Peru consumer agency wins case against movie theaters over popcorn

The Superior Court of Lima has ruled in favor of a mandate that allows Peruvian movie-goers to bring their own popcorn and other concessions to theaters.

Peruvian movie-goers can enjoy popcorn in movie theaters without having to pay the prices of stores inside the theaters. Photo courtesy Annca/Pixabay
Peruvian movie-goers can enjoy popcorn in movie theaters without having to pay the prices of stores inside the theaters. Photo courtesy Annca/Pixabay

Cineplanet, a company that owns 25 theaters in Peru, had taken the issue to court and argued that letting people bring their own concessions was an illegal attack to their business model, Peruvian radio station RPP reported.

Consumer protection authority Indecopi said its intention was not to keep movie theaters from selling concessions, but to give customers freedom to bring items from the same food categories sold at the theaters, including popcorn, sodas, hot dogs and ice cream.

As long as they are the same product categories, they must be allowed, Indecopi ruled this week.

The consumer agency suggested theaters publish a list of all food and beverages they sell to inform the public about the food types allowed.

The agency said in March it took action following consumer complaints. It also said “prime” style movie theaters, where food is served in special-seat theaters that charge more, will not be affected because they have a different business model.

The ruling is the latest victory for the consumer agency. Last month, it announced fines of up to $561,000 to any company or anyone that uses “deceitful” an “unsolicited” phone calls and simplified ways for consumers to file complaints.

The Peruvian agency also bans email spam and has acted against those who employ those means to market goods, specially when using false names to advertise.

ByRenzo Pipoli