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West Bend, WI: Paradise Theatre Ordered to Stop "Bring Your Own Bag" Popcorn Promotion

Posted on Monday, March 5th, 2012 10:29 AM

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In a recent Reader Comment for the Nova Paradise Theatre in West Bend, Wisconsin, one of our readers pointed out that the theater's Tuesday promotion of bringing your own bag and having it filled with popcorn for free was stopped by the government.

We checked it out, and we found a January 8, 2012 story published in the Washington County section of the Fox6Now.com web site that provides some details:

Movie goers in West Bend have long enjoyed the Tuesday bring-your-own-bag popcorn promotion at the Paradise Theatre, 2014 Parkway Dr.

Since the theatre opened in the mid-1990s customers would pay admission on Tuesday, bring their own bag and the clerk at the concession stand will fill it with free popcorn.

Butter and refills were available at an added expense.

That promotion however, is no more due to a recommendation from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection.

 “This was not written up as a violation,” said Donna Gilson public information officer with the State.  

“This was a recommendation that the theatre stop this practice because if the bag comes in and it’s dirty and you haven’t washed your hands, bacteria is getting on that bag; even if you use a scoop for the popcorn – the scoop goes right down in the bag and some kernels bounce out into the bin and that’s where the cross contamination possibility comes from,” she said.

The same recommendation, said Gilson, applied to the theatre’s Wednesday promotion where customers bring their own cup to get a free soda. That practice is no longer allowed either.


Paradise Theatre manager Sanford Cohn said he has never had any problem since starting with the company in 2005. Cohn confirmed, nobody had ever gotten sick or was killed by the theatre’s free-popcorn promotion.

“I’m not going to argue; I just want to keep the peace,” he said.

In an effort to continue the promotions, the theatre now pays for 32-ounce bags and 12-ounce cups. Free popcorn is still provided on Tuesday and a free small soda on Wednesday.

Click the Read link below for the full article.

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