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…
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