Look, I get it, popcorn is easy to eat, it tastes good, you can eat tonnes of it and feel like you have put zero weight on. Another positive about popcorn is that for cinema companies it makes them good profits; it is extremely cheap to make, so you genuinely feel like you are contributing to the upkeep of the cinema whilst emptying your wallet. I also understand that it is probably the easiest cinema snack to make. I get all of this.
To further demonstrate my point that I get the popcorn phenomenon; I understand that certain films are “popcorn” movies. The type of movie that passes by with entertainment value as you chew copious amounts of snacks in a zombie-like state. I for one suffer from this from time to time. More recently for The Mummy (2017) I got myself into a snack coma, which wasn’t worth it in the end because the film was ****.
Sorry for over exerting my point, I just want it to be understood that I get why people want to snack and why cinemas need to make profit. Anyway, here goes. What is the main grumble for cinema goers or even the occasional goer? I would say it is obstructive noise around you that interferes with your experience of watching the film. Correct? Another qualm is possibly the messiness on the chairs because the staff have not had time to clean up.
Recently I went to go see War for the Planet of the Apes and when I entered the screening, the rows were littered with popcorn. Due to the popularity the staff were struggling to keep up with the changeover of audiences. Here I was, sitting down and stepping on popcorn preparing for the movie ahead. Then the screening fills with people, and the three people who sat next to me all had a tub of popcorn. Each. Now, I was okay with the constant hammering of popcorn in the adverts and even the trailers, because my main interest was the film, but when it started I had to concentrate harder than usual to focus because of the constant echoing sound of popcorn being munched. It is not even just the crunching, it is the grating annoyance of the hand dipping into the box, shuffling the popcorn around, which rubs up against the cardboard. After 60 minutes of constant irritation, which thankfully did not ruin a great film, one of the people sat next to me got up, clambered over me to the point I thought he was going to lay on me, and then returned with more popcorn!
Now, surely soft snacks would be true cinema etiquette, and by the way, I am not against cinemas that do conceptual viewings whereby you get table services and you can order food for yourself. Leave the conceptual screenings for the people that enjoy it, but in a normal cinema situation I would not snarl at someone enjoying a piece of cake because it involves no noise. My choice is usually pick and mix, and I do not chew aggressively, so it is okay.
Honestly, banning popcorn would be great, and I know I said earlier that it is easy profits, so I do not mind contributing to the cinema, but let’s be honest.. they are seriously ripping us off.
Enjoyed reading this review? Then you will probably like listening to us too so check out our podcast
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.