>No Water Allowed

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Once upon a time, there was a retired couple. He had been an editor and retired from The Sun after 40 years. She had been a middle school teacher who earned a doctorate after retiring from teaching 7th graders.

This nice couple joined the Maryland Film Festival and received free screening passes. They recognized a good deal when they saw one and they liked the Maryland Film Festival people.

On his blog, the man reviewed films they saw. Although he didn’t listen to his wife’s opinion on the films, that was okay. They still kissed at the end of each movie and at the end of each night.

The woman was a big water drinker. Waiters at their favorite Chinese restaurant, the Szechuan Cafe in Pasadena (Maryland), did a good job of keeping her water glass full but they had to work hard to do it. She had asthma and her doctor said she should try to drink a gallon of water every day. Her gastroenterologist also said she needed to drink loads of water.

When this couple went to see movie screenings, sometimes she bought a fountain Coke at the theater but other times she carried a small bottle of water from home with her. People at the movie theaters were all understanding so the water was never a problem…

…until Bengies.

This nice couple drove 34 miles from Pasadena (Maryland) to Bengies Drive-In to see another screening. They did not take a bag full of snacks. They did not stop at McDonald’s on the way. They weren’t hungry because they had just had dinner (chicken, rice and asparagus). They had no alcohol in their car. They came to see the movie. However, they did have two fresh bottles of water with them.

“Wait! You have to get rid of your water.” A Bengies man shouted at them as they drove in and began to look around for a pull-in spot. He told them they had to throw away their fresh bottles of water and buy new bottles of water from the drive-in’s concession stand. Management wouldn’t budge.

So, rather than throw away two $.50 a bottle waters and buy two $1.25 a bottle waters, this couple left without seeing the movie. They drove home another 34 miles, spending $5 in gas in the end.

It was the principle.

They also kissed that night.

In case you’re interested in the theater’s House Rules, go here:

http://www.bengies.com/HouseRules.php

It’s enough to scare off a nice retired senior couple and their blog readers.

Comment from David………………………………………………………..

The nice husband adds: An offer to buy two bottles of water from the concession stand, while keeping the two contraband bottles in the car unopened, was refused. The two perfectly good, unopened bottles of water, had to be thrown away, or we would EACH have to purchase a “food and beverage permit” for $7. So it was throw away 50 cents worth of water, pay $14 to keep and even drink that water, or leave the premises. We chose the latter. The great American drive-in movie theater has been vanishing from the landscape. Bengies may be the last in metro Baltimore. It has not had an easy time surviving. Inflexibility cost it all of $2.50 worth of water sales tonight, and the possibility of a hotdog sale or two during the screening.

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About Bonnie Schupp

Photographer and Renaissance woman.
This entry was posted in Bengies Drive-In, bottled water, H2O, Maryland Film Festival, movie theaters, no water, restriction, rules, Szechuan Cafe, unreasonable, water. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to >No Water Allowed

  1. David Ettlin says:

    >The nice husband adds: An offer to buy two bottles of water from the concession stand, while keeping the two contraband bottles in the car unopened, was refused. The two perfectly good, unopened bottles of water, had to be thrown away, or we would EACH have to purchase a "food and beverage permit" for $7. So it was throw away 50 cents worth of water, pay $14 to keep and even drink that water, or leave the premises. We chose the latter. The great American drive-in movie theater has been vanishing from the landscape. Bengies may be the last in metro Baltimore. It has not had an easy time surviving. Inflexibility cost it all of $2.50 worth of water sales tonight, and the possibility of a hotdog sale or two during the screening. And two people who won't be back. As for the movie, early reviews I've seen have not been positive, so maybe we'll find it on HBO fairly soon.

  2. Acerebel says:

    >Wow! What a draconian policy. Here in South Australia, you can bring your own food and drink into the cinema itself – that is, your own sandwich, popcorn, soda, whatever – and by law the management cannot stop you from doing so. I must admit, I've never seen anyone with a full chicken dinner, or a platter of Gorgonzola cheese and fruit, but some folks do buy their own chips, popcorn, soda, water, candies, coffee and so on at establishments whose prices are more reasonable, and bring it in to the movie theatre. I'm with you re Bengies; I would have left and they would never see me back again. What's more, I'd do what you've done, and tell everyone. There used to be an adage along the lines that a satisfied customer tells one person, an unhappy one tells five; the Internet means we can tell the world!

  3. >Yes, the Internet provides a great forum for dissatisfied customers. I would imagine that with the backing of the American Civil Liberties Union, a good case could be made concerning the water.

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