Issues: No room for healthy snacks in theaters?

I’ve been a movie-goer my entire life, and I have never seen anyone escorted out of a film. Not even the time I complained about a group of teenagers cursing out a friend and talking over “Paranormal Activity,” though that would have been nice.

This March, a Brooklyn man was escorted out of the Pavilion Theatre for bringing in a healthy snack. Michael Kass, who suffers from Type 2 diabetes, was escorted from the Park Slope theatre by police for bringing in a container of strawberries. Kass brought the snack to control his blood sugar.

“What I am is a 41-year old type II diabetic who loves movies and would like to be able to see them in public and enjoy a healthy snack,” Kass said in a complaint on the theater’s Facebook page. (The page has since been deleted.)

Photo courtesy of New York Post; Paul Martinka and James Messerschmidt
The Pavilion Theatre in Park Slope; Michael Kass holding berries. (Photo courtesy of New York Post; Paul Martinka and James Messerschmidt)

According to 2013 statistics from the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million adults and children in the United States are living with diabetes.

Pavilion’s website doesn’t mention anything about patrons and outside snacks. When I contacted the theatre for comment, I was told multiple times that the general manager had “just stepped out.”  Pavilion’s owner Ben Kafash did tell the Daily News that he wants to start offering more health-conscious options for patrons and wants to involve Kass in the process.

Though Pavilion does offer options like sandwiches and salads, those options still might be a problem for someone struggling with diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, those who struggle with the disease should always carry food with them, and should request meals low in sugars, fats and cholesterols.

Though buttered popcorn and large sodas aren’t tailored to someone struggling with diabetes, they are tailored to theatres’ bottom lines. Concessions are what keeps movie theatres afloat, according to reports from research firms like the Chicago-based Spectrem Group.

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