Yesterday I stumbled on a post in one of the Facebook groups we advertise in about refills at theaters. The issue in question was about that other theater in town, but several comments referenced the Ritz and Motor Vu Theaters. I’d like to take a minute to clarify some of the misconceptions I saw in the comments, and I’m doing so here since the comments were closed on the post due to an argument between commenters.
Regarding the refillable plastic popcorn tubs at The Ritz and Motor Vu
These are REUSABLE each time you visit us NOT just the day you purchase them, that’s why they are more money.
The Motor Vu honors the tubs only in the year sold, and the Ritz is deciding when last year’s tubs will not be honored anymore. This is because we had some left over and have continued selling them through the fall and winter. We didn’t think it was fair to only allow a few months/weeks of use. Our current plan is that they will be honored for a while longer, and there will be prior notice when we have to cut them off. The 2017 tubs will be available at the Motor Vu in May for those interested, and will also be honored at the Ritz again this year.
Why we don’t offer “free” refills?
Notice the quotation marks. Free refills are almost never free, and the cost of refilling an item is usually built into the initial purchase price. Rather than charge $5-$6 for a drink and $10 for a popcorn with a “free” refill like some theaters, we chose to set our prices for just the initial fill and offer a paid refill option. This way our patrons aren’t paying for something they don’t use.
Why are items other than the refillable tub only refillable on the day they were purchased?
This is for many reasons. First, we use foam cups and paper bags and we can’t be sure they are sanitary after they are removed from the theater. Second, like the comments in the 411 post said, concession sales are how we stay open. If we allowed people to bring in previously purchased bags and cups to refill we’d go out of business very quickly or have to raise the refill prices to the price of a new drink or popcorn. The tubs are different because we limit how many are sold and how long they are honored. Finally, the costs of popcorn and soda have risen dramatically over the last few years (thank you ethanol), eating into what we are able to make off concessions. We are trying as hard as possible to keep prices down so our theater remains affordable.
I hope this helps explain why we have some of our policies. Thanks for your support of our theaters!