Page last updated at 14:46 GMT, Wednesday, 31 March 2010 15:46 UK

Israeli MP launches snack attack on pricey popcorn

Cinema popcorn (file pic)
Cinemas say they rely on high food prices for their profits

An Israeli member of parliament has suggested a new law that would limit the price of popcorn in the cinema.

Carmel Shama of the governing Likud party has suggested a law that would see an end to 200% mark-ups on snacks and drinks at the cinema.

The law is in its very early stages and is not expected to come to a vote for some months.

Cinema companies condemned the proposed law saying most cinemas' profits came from food sales.

"We have to put an end to this. The public should not have to mortgage their houses for a snack and a soft drink," Mr Shama told the Hebrew newspaper Yedioth Aharonoth.

A large box of popcorn sells for around $5 (£3.30), double the price of ready-to-eat popcorn bought in a supermarket and about 10 times the price of popping kernels at home.

But Yaacov Cohen, owner of one of Israel's largest cinema chains, said the move was "populist", and that many cinemas only broke even after ticket sales.

"It would destroy the entire industry," the newspaper quoted him as saying.

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