annegb — November 5, 2006 @ 9:12 pm

  4. Don,

    The money was from me. Your “Mormons are cheapskates” post really started getting to me.

    Comment by Jacob — November 5, 2006 @ 10:04 pm

  5. Jacob, I didn’t know you were a girl, but thanks for the $5.

    Comment by Don Clifton — November 6, 2006 @ 11:14 am

  6. I just have to ask. Why do refreshments cost so much at the movies? I never buy them, because it seems like such a waste of money.
    I do feel resentful that movie theaters have a monopoly and can therefore charge $4 for popcorn, even though it can’t really cost them $4.
    I am also surprised that so many people are willing to pay that much money for refreshments just because they grew up getting refreshments at movies. Even people who think they are poor, or who really are on a restricted budget!
    I grew up with very honest parents so I knew sneaking in food was dishonest. As I’ve gotten older, however, the “rule” seems UnAmerican to me I guess.
    I have no problems going two hours without a snack, though. It does bother me when I see my friends waste their money on snacks, or when my friends bring in snacks.
    Thank goodness my husband refuses to buy snacks too! I think perhaps that is what made us realize we were meant for each other. Each of us would rather go hungry than buy food at the theater or the airport.

    Comment by JKS — November 6, 2006 @ 10:57 pm

  7. Why do refreshments cost so much at the movies? I never buy them, because it seems like such a waste of money.

    Movie theaters don’t make money on ticket prices–virtually all of that goes to the studios. Perhaps Don can verify this, but the only real profit margin theaters have is through refreshments. Hence the high prices…

    So, in reality, sneaking food into a theater is ‘worse’ (from the theater’s financial perspective) than buying refreshments but sneaking into a second movie after the first one ends.

    Comment by KMB — November 9, 2006 @ 11:39 am

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