By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Dec 12, 2011 at 1:30 PM

I love going to the movies. Sure, I watch them at home, but nothing beats a night out, a dark theater and a great movie.

Last weekend I went to the Downer Theatre to see My Week With Marilyn. The movie was wonderful and if Michelle Williams doesn't get nominated for an Oscar, then there's something wrong with this world.

But I'm not writing about the movie today. I'm writing about the concessions.

Normally, I'm a junior drink and maybe some nachos kind of guy. Sometimes a little popcorn. Sometimes a cup of coffee. But many times I don't have anything.

At the movie this weekend I had a bit of a sweet tooth jones going on, so the caramel corn caught my eye. I love caramel corn. When Buddy Squirrel was around they had the best in the world. At the Downer the caramel corn came in a cone shaped cellophane wrapper. It might have been about a soup bowl worth of caramel corn.

And then I looked at the price. $7.50! For a moment I thought it might be a mistake. But I asked the guy and he said no, that was the price.

I staggered away from the counter and just stared straight ahead. I used to be able to get a big old bag of very fresh caramel corn at Buddy Squirrel's for about three bucks.

This was $7.50 for caramel corn that wasn't going to be nearly as fresh. And to top it off, there wasn't that much of it.

And that got me thinking about the price of all the concessions at the movies. They are absolutely ridiculous. Let's say you wanted to make some popcorn at home. Not the microwave stuff but the old fashioned way, in a pot with oil. The corn kernels might cost a quarter or so. The oil another quarter or so. Being fair, let's say the whole thing cost you 75 cents.

For the same amount of popcorn in a theater you might pay three or four dollars. I'd love it if someone would explain to me how come they charge so much for stuff to eat at the movies. I know they've got a captive audience, but gee whiz. This is out of control.

I'd like to set up a stand on the public sidewalk in front of the Downer Theatre (and every other theater where this might work) and sell candy and soda and popcorn for half the price you pay inside. I bet I'd be a millionaire.

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.