Don’t Sit Next to Me with Your Smelly Nachos

by | Jul 9th, 2011 | 4:19PM | Filed under: In My Humble Opinion, Other Bits

How many of you remember the days where your movie theater concession options were limited to popcorn, candy, and soft drinks?

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?

70 Responses to “Don’t Sit Next to Me with Your Smelly Nachos”

  1. Loser Blogger
    Posted on July 12, 2011 at 11:09 am

    I don’t eat the nachos or hot dogs in the theater but if you have time to talk about people and what they eat, I think they just need to make a section for HATERS! That would be a boxed in section so that people like you need to grow up and realize it’s the same thing as eating out somewhere. Do you leave the restaurant just because of you can’t stand the smell the food of the person sitting next to you? I bet you don’t. You need to stay home and rent from REDBOX so we don’t get bothered by YOU! The reason why they sell that stuff is because there is a demand for it. Meaning, there are a lot of people who like it? So you are the minority. It’s really for the kids and not the grown ups, GET REAL! YOU NEED TO STAY HOME AND QUIT YOUR JOB! Get a different job. I wouldn’t want to sit next to someone who is as ANAL as you!

  2. lea265
    Posted on July 12, 2011 at 11:40 am

    I happen to like the nachos, and do not feel that they have a strong smell nor does hot dogs or pretzels. I do think that the smell of popcorn over powers everything in a theater.

    So to answer your question, yes you are the only one that gets grossed out by the smells, most people don’t care about what others are eating, simply because they are eating it and it will be gone soon. Seriously how long does it take to eat a hot dog, about 3-4 minutes on average right, unlike that huge tub of popcorn that lasts the entire movie.

  3. Adira
    Posted on July 12, 2011 at 11:50 am

    I’m a past theatre employee, and completely understand. The problem (folks that don’t understand the blogger’s reasoning) doesn’t end when the food has been eaten, but to be honest, -plenty- of wrappers of hot dogs and nacho trays are left behind. Sometimes they are shoved under the seats (big problem in stadium seating) to where the usher won’t even find it until a movie or two later (or worse, the janitors find it from an early showing!) Also, cheese gets in the seats…so does mustard, relish, and ketchup. And they -stink-. So, maybe you don’t notice, but trust me, plenty of others do

  4. Hannah
    Posted on July 12, 2011 at 11:56 am

    My family also eat nachos and popcorn when we go to the theaters. Sometimes we even have a box of candy! It really does not have a very potent smell. Almost everybody at my theater has something to eat, and nobody cares. I happen to love theater nachos, they are my favorite.

  5. Erika Olson

    Posted on July 12, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    I’m kind of surprised by how many people think the smell of things like jalapenos and fake melted cheese and garlic is gone as soon as the person is done eating. That is definitely not the case. The smell lingers long after, especially if the person doesn’t actually finish what they got and then puts the leftovers on the floor.

    - Erika

  6. LordRussell
    Posted on July 12, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I would venture a guess that a large percentage of you folks don’t know or remember what a drive-in movie theater is/was. These establishments served all forms of food & embellishments imaginable so to think that cineplexs are doing anything ground breaking is a stretch. They’ve just stepped up to the plate & changed with the growing demand. Sadly, society & its ungrateful ways have people unconscious for the comfort of the next guy sitting in the chair after his/her butt leaves the seat. I.e., common courtesy has left the building & left its trash in your chair, floor & probably your pants & hair by the time it’s all said & done. I’ll take the hamburger & nachos, but I’ll also take my garbage with me when the show’s over…

  7. Lena
    Posted on July 12, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    It’s not a restaurant. Don’t people go to the movies to actually see a movie? Why is it that people have trouble refraining from eating for the two hours it takes to see a movie? One of the reasons contributing to the obesity statistics, I’m sure.

  8. Jule
    Posted on July 12, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Comparing movie theater seating (where the person may be sitting right next to you) to restaurant seating or drive in movies is ridiculous. A lot of it is proximity; there’s a big difference between smelling someone’s food from half a foot away and someone that is 10 feet away. And saying that someone is anal because certain smells bother them is immature and not even an argument. Some people have a better sense of smell, so they may be slightly more sensitive. Would you say that people who are sensitive to light are anal retentive jerks?

    • Currently 2/5 Stars
    Posted on July 12, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    I this story is a bit over the top, i actually dont mind the “softer” foods that are sold. Hot dogs, gummies, smoothies (i wish they had them at my theater!) its the loud cracking BAGS that get me upset. I mean I understand there’s a demand for certain foods, i myself love cheesy nachos (fully loaded) but why must they be in the noisiest packages. it does get annoying during the movie when someones trying to unwrap candy, chips etc.I think you should have to come early to the movie to bring in concession, that way its halfway done before the previews are over. or save whatever left for after the movie, just my thoughts

  9. kiwisoup
    Posted on July 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Well now that movies are 3.5 hours as opposed to 1.5, of course there’s going to be a bigger demand for food. I don’t waste my money on overpriced theater food, but don’t really mind if others do. Unless its the giant sodas that you say you don’t mind which makes people get up numerous times during the movie to use the bathroom.

  10. Linda
    Posted on July 12, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    The smell of the foods at the movie theatre do not offend me. I think the noises from the rustling of food packaging, and crunching from people chewing is a bit distracting. Perhaps the author should change jobs if it is that big of an issue.

    • Currently 1/5 Stars
    Posted on July 12, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Gee, the DVD rental kiosk company posts a blog complaining about movie theater food. THAT’S not at all self-serving! /sarcasm

    There are a lot of Redbox kiosks in grocery stores. How about a post complaining about all the unhealthy food for sale there?

    Between this blog post and Netflix’s price hikes, I wonder if the DVD company executives get together for a hit of wacky-tobaccy on a regular basis.

    • Currently 1/5 Stars
    Posted on July 12, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Your dumb, nachos at a movie is like beer at a ball game, you don’t have to get it but people do because they enjoy them together. Its not gross or anything like that. And yea its going to get on the floor but isn’t part of you job to clean it if you work there anyway. I work at mcdonalds and I help people from behind the counter but many of times did I have to clean up after some kid going #2 in the play place. I don’t like it but it comes with the job.

  11. barb hyland
    Posted on July 12, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    I agree…the smell is overwhelming and disgusting when you are NOT eating it…can’t believe people can’t realize that. It’s as bad or worse than a lunchroom where kids are eating peanut butter and bananas.
    Movies should not allow that stinking food into the theater. Popcorn smells, too, but is expected…and one’s olfactory senses soon become accustomed to this and it loses its pungency..

    And for heaven sakes, clean up and pick up after yourself. Don’t be a slob! Have you no pride? or does dropping all your garbage for someone else to pick up and deal with give you a feeling of superiority or empowerment?

  12. lagra
    Posted on July 12, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Picture this: Going to a movie that is almost out of theaters so most of the seats are open. Right before the movie starts a mother and son come in and sit right next to you. Not a big deal. Then… She pulls out a 2 liter of soda…you discover the boy has turrets and is now burping uncontrollably from chugging soda. Then she pulls out peanut butter pretzels. Now they are peanut butter burps. Then she pulls out mustard sandwiches (you hate mustard)…now peanut butter mustard burps. The movie theater was empty! Why did she come and sit RIGHT next to me?

    I haven’t noticed the smell of nachos but I agree about smelly food. The mess created from these foods can be a lot worst too. I am frequently disgusted by how some leave behind horrible messes in public.

  13. BERRY
    Posted on July 13, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Nachos don’t smell terrible OMG u SUCK and so does your article!

    Seriously though I am guilty of munching in the theater. Smells of food don’t bother me, usually it’s just the people. People who feel the need to throw food while eating it are pretty nasty. I’ve never had a problem but I have stepped on my fair share of abandoned icee lids and blueberry blast does not come out of white kicks so easily.

  14. Amy
    Posted on July 14, 2011 at 6:16 am

    When I was younger, my mother decided to take everyone out to see the new Disney movie in the theater. By everyone, I mean me and my numerous siblings. This was a special treat and we were very excited. Unfortunately, some kid threw up everywhere in the theater and the staff couldn’t get the awful, pungent smell out of the seats. We all sat through the entire movie covering our faces yet unwilling to leave since we knew we weren’t going back soon. Nothing I have ever smelled at the movies smelled that bad. So no, the smell of food doesn’t bother me.

    • Currently 5/5 Stars
    Posted on July 17, 2011 at 2:26 am

    Tell the writer to get a new job, she sucks blah blah then call her childish when a lot of people are name calling? Well Hello Pot, meet Mr Kettle.

    She has every right to write how she feels, what she sees, last I had heard, freedom of speech?

    Anyways, I feel the same way. You are there to watch a movie. Its not dinner, eat before or after the movie. I don’t want to smell that trash you eat nor do I care to hear you smacking your lips eating that trash. And please learn some manners, when you laugh and your eating cover your mouth. I didn’t come to a movie to leave with my hair full of food.

    When I go to a movie, I expect to smell popcorn that’s how a theater should smell! When I go to a restaurant, I expect to smell different types of food, its a restaurant.

  15. nancym01
    Posted on November 4, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    If the theater sells food other than popcorn it’s because it’s profitable, and that’s their right to do so. You have the right to go to a different theater, or try to sit away from people. I’d rather smell nachos (which I don’t care for, btw) than someone wearing too much cologne.

  16. THOM
    Posted on November 10, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Sounds like screening movies is your job, well I guess you get paid for doing it. If you don’t like it, find another
    job. Movie goers, go to see a movie, relax, and perhaps eat their junk food. you have options! exercise them.