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Don’t Put Your Popcorn Under an Automatic Hand Dryer

Patrons of one Philadelphia movie theater are learning this the hard way.

It’s a law of nature: when there’s a weirdly specific warning sign hung up somewhere, you can be sure that someone necessitated it.

Such is the case with one strange sign in the women’s bathroom of the Ritz 5 movie theater in Philadelphia. “This hand dryer is motion activated,” the sign reads. “Please do not place your popcorn under the sensor.”

Were people doing this? Indeed they were. The theater’s general manager, Benjamin Schuler, told Billy Penn that around once a month, patrons of the women’s bathroom were walking in with loaded bags of popcorn, placing them on the counter of the communal sink and… watching in horror as the automatic hand dryer switched on and sent their buttery treats cascading all over the tile. (To be clear, patrons of the men’s bathroom aren’t necessarily immune—their hand dryer is just located in a different place.)

“Then they would come out and tell us, ‘I accidentally put the popcorn there and it exploded!’” Schuler continued. While the sign has helped a lot, it still happens occasionally, he said.

Billy Penn created a helpful gif to illustrate the phenomenon:

Action, comedy, visual effects—there’s a summer blockbuster right there.

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