A few months from now, when you decide to go see a movie, you won’t have to spend so much money on popcorn and drinks. The Knesset Finance Committee has approved a legislative amendment that will allow moviegoers to bring their own food and beverages.
This means that customers won’t have to pay concession stand prices if they want something to nibble on during the film.
The issue came under discussion two years ago, when committee chairman MK Carmel Shama-Hacohen (Likud) authored the Popcorn Law, which sought to limit the prices of snacks at movie theaters. The bill garnered international media attention and similar initiatives were adopted in parliaments of several other countries.
The Popcorn Law was passed as an amendment to the Consumer Protection Law and approved in its second and third readings. Any movie theater attempting to contravene the new legislation will be liable to a fine of up to NIS 50,000. The law specifies that closed entertainment venues – movie theaters, sports arenas, and theaters – that sell food and drinks cannot prevent customers from bringing in their own. However, venues that do not sell beverages or snacks have the right to forbid customers from bringing such items in with them.
Attorney Hannah Weinstock Tiri, legal advisor for the Israel Consumer Protection and Fair Trade Authority, said that “only an objective body such as the police can decide to forbid customers from bringing in drinks or other items, out of public safety considerations.”
Shama-Hacohen said that “We can see the new law as a kind of ‘Iron Dome,’ that will protect the consumer.”
The law is scheduled to take effect in January 2013.