How many of you miss those days? I sure do.
Since I now spend multiple hours per week in theaters for film screenings, I’ve come to curse the moment that someone came up with the bright idea to serve things like hot dogs, nachos, garlic pretzels, pepperoni pizzas, fried chicken fingers, curly fries, fruit smoothies, and all sorts of other strong-smelling stuff at cineplexes. I understand why this happened — theaters earn a good chunk of their profits from concession items, so the more higher-priced options they have to offer that people actually buy, the better — but I also have to wonder if the availability of all this stanky food (that’s putting it politely) is actually making some people avoid going to the theater altogether.
In my case, there have certainly been nights where I’ve been running late, didn’t get to eat a proper dinner, and then decide to buy fried cheese sticks with marinara sauce from the concession stand and sheepishly sit down next to a fellow critic with a “Sorry!” look on my face. On those evenings, I’m glad I’m able to eat something other than popcorn. But 95% of the time I will go to great lengths to avoid not only purchasing any pungent snacks, but also sitting within several rows of anyone I spy with something like jalapeno nachos or a hot dog loaded sky-high with all the fixin’s. Having to inhale nacho fumes all night is almost as bad as having a during-movie texter in my peripheral vision.
So is it just me who get grossed out by the symphony of smells that’s likely to hit you at the movie theater these days? Or are most of you happy to have so many more food and beverage options available at cineplexes than there used to be?