If you’re a regular moviegoer, you may want to think twice before settling down with a bucket of popcorn and a large soda at your local cinema. According to TikTok user Lauren Taylor (@laurentaylortv), who claims to have worked in a movie theater, there are some “disgusting secrets” about the hygiene level of our cinemas that we need to know.
In a video that’s starting to gain momentum on the social media platform, Taylor reveals three “disgusting secrets” that movie theaters allegedly don’t want you to know. She begins by warning viewers that they shouldn’t watch if they ever want to enjoy the movie theater again, but if you’re brave enough to continue, here are the three things she says you didn’t know about your local movie theater.
First up, Taylor claims that the popcorn machines are not washed. Instead, cinema workers just use a dry brush that’s often left on the counter or even on the floor to scrape off the oil at the bottom. “Yeah, it’s never washed,” she says. As a result, she says that “residues, oil, and flies just gets pushed and baked right on to that bottom where the popcorn touches.”
Her second “dirty” secret concerns the seating areas. According to Taylor, cinema workers never wash the seats, which means they could be infested with lice or other nasty bacteria. “Sweaty, smelly heads that have been out in the sun all day and then come to see a film? Absolutely,” she says.
Finally, Taylor claims that the drink machines are also never washed. Instead, cinema workers just put new ice in them and let them be. “Sometimes there’s bugs in them,” she says.
These are certainly some shocking claims, but are they true? While Taylor’s video has gained a lot of attention on TikTok, some people who claim to have worked in movie theaters have disputed her allegations.
“Former movie theater manager here. The only thing that is true is that the seats don’t get washed. The popcorn machine and the ice machine are definitely washed daily,” wrote one person in the comments section.
“When I worked at a movie theater we cleaned the popcorn machine, the drink machine and the floor every day,” wrote another.
It’s clear that there are differing opinions on the level of hygiene at movie theaters. However, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to maintain a high level of cleanliness in public spaces. According to Newsweek, movie theaters in the US were forced to increase their sanitation standards in 2020 in response to the pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that theaters disinfect surfaces after each screening, and many theaters have continued to follow strict cleaning protocols even after the CDC announced that the risk of transmission from surfaces is low.
For example, AMC Theaters has partnered with the Clorox Safer Today Alliance to create “healthier” public spaces, while Cinemark claims to clean restrooms every 30 minutes and ensure that theaters are cleaned before every screening.
So, while Taylor’s claims about the hygiene level of movie theaters may be alarming, it’s important to remember that there are measures in place to keep moviegoers safe and healthy. If you’re concerned about cleanliness at your local cinema, don’t be afraid to ask about their cleaning protocols and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself.