San Francisco Movie Theaters to Remain Closed Due to Ban on Concessions

NATO says it is “economically impossible” to reopen without them

While San Francisco Mayor London Breed has allowed movie theaters in the county to reopen without selling concessions, theater owners say they will remain closed because that makes reopening “economically impossible.”

The California/Nevada branch of the National Association of Theater Owners said in a statement on Wednesday that its members unanimously agreed to remain closed in San Francisco, saying that selling popcorn and other concessions is key for theaters to turn a profit. While theaters split box office revenue roughly evenly with studios, they make an estimated 80% profit on popcorn, food and beverage sales. According to data from NATO, concessions accounted for an estimated $5.6 billion in revenue for theaters in 2018.

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Jeremy Fuster

Jeremy Fuster

Box Office Reporter • jeremy.fuster@thewrap.com