Lawsuit alleges movie theaters are underfilling drinks

FILE-Moviegoers exit a Cinemark movie theater. ( Christopher Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Cinemark is facing a lawsuit from a man alleging that the movie theater chain duped patrons regarding the size of its drinks. 

Shane Waldrop said in a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas that he purchased a 20-ounce and 24-ounce draft beer served to him in drink containers with ounce markings, but realized the cups could only hold a maximum of 22 ounces of liquid, FOX Business reported. 

FOX Television Stations reached out to Cinemark for comment. 

Waldrop discovered the drink shortage while at a Cinemark theater in Grapevine, Texas, in February, and he took the empty container home and measured the amount of liquid it could hold, claiming in the lawsuit that Cinemark engaged in "deceptive and improper business practices."

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Waldrop’s attorney, Jarret L. Ellzey, told FOX Business that Cinemark is misleading customers into handing over money "while not providing the full value of the item" they are paying for. 

FOX Business noted that the lawsuit alleges that Cinemark’s packaging and advertising of the 24-ounce drinks, sold at locations nationwide, "violate various state laws against misbranding, which mirror federal law." 

According to the Buffalo News, Cinemark reported concession revenue for 2023 exceeded revenue in 2019 by 3%, even though movie attendance was 25% lower.

A 20-ounce drink at the Plano, Texas, Cinemark theater Waldrop visited costs $7.80 pre-tax, while a 24-ounce drink costs just $1 more, at $8.80.

Cinemark has more than 500 theaters operating in 42 states in the U.S. and 13 South and Central American countries, according to the company’s website. 

FOX Business contributed to this report.  This story was reported from Washington, D.C.