Sh*tfit of the Day: Popcorn

OK, I know this is going to divide people, opinion-wise, but why in God’s name would cinemas choose POPCORN as the snack to sell to people when they are watching a movie? It makes absolutely no sense at all! The only noise you’re supposed to hear in a cinema is the one coming out of the speakers – I don’t want to sit there listening to what sounds like five-thousand cows chewing grass! Popcorn – and the eating of – is my number one cause of Cinema Stress. Never mind “turn off your phones” – what about the seven tonnes of pointless, tasteless noise-making crap that you’ve just served to the audience? You may as well have handed out tambourines and maracas as we came through the door!

Imagine if I built a library. Yes, a library. It would be a place of peace and quiet – I’d have big, comfy seats and beanbags and you’d be allowed to sit there all day, if you liked, borrowing magazines and books. I’d have free WiFi, too, so that you could catch up on your emails and, if you were sneaky about it, have a little nap! Oh my God, you’re thinking, that would be amazing. That would be on a par with going to an IMAX cinema to see the new James Bond movie, except that it wouldn’t cost me five thousand pounds. Now, come on – step into my library, that’s right, come this way. Are you through the door? Good. Now just lift your feet up whilst I STRAP SOME AIR HORNS TO THE SOLES OF YOUR FEET!

What? You want it to be quiet in the library? Oh dear. No can do, unfortunately. I’ll be honest – at least the sound of the bicycle horns will drown out the chomping. We’re selling Prawn Cocktail crisps today – got to make some kind of profit in the current financial climate! Anyway, the air horn bits will cushion your feet from the lorryload of crunchy gravel that we’ve decided to cover the floor with.

My Mum’s local cinema will NOT serve popcorn – and they do wine. Wine is silent. Water is silent. Popcorn isn’t, and neither are nachos which have the added disgusting disadvantage of being so pungent that you can smell them from across the cinema. Sweets are quite silent, but NOT WHEN YOU PUT THEM INTO A STIFF PAPER BAG. Take one person rummaging for the fizzy cola bottle amongst the Maltesers and times that person by twelve: suddenly you have half of a percussion orchestra enthusiastically getting it on when you’re trying to fantasise about listen to Daniel Craig.

So, in short, Dear Odeon Cinemas: you’re not fanatical about film, you’re fanatical about making money. What do you make on one portion of popcorn? A lot, I expect! You may blame demand, but sometimes you just have to be the bigger man. Serve something quieter instead, before you give me some kind of stress-related heart problem. And I know that some of you readers will be muttering under your breath, go to another cinema then!, but I like the Odeon, apart from the munchers. I like the massive screens, I like that I can park easily, I like that I can pre-book and earn my little points on my loyalty card, I just don’t like the Food Orchestra. And don’t even get me started on people who prop their feet up on the seat in front…

Image courtesy of  FreeDigitalPhotos.net

53 comments

  1. You will never get rid of Popcorn I’m afraid, it’s the mark-up value. How much is corn, about 80pence a silo and cinemas sell it at about £6 a bucket. I heard that the consessions profit is what pays all the staff wages, ticket sales only cover the rental of the movie and the buildings costs. Of course all I’ve said could be wrong, it’s all hearsay from a vue employee.

  2. Oh dear… I LOVE Cinema popcorn! :O

  3. I am not as irritated by the sound of theater popcorn as I am the smell. No matter what theater I go to, it seems they all burn the popcorn and the putrid smell makes me nauseous. Seriously, if I spend too much time in the snack area it ruins the whole movie for me because I feel sick through out the movie. We try to see movies when they will be least crowded, maybe that’s why I don’t notice the sound, no one is ever next to me eating.

  4. Argh, yes. So bloody annoying. You know what else is? When somebody coughs in the cinema and before you know it about 60% of the cinema all seems to catch said cough and you’re stuck in the middle of what seems to be some kind of coughing symphony for about 10 minutes. So. Annoying. I just want scream at THEM ALL. (Except that would kind of ruin the whole quiet thing too…)

  5. I’m going to be slightly off topic here, but there was this woman the other day sitting next to me in the bus, who was eating some bagel type things and she was making the most disgusting sound ever. Imagine if there wasn’t a big “No drinks, No snacks” sign right in front of her.

    I don’t know which is worse, munching in the cinema or munching in the bus.

  6. Haha I love this article – although I do admit that I’m one of the popcorn eaters, I just love the stuff. But I also think I’m fairly quiet when I eat it – or I try to be as much as possible. I do understand your pain though – I can’t stand those people who rummage around in the box to grab as big a handful as they can and then proceed to eat heaps of it with their mouths open.
    My other pet peeve in the cinema is the talkers – why go to a movie when you’re just going to sit there and talk all the way through it?!

  7. I’ve taken pomegranate seeds in a Tupperware before!

  8. how about delights such as macarons, slushies and gummies instead? pretty quiet i would say, but not so healthy!

  9. I like eating popcorn but I don’t like the noise either. What do you think about cotton candy?

  10. LOL… My pet peeve is still teenagers and kids. I try to go for the first show in the morning in some remote or high end part of the city. I ate macarons the last time I went to the cinema.
    Otherwise, I think the shows I’ve watched were too noisy for me to notice any munchers in the midst. I do eat popcorns too, though; we finish the whole bucket within the first 20 mins of the show. =.=”
    I would love to visit a cinema in the UK!

  11. well said Ruth! those nachos and dips are so smelly. people seem to eat in the cinema like food is fast going out of fashion! also people who non-stop talk in the cinema is SO annoying and when telling them to please not talk seems to make them talk more! xx

  12. Rita the parachutist

    Even if they sold only silent snacks in very soft bags, there would still be all those couples acting as if they had no home. Which really does bother me tremendously. Well bye then, going back to my retreat in the woods.

  13. I completely agree! Not only is it annoying in theatres, it is beyond annoying for the workers. I work part time at a theatre in the US to save money for school, and having to deal with the food and other bits and bobs left over is disgusting! There is always someone who spills an entire bucket of popcorn or “forgets” to pick up their trash.

  14. Finally someone that hates popcorn in cinemas as much as me. Much love Ruth. xx

  15. My cinema-stress are people sitting in the cinema auditorium who command ice cream in the little break between the previews and the film itself. Why can’t they buy their ice cream before the previews or just jump over to the serving-station?! But no, they have to annoy other people and make the film start hours (I know, this is exaggerated, but my personal impression) later… :(

  16. I giggled so much at this, I had to show my husband who is currently mid giggle fit. He says your imagery is awesome and he’d like to read a book by you except I may have to put up with constant giggle fits!

  17. I hate that eating (crunch + people chew + swallow… you get the whole) noise when going to the movie, plus the smell! It’s like being at a kiddy MacDo party. And if it’s an action movie that’s fine but if it’s more of a film than a movie.. auch!

  18. This is hilarous! I so agree! Also, I watched a program on this not that long ago, and they made everyone eat popcorn at a dinner table and everyone said it tasted stale and wasn’t nice so they gave them the SAME popcorn in the cinema and they all said it was lovely. Clearly people eat it out of habit than actual love

    x

  19. Lol, this post is really funny, even if I don’t agree. I love popcorn and it has now become a part of the whole relaxing movie-context, and I have to say that, even when I don’t eat them personally, but someone next to me, it doesn’t bother me at all… It’s not that loud to me, I just don’t notice that. Maybe you aver very sensitive to noises.

  20. Wherever I go, I somehow mange to sit in front of someone who doesn’t have enough leg space and keeps prodding my seat. I have a sensitive back too. So irritating!

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