Popcorn is just one of the expenses of a movie.

What makes movie popcorn so gosh darned expensive? What’s in that strange yellow liquid they call butter anyhow? And while we’re at it – what are in those popcorns anyhow?

Well, it’s all a secret and theater owners are fighting the FDA to keep it that way…

Alarmed at the prospect, representatives of the National Assn. of Theatre Owners have been lobbying the FDA and congressional staff members in recent weeks to exempt theaters from the nutritional labeling requirement.

They argue that the proposed rules are an unwarranted intrusion into their business because people visit theaters to consume movies, not food.

“We’re not restaurants where people go to eat and satisfy themselves,” Gary Klein, the theater trade group’s general counsel, said. “It’s dinner and a movie, not dinner at a movie.”

Theater operators have a vested interest in fighting the proposed rules, as they generate up to one-third of their revenue from selling popcorn, sodas and other snacks. Popcorn is especially profitable. As David Ownby, the chief financial officer of Regal Entertainment Group, the nation’s largest theater circuit, recently said at an investor presentation, “We sell a bucket of popcorn for about $6. Our cost in that $6 bucket of popcorn is about 15 cents or 20 cents. So if that cost doubles, it doesn’t really hurt me that much.”

$0.20 to $6? That’s a 3,000% mark up!