Would intermissions at movies sell more snacks?

I was reading an article in the Toronto Star (this article the Star apparently borrowed it from USA Today) and it was asking about the possibility of intermissions at movies returning especially for the BIG movies like MCU movies. Several film experts claim that wouldn’t happen due to the loss of revenue (15mins of a break to a movie means “less showings” in their minds and it doesn’t matter how expensive the concessions are weren’t make it up) but Mom and I think that it would give the theatre another chance to make more sales at the concession stand. Mom and I think that there should be at least some trial runs and also to look at the past when intermissions were a thing at the movies.

What do you think -Would Intermissions at movies sell more snacks?

  • Yes intermissions at movies would sell more snacks
  • No- it wouldn’t have any effect on snacks being sold
  • Maybe- they wouldn’t know until they try it?

0 voters

Going to be honest they may do but they may have people wait for the intermission to see if they feel like buying something and then decide against it resulting in declining sales.

Sorry I hit the wrong button and meant to cast my vote in the maybe category also :person_facepalming:

It would be interesting to know if there is any data explaining why movie theatres stopped doing this in the first place.

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I meant buying something “more”. Then what they brought when they first arrived at the theatre for first hour or so of the movie.

If it were me I would probably wait until the intermission to see how I felt (therefore not buying something at the start) for a “Maybe” sale compared to an almost guaranteed sale at the start.

Also how long would the intermission need to be to serve half a screen (say 50% of people want something)?

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I was trying to find the article from today’s paper couldn’t find it but I found another article saying that intermissions at movies are still a thing in Egypt, Turkey, Iceland, Switzerland and India. And occasionally they show up in movies to give it a “more old-timey” feel like Peter Jackson’s King Kong.

Some Hollywood person decided that a “10 mintue” intermission kinds of um? “ruins” with the modern day cineplex of “pack them in six films a day” showings. Gandhi (1982) was the last (North American) movie to have intermission

Interesting I have two articles which both kind of contradicted each other. I have to find the other one which I had a second ago.

Intermissions were also to help switch the reels, but nowadays technology switches them seamlessly. The other major demand is to shorten screening times.


With some movies like MCU movies like Avengers Endgame are 3hours and 2mins long. And as I said to @AlienToasterRepairs in Egypt, Turkey, Iceland, Switzerland and India intermissions are still a thing in those countries in movie theatres and they’re probably as modern as we are (more or less)

here’s another article saying that intermissions should return for North American blockbusters like MCU films:

I do hope if the Toronto Star is going to cover one angle (Intermissons aren’t likely to return) and look at other angles as well from the Guardian from UK and also what I’m reading now.

I seriously doubt it would increase snack revenue, but I have zero interest in intermissions returning either way. I don’t need to be in the theater any longer than I currently am.


Personally speaking I wouldn’t mind a short intermission in films ≥ 3 hours in duration (or less for kids films). It would be a good time to hit the loos and I could see myself stocking up on snacks on my way back.

I kinda don’t want to put this out into the universe but an intermission could also be further monetised with more ads.


this probably wouldn’t help. But apparently in the 50s-80s when intermissions were a thing that snacks sold extra well because of the intermissions because of people buying more snacks.
as I read in this article:
What Happened to the Movie Intermission? | by Nathan Hartman | The Outtake | Medium

Well at the Landmark Cineplex in my town when we go see movies there that there’s already is ads when you sit down in luxurious chairs- like for hot dog snack, and coke, and some other stuff before the movie. And apparently in theatres in 1957 there was animated snacks dancing around on screens with one of them with a flag saying “refreshments” during the intermission- it’s in one of the two articles in one of my previous posts

here it is:

and two of the articles said because people’s brains have shorter attention spans intermissions would help give them a break. Or for others it would help them hash over the movie so far

The only problem would be that women’s washrooms would need a lot more toilet stalls because from Mom and my experience that the women’s washroom can have quiet a line of women wanting to go.

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It would probably usher in a return of the usher/ette selling stuff off a portable tray. Maybe dedicated stock such as tins of soft drink, bagged snacks, mini ice cream tubs and the like rather than everyone traipsing back to the main foyer.


I don’t know how much places like Landmark Entertainments or the SCENE Cinplexs are getting for people using the Delivery apps but both pre-Covid (when the parents and I went to the latter) and Landmark Entrainment (which we currently go too) - both had ads for “us to enjoy their snacks at the comfortable of our homes” using SKIP or UberEats, etc.

And I agree it would probably usher in a return of usher selling stuff off a portable tray-like mini ice creams and stuff. If it works for live theatre, why can’t it also work for movies theatres? Sure they would still need to return to the lobby to refill their drink.

Sell cans of drink off the tray/cart. It’s more about speed and efficiency rather than extensive choice. If patrons would rather have a fountain drink then yes they could choose to go to the lobby.


Here in the great 'Murica (mostly sarcastically said) We actually do have something like that! In Texas at least we have “Studio Movie Grill” which is like, fast casual food, and then “Alamo Draft House” which is a little more toward beer but also has servers and a selection of food. I won’t lie, the food is middling at best, but it’s a fun date night.

Nothing in that opinion piece gives evidence that theaters made more on snacks during intermission. It’s just this guy opining about how movies are too long and he doesn’t like that.

you didn’t read this part did you or did you speed read through it?:

As time went on, intermissions helped meet other needs. Having a brief break in the picture encouraged patrons to get up and refill their popcorn. This made theaters even more money on concessions, one of their highest areas of income. Who could forget this gem?

I read it. I didn’t see any sources for it. Just because this man said it on the internet doesn’t make it true. It doesn’t make it untrue either, but I feel like AMC would have market research on the issue and if intermissions would make them more money they would have them.

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