Midweek Mumbling – Why is it so hard to have good Cinema Etiquette #3 Food and Drink
This week we follow-up our previous rants with another look at Cinema Etiquette, Food and Drink.
We all have our favourite foods that we take into a screening. A while back I could not see a film without a pack of peanut M&Ms and a bucket of Diet Coke. But do we really need them? Or are we just pandering to the concession stands and unknowingly annoying the other patrons?
For a long time now I have got myself out of the habit of eating and drinking during a film. I think this stems from a couple of angles. Firstly it is just so expensive to buy the snacks these days, secondly I got fed up with my bladder filling up within 10 minutes of a film and lastly because I started to care about the other people around me. But it seems that I am quite often alone on this.
Quite often I sit in the cinema waiting for the film to start, as we know I am generally one of the first to arrive so I can get the best seat (in my opinion) and I watch the other people streaming in with buckets of popcorn, sweets, hotdogs, nachos(!), ice cream and enough liquids to put an end to the hose pipe ban in Southern UK. I wonder to myself what is it about the cinema that summons people to want to pay out for the amount of food they seem to need to get through a film. Is it something about attention span? Do cinemas pump out a secret gas into the foyer that commands people to buy that much? Or is it simply habit? Whatever the reasons it seems that I am in the minority in not wanting a distraction from the flickering images on-screen. I seem to be alone in that when the lights dim I want to be left alone in ‘THE ZONE’ and to lose myself in the story.
Why do Cinemas sell noisy and smelly food?
I honestly do not have a problem with people eating in cinemas. If a patron wants to eat it is their choice, it’s fine. But why must the cinemas sell them food that ruins it for other patrons? Why does the drink come in Bucket, Big Bucket, and Barrel sizes? Who had the bright idea of tagging POPCORN as the food of choice for film watching? Surely something like marshmallows would have been a better idea?
I remember a little while ago I was in a screening of CHRONICLE and what seemed like a great seat (3rd row back dead centre) was swiftly ruined by a group of young teens who decided to have a popcorn fight. The group was in the row behind us, I was gritting my teeth to the sight of flying pop corn but when one of the YOOFs managed to knock over their entire soda it felt like I had been standing in front of a dam when it burst. I was drenched. Not a happy experience.
Why do some people insisting on eating food that requires a plate in a dark cinema?
This brings me onto Nachos. Who had that idea? There is only one thing worse than a noisy popcorn eater who insists on getting every single last kernel out of the bucket, and that is a smelly nacho eater. The smell of hot chili and cheese is enough to put anyone off the film. Also, how are you ever going to get that right if you cannot see what you are putting into your mouth? It must get everywhere.
It isn’t often I am on the side of the cinemas these days, but I really feel sorry for the poor ushers in the local multiplex. As I leave the film and the lights are getting brighter and I look around me and the cinema often looks like there has been an explosion. Popcorn everywhere, empty cups, packets, tissue and other items I will not mention. I make my way to the door and there is the poor guy with his big black bin liner that is expected to clean the place up only for it to be ruined by the next group. It is no wonder why they often look down their noses at you when you buy a ticket. What a job.
Let us look at the basics.
If you have to eat -
- Get something that will not pollute the cinema – both in odour and noise
- Buy a drink that won’t spill, and do you really need a gallon?
- Think of the poor guy cleaning up after you and take your rubbish with you
About The Author – Scott Lawlor
Chief Editor of FRC. A self confessed geek with an unhealthy thirst for all things Home Cinema. Whether it is the latest Action film or Subwoofer. Check out his home set up HERE
What are your thoughts on eating in the cinema? Do you have a ritual? Comment below…