Israeli MP plans ‘popcorn law’ for movie munchers

An Israeli lawmaker is hoping to butter up voters and pass a law that would limit outrageous popcorn prices at the movies.

Carmel Shama, from the governing Likud party, plans to bring the “popcorn law” for a vote when Parliament returns from its Passover break next week, the mass-selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper reported on Wednesday.

“We have to put an end to this. The public should not have to mortgage their houses for a soft drink and a snack,” Shama told the paper.

A large box of popcorn usually sells for about $5 at theatre concession stands, more than double what it costs at a supermarket and 10 times more than it would cost to make at home.

Shama said he had support from both the government and opposition lawmakers for the move that would put limits on what theatres and other public entertainment venues, like sports stadiums, could charge to captive audiences.

However, cinema owners slammed the move, saying it was a populist measure that ignored the free market.

Yaacov Cohen, the owner of one of Israel’s largest theatre complexes, said owners made virtually no profit from ticket sales and would be hard pressed to survive if food sales were limited.

“It would destroy the entire industry,” he told Yediot. — AFP

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