It is illegal: new lawsuit for not allowing access to movie theaters with food and drink

it is illegal: new lawsuit for not allowing access to
it is illegal: new lawsuit for not allowing access to

cinema popcorn

In a battle that goes back a long way, the consumer organization FACUA has once again filed a lawsuit against a large cinema chain, in this case Yelmo. The reason is none other than the constant prohibition of prohibit access to spectators with their own drinks and foodrelying on the right of admission.

This is illegal underline from FACUAconsidering that the right of admission should be indicated in other reasons and that the food and drink sales service is not the main one in the projection rooms.

New demand for movie theaters

FACUA returns to the charge once again against one of the most widespread practices despite its illegality. Movie theaters cannot legally prohibit viewers from entering their theaters with their own food or drinks purchased abroad. As long as there is respect for the rules of action and responsible use of the environment, the prohibition is an illegal practice.

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others will come


I worked in a cinema for several years.

We let outside food in without problem. For one simple reason: preventing it is illegal.

It amazes me that Helm’s are so stupid.

They are going to lose yes or yes.

May 05, 2023 • 00:33



Despite this, on the Yelmo channel, the target of the complaint, we can see messages of the type “The company does not allow access to these facilities with food and/or drinks purchased outside of Yelmo, therefore reserving the right of admission”. This warning also appears on their website when selling tickets.

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This complaint already had precedents in the past, and sanction to another chain of cinemas. In mid-2019 and after another complaint from FACUA, the Extremadura Consumer Institute imposed a ban on Multicines España (EXCISA). penalty of 3,005 euros for serious infringement of the regulations of consumer defense by not allowing a cinema in Zafra (Badajoz) to enter with food and drink purchased outside. This was the first known large fine in Spain against a cinema for not allowing users to enter with food and drink from abroad so that they have to buy it inside the establishment.

Precisely the prohibition of bringing your food from abroad has more to do with the benefit of these chains, which inflate product prices that you are forced to consume there. The consumer association has made a comparison with the prices inside the cinema and in a supermarket. Spectators have to pay up to 2.70 euros for a 50 cl bottle of water and 4.95 euros for a 50 cl Coca-Cola. In a supermarket, a bottle of mineral water of the same capacity can be found from 20 cents and a 50-cl bottle of Coca-Cola for 1.39 euros.

The lawsuit also contains the argument that the service of sale of food and drink is not the essential activity of a cinema, so you cannot exercise that right of admission as if it were a restaurant. The main activity of movie theaters is film exhibition and this exists regardless of whether the company offers the sales service.

It is not part of the right of admission

The argument that movie theaters use to preventing access is the exercise of an alleged right of admission. The regulations, in fact, state the opposite. The Autonomous Law 17/1997, of July 4, on Public Shows and Recreational Activities in Madrid, which is on this occasion where the claim has been filed, establishes that “the right of admission must have the purpose of preventing the access of people who behave violently, who may cause inconvenience to the public or users or may alter the normal development of the show or activity«.

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In FACUA they also consider that Cine Yelmo is incurring in a crime of abusive practice against the General Law for the Defense of Consumers and Users (Article 89.4 of Royal Legislative Decree 1/2007, of November 16) by the «imposition on the consumer and user of complementary goods and services or unsolicited accessories«.