Waiting for the Magic Hour
An unnecessary, one-sided discussion on movie culture
By Jason Sherrange
It has gotten out of control. Lines have been crossed. I can’t take it any longer and I am asking all of my fellow moviegoers out there to help me end it. If we all band together, you and I can stop the travesty known as the modern day movie concession stand. Am I talking about the prices? No. And stop complaining about it. We have been over-paying for snacks at every entertainment venue from movies to sports since they figured out we’d shell out $7 for a Bud light.
What I’m talking about are the ridiculous choices that have been put before us on the concession stand menu. Pizza? Chicken Fingers? French Fries? Mozzarella sticks? Pretzel Bites? Jalapeño poppers? Really? Are we attending a movie or eating at Applebee’s? How did it get this way?
Not too long ago it used to be three choices; popcorn, candy and soda. Sure, there was a different addition to the menu here or there, depending on which movie theatre you attended. Maybe the Wintergarden Downtown*had one of those spinning hot dog cases or perhaps the theatre in the Chataqua Mall* had slushies to wash down your salty treat.*(Insert the name of your own hometown theatre), but that was the extent of it. Now I’m not one to dwell on the past. I understand that you can’t stand in the way of progress, but I’m not talking about this change happening 20 years ago. This has become a major issue in the last 5 to 10 years, and after much research and discussion amongst friends, I have determined it has come down to the addition of one menu item that slowly made this all ok to the masses. It was the Nachos.
The addition of Nachos to the menu did not make sense to me when I first saw them on the menu. Why would you want to dunk a chip in a hot glob of cheese-like substance held by a flimsy cardboard box or plastic container in a dark theatre? Also, it always looked like the metal bin they ladled the cheese out of came from the backroom of a 7-11 from 1975. I laughed.
Silly movie theatre owners. Who would buy these? Well, apparently a lot of people. It wasn’t too long before I was stepping on discarded containers filled with cheese that you just knew turned cold by the time you got through half of your chips. And then the s’ hit the f’. Soon, chicken fingers were on the menu, which begat fries…. which begat pizza….and so on. These additions have made concession lines longer, have made the theatre smell like fried food, and will contribute to even crazier experiments. I have seen now that some theatres are offering healthier alternatives like trail mix and smoothies. Sneak that crap into the movies in your pockets or your hippie girlfriend’s purse like a normal human being and stop messing with my world! Whoah…sorry. I got a little heated.
So, here is my plea to all of my fellow moviegoers out there. Don’t be tempted. Train your children. Mock your friends that order this junk. Stick with the Superfoods of the cinema; popcorn, candy and soda. Otherwise you’ll find yourself in the not-to-distant-future, waiting in line behind a family of five, ordering their salmon burgers with extra kelp noodles, and there you go. You just missed the previews.
Do you disagree? What is your favorite theatre snack? Any crazy discoveries at your local Cineplex? Let us know in the comment section or at firstname.lastname@example.org.