Woman sparks debate buying popcorn at cinema without seeing a movie: 'Elite move'

Is it okay to enter a movie theatre just for popcorn? TikTok weighs in.

Cinema snack choices often spark passionate discussions among moviegoers. Whether it's the cost, the belief that popcorn and a choc top are essential for the full cinematic experience, or even the etiquette behind sneaking in your own treats, these debates are quite common.

However, a new trend has taken hold on TikTok, causing a divide among viewers: the practice of visiting a movie theatre exclusively to purchase snacks, without actually watching a film.

The first question that naturally comes to mind, considering the high price of cinema snacks, is…why?

Woman eating cinema popcorn in her car
TikToker @leahpfrommer buys cinema popcorn when she's not going to the movies. Photo: TikTok/

TikToker Leah Pfrommer recently shared this unconventional habit in a video on the social media platform. After leaving a cinema with a hefty bucket of popcorn, she wondered whether others also partook in the unorthodox practice of buying cinema popcorn without actually seeing a movie.

"Genuinely curious," she said in the video. "Does anyone else just walk right into the movie theatre, [buy popcorn], and then walk out? I mean, what's holding you back?"

"I feel like this is an elite move," she wrote in a caption alongside the video.


While some movie theatres require tickets for entry, plenty of others allow public access to the candy bar, particularly cinema complexes located within large shopping malls, so it’s certainly doable.

Pfrommer's video ignited a lively discussion in the comments section. Some confessed to doing the same, while others criticised the mere idea of it, deeming it a frivolous waste of money or equating it to theft from the movie theatre. The latter argument seems somewhat perplexing, given that she is, indeed, paying for the (somewhat overpriced) popcorn.

One supporter reassured Prfommer, saying, "I've done this plenty of times." For other viewers, however, the revelation was shocking, and they cited ignorance as the only reason they hadn't attempted it themselves. On the other hand, one commenter admitted they had, "thought about it multiple times," but had never actually followed through.

A common argument against the idea centred on the steep price of cinema popcorn when compared to supermarket alternatives or making your own at home.

"Did you go to the bank and get a loan first?" One person joked, while another added, "I'm not tryna max out my credit card."

"You buy 22 cents worth of popcorn for $1,100 just for the hell of it?" Chimed in a third, "You MUST be a billionaire!"

Yet, there are those who believe that the special allure of movie theatre popcorn far outshines anything you can pop in a microwave at home.

When someone pointed out that you could buy a whole bag for a fraction of the price at a supermarket, the original poster had a quick retort, saying, "You obviously have never compared the two types side by side."

Another person wholeheartedly agreed, "Movie theatre popcorn is unmatched."

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