Well, no, they don’t. However, they sure seem to be encouraging it, even if that’s not their intent.

This morning, Prairie and I went to see a matinee showing of The Princess and the Frog, Disney’s latest traditionally animated film. The film itself was a lot of fun, and we both loved being able to go out and see real animation on the big screen, something that happens all too rarely in these days of CGI and 3D gimmickry.

Unfortunately, as much as we enjoyed the film itself, we’re running out of reasons to bother with actual theaters, rather than waiting for video. The latest eye-rolling bit of obnoxiousness? It seems that AMC Theatres has discontinued all “small” sizes of drinks and candy.

When I went to the snack bar, planning on getting a small soda, the menu board had a blank spot under the “small” column for both drinks and candy. Scoping out the sales stations, I noticed that while they all had spaces for three sizes of cups by their soda fountains, only two were stocked. Asking the soda jockey behind the counter confirmed it: AMC is “reconfiguring” their snack bar options, and there are now only two sizes of drinks, medium and large.

While even the small drinks weren’t all that small before hand, it appears that now, the smallest size fountain soda you can get is a 32oz bucket, for $4.25. I have no real idea what they’ve done with their candy lineup, but I’m betting they just re-labeled all the “small” boxes to “mediums”, and knocked the larger “medium” boxes up to “large”.

Just one more reason (along with the barrage of ads euphemistically described as “pre-show entertainment,” the crappy customer service provided by the staff of most theaters, and the absolute lack of public decorum from the majority of other moviegoers) why my theater-going experience is going to be ever more rare. On those rare occasions when I do go — both Prairie and I are thinking that we want to see the 3D version of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, which will be our first modern theatrical 3D experience (no, I’m not planning on seeing Avatar in 3D…at this point, I’m not planning on seeing it until it’s out on DVD) — I’ll be taking advantage of Prairie’s largest purse and bringing in my own snacks and drinks.

12/21/09 Update: According to this Get Satisfaction customer support thread, small sizes of soda and popcorn do still exist, bundled together into a “Cameo Combo”. A combo doesn’t thrill me, as I’m not big on popcorn and would only want the drink, but the representative did say that it should be possible to buy the small drink on its own. I’m still not entirely thrilled by this (it seems ridiculous that this is the only way to get a reasonably sized drink), but at least it’s an option (assuming that the kids at the snack bar know about the option).