Fine Arts Theatres Sweet Tooth Smuggler Redux: Money in Movie Candy?

About Fine Arts Theatres honcho Brian Mossman’s do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do treat smuggling ways…

Mossman was quoted recently by the Kansas City Star as saying his movie theaters – the Rio, Glenwood Arts, Leawood and Englewood – have a strict, posted policy prohibiting patrons from smuggling snacks.

Which reminded advertising maven Tracy Thomas of the time she bumped into Mossman and his grrrlfriend loading up on bulk candy before catching a show at a competing local movieplex.

Do you know how small this town is?

Ran into Mossman’s ex – Kathleen Kraushaar – the other night and had a chance to revisit the subject.

“We did smuggle candy into the movies,” Kraushaar says. “We used to go into Mr. Bulky and buy Jelly Bellies and those chocolate peanut clusters.”

Even though the pair were regularly schmmozed in with free ,courtesy movie tix.

The flip side of Mossman’s candy smuggling ways: “We also bought Coke and popcorn at AMC,” Kraushaar says. “We went every week.”

Kraushaar says movie theaters don’t make money on candy anyway…

Au contraire, counters movie man Jack Poessiger.

“The profit margin on candy is not as giant as it is for popcorn and other items and the price of candy wholesale has gone up in the past several years,” Poesiger says. “But my guess is that a candy bar has at least a 100 percent markup. They wouldn’t be selling it if there wasn’t a profit; theaters are not a non profit organization.

“It’s a lower profit item in comparison to soft drinks and popcorn. But the core concession products at movies are, No. 1 popcorn, No. 2 soft drinks and probably No. 3 would be candy and No. 4 hotdogs.. Those are you core items.”

All that said, Kraushaar isn’t surprised by local theater giant AMC’s ban on customer-toted goodies.

“That’s how theaters make their money,” she says. “They make their money on concessions, they don’t make their money on movies. You sell tickets at the movies to sell concessions.”

And while Mossman’s actions as a moviegoer might seem a tad hypocritical, “If I owned a theater I wouldn’t (let patrons bring their own food in) either,” Kraushaar says. “I mean, if you’re going to a movie you get a bunch of junk – that’s just part of the experience.”

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