A few weeks ago I went to a local Odeon Cinema to see the new Star Trek film. I was quite disappointed with the film itself, however my cinematic experience that day did remind of some of the key inconveniences in combining film and food as this blog does. In particular, I’m talking about the frustration of having to sit in the cinema listening to people munching, slurping and crinkling, loud packets of overpriced goods.
Personally, I hardly ever eat or drink anything in the cinema and I can’t really think of a worse place to enjoy food than a dark room where I can’t talk to anybody. There is also the downside of most cinema snacks being disproportionately large and difficult to stop eating. No matter what people say about sharing, the impracticality of having to pass food around whilst trying to watch a film in a dark, quiet room means that before you know it, you have eaten a few meals worth of food in an incredibly short space of time.
Cinema snacks seem to have become a must for many people, despite the poor quality of the food on sale, not to mention the constantly inflating prices. £3.50 for a small box of hours-old popcorn? £2.00 for a bottle of water? Why bother?! I must admit, I have on occasion brought a snack into the cinema, but have long since narrowed my purchases to just one, perfect cinema snack… (Revealed at the end of this post)
Here are some of the cinema snacks I find particularly frustrating/ inappropriate:
Nachos, hot dogs or any other heated foods – these should be banned simply because they smell disgusting for everyone else!
Anything in crinkly plastic wrappers and bags – I really don’t want to spend £10 on a cinema ticket only to spend the next 2 hours listening to someone digging through a loud crisp bag.
Fizzy Drinks – if you want to drink that’s fine, but if you’ve already drunk nearly a litre of fizzy drink, just leave the last few millimetres please. There’s no need to loudly slurp the last few dregs!!
Now, this may all sound a bit draconian, but besides those who insist on talking during a film, loud or odorous snacks are one of the most irritating disruptions to the cinematic experience. My views on the subject are also shared by others. Firstly, by my favorite radio reviewers, Kermode and Mayo of BBC radio 5 live (fridays 2-4pm). They have come up with a code of conduct which goes a bit too far even for me. (my family still enjoy the occasional bowl of (homemade) popcorn!)
My views are also shared by the Cinema Ningas, used by the wonderful Prince Charles Cinema in London to stamp out general noisiness and nuisence:
Now that I have that off my chest, I can move onto the more positive part… the perfect cinema snack!
Have you guessed what it could be?
It’s the wonderful ice cream mini tub! Quiet to eat, well proportioned to prevent unwanted sugar overdoses and pretty, satisfyingly yummy. This is one of the original cinema/theatre snacks and according to the reputed and respected source that is my mum, mini ice-cream tubs sold today have remained pretty much the same since she went to the cinema as a teenager. (she’s 174 years old, so that’s saying something!*) I’d quite like to pick up that tradition again! Wouldn’t you?
*My mum is not 174 years old. She is young, youthful and brilliant. Yet remains a reliable source on practically every matter.
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Totally agree!! All the posh theatres still sell mini tubs of ice cream after however many years so there must be truth to it!!