The End Of A Pop Icon?
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 12:28 by Glen Ferris in Empire States
Messy, noisy and a bit down market… No, that’s not an appraisal of Michael Bay’s directorial style but the opinion of certain popcorn-hating cinemagoers whose complaints have driven Picturehouse Cinemas, a popular chain of UK-based arthouse cinemas, to trial-run a ban on the salty/sweet treat.
Ever since the Lumiere brothers captured The Arrival Of A Train At La Ciotat Station, film fans have been stuffing their faces with the noisy snack and now it seems that since the advent of wasabi peas and olives, the humble kernel’s days may be numbered.
The Everyman Cinema Club, which has 17 venues littered across the UK, has long since blanket banned the Butterkist and with Picturehouse’s 19 cinemas jumping on the bandwagon from next month with trial snack-free screenings, we have to ask ourselves the question: Is popcorn worth fighting for?
Purists of the cinema-going experience will tell you that popcorn and movies go hand-in-hand like Laurel and Hardy, while anyone who has sat through a blockbuster only to have their evening ruined by chavs chowing down on a lapful of cheesy nachos, family-sized Minstrels and a bucket of Coke, will declare the partnership about as harmonious as Ike and Tina Turner's.
Personally, I can see both sides of the story but I firmly believe that popcorn is a basic human right and find that Everyman owner Daniel Broch is misguided when he says that “It's a form of junk food, that encourages junk entertainment and its smell is all-pervasive, it makes huge amounts of mess and it distracts and annoys people intensely.”
Yes, it can be an annoyance but banning popcorn would make a huge impact on the simple joy that a trip to your local fleapit can bring. Of course, it’s hugely over-priced (the British Film Institute once described the corn kernel as "the most profitable substance on the planet, more than heroin, more than plutonium") and, with the knowledge that popcorn costs less to produce than the cardboard container it comes in, it's hard to shake the feeling of being fleeced by the cinema owners, but for the sake of mass entertainment in its most enjoyable form, the snack must stay.
Which side of the fence are you on? Do you believe popcorn should stay in cinemas or should the kernel be given a dishonourable discharge? Have your say below…
Login or register to comment.
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 12:49
Frankly brilliant news... if only they would open a cinema in Basingstoke!
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 12:59
It can be a huge source of annoyance sometimes, mainly when it's spilled all over the floor. However, if some bell-end is munching on popcorn, then at least his mouth is full so he can't yabber on during the film, and he's using his hands so can't use his mobile phone either. Just glue the other free hand to the popcorn carton and you have a win-win situation!
And if Daniel Broch is using the 'junk food' point, it's surely not that strong an argument against popcorn, is it? Unless it's covered in butter/toffee/excess salt, it's hardly that bad? It's not exactly one of your five-a-day either; I would just consider it nutritionally void.
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 13:05
How can you take away popcorn! I usually go to Clapham Picture House as my cinema of choice but If they take away my beloved snacks I'll be boycotting for the odeon.
Popcorn uplifts the cinema experience from just sitting at home with a dvd. Sitting in the dark with the soothing dipping of hand into bucket just makes the whole thing that bit more worth going out for.
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 13:15
When I left an IMAX screening of the dark knight I knocked over an almost completely full container of popcorn that some idiot had left in front of their now empty seat. Personally i didn't see it as my fault (who leaves a full popcorn directly where everyone has to walk as they leave?) but the cinema employee who saw the whole shooting match apparently had a different opinion. Nontheless popcorn is a staple of cinema. I can't imagine walking in and not seeing the concession stand with its warm glass cabinets of kernel delights. It's a very small percentage of cinema goers that throw it or make a nuisance and they could do that just as easily with a bag of minstrels or m&ms (with the added danger of one landing on your seat and slowly melting into your trousers). Those who complain about popcorn in cinemas must surely be grumpy to the most extreme degree.
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 13:16
I hate popcorn, tried to eat some of it, never managed to swallow completely, horrible stuff, and love the idea of banning it in cinemas, bunch of pre-teens sitting behind you throwing shit at your head for two hours has never ben to jolly, but if it means no snacks, then that'd be impossible, since my cinema days usually involve 5 minute breaks between films until the last bus home, I couldn't cope.
Maybe just not give large sizes out, teach kids not to waste popcorn on the cooler people at the front who they are obviously jealous of...
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 13:22
How can people say popcorn is noisy? Its usually stale when you get it, so any crunch value is virtually non existant. In fact I would say the most noise it makes it when its being grabbed from its container. Sweeties in cellophane wrappers - now thats noise pollution. Everytime I hear someone rustling their oversize bag of minstrels I just want to shove them up their nose. Sideways.
Butterkist eaters should be banned for this reason as well. Popcorn should come in large cardboard (quiet) buckets and nothing else.
I don't tend to buy popcorn when I go on my own, cos it is extortionately priced, but when I take my son, he is often more excited about getting popcorn than seeing the film. I was bought up with it and I shall make darn sure my boy is bought up with it - its a national instituation.
What next? Banning ale in pubs?
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 13:22
As long as no-one tries to ban Peanut M&Ms (the cinema-goer's snack of champions) I'll be fine.
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 13:28
I never buy anything to eat at the cinema so it doesn't directly affect me but I think popcorn is probably the least offensive food that cinemas sell. It's one of the quietest and it doesn't exactly smell bad, does it? I quite like it. What I hate is all the nacho's and hot dogs and other ridicluous things cinemas sell now. THEY smell, the cinema is NOT a restaurant people! Same goes for people rustling in their packets of sweets and crisps, no, no no!
But popcorn should definitely stick around.
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 13:39
I isn't the popcorn itself that's annoying, its moron who eatsit/throw it about the place that's the problem. However the worst snck introductio was th nachos and the hotdogs, they stink the cinema out. I am one of those people that is happy with a bottle of water in case I get thirsty. If I need food I can eat before or after the film.
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 13:43
I quite enjoy the smell of the popcorn in the cinema. i don't eat the stuff prefering a large drink and an ice cream (and possibly some sweets). To be honest i'm of the opinion people can eat what they like in the cinema, just do it quietly and don't leave your rubbish where others may trill on it.
i will say however that i get an enormous kick ot off watching someone drop their popcorn. bigger the better. The look of dejection on their face is priceless. A good mate that i go to the cinema did it a couple of times and now refuses to buy it.
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 13:52
Get rid of it I say. I can't stand any sort of food in cinemas. As someone previously said, a bottle of water is all that is necessary.
However, if someone did need sweets during a film I'd recommend something that is noiseless when you eat it (ie. Haribo etc). Also, if it comes in a crinkly, loud bag then I think common courtesty would be to transfer said sweets into a box or something that doesn't sound like white noise when it is moved.
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 13:56
The problem is not pop corn, the problem is that people don't know how to eat anymore and THEY DONT CLOSE THEIR FUCKIN MOUTH!!
Honestly, is this an education thing but when did eating with your mouth open - making loud noises and doing so much barbaric sounds that everyone around you know how and where you chewed pop corn went - became a fashion?? It's frightening to see how disgusting some people can be with their food, either pop corn, or candys, or whatever... As long as you have the decency to pick your stuff in the bag as silently as possible(that's also another issue, maybe making wider box for pop corn so that people don't have to "dive in" to pick it LOL)), and CLOSE YOUR FUCKIN MOUTH, munching pop corn shouldnt be a problem.
For me, it is indeed an education problem, learning to eat silently, in respect of the people around you is something that disappeared a few years ago. That's all. It's disgusting, absolutely annoying, and extremely irritating.
They should concentrate on that, more than banning pop corn.
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 14:24
As so many others have said. aside from when it's being thrown around or eaten by neanderthals who don't even have basic eating manners, Popcron is absolutely the least offensive foodstuff sold in cinemas. And having worked in a Cunema myself... yes, it gets spilled a lot. but it's also the easiest of tings to clear up. sticky sweets and helf-molten chocolates are far trickier to clear up when the next showing is in 5 minutes time. they stick to the floor. Popcorn doesn't, and it hardly stinks. what stinks is the staling drinks and nacho dips. Popcorn must stay. it is an innocent snack corrupted by the foulness of yobbery. And as another said... seeing the colourful bags/buckets of popcorn behind the consessions counter is what we expect and want to see when we go to the cinema. This so-called Everyman Cinema Club is clearly run by a joyless bunch of little hitlers who I'd suspect think Popcorn to not be high-brow or bland enough for them to be allowed to like. who runs the thing? Hyacinth Bucket? Victor Meldrew?
I'm all for the idea of experimenting with alternative, helathier snacks for cinema consumption, but Popcorn fits all other criteria. tasty, simple, plentiful, non-messy and quiet. any healthier alternative, as far as i'm concerned must fit these too. Nachos, olives, pizza, hot-dogs, burgers.. these do not. If I want to eat fast-food while watching a movie, i'll order in something and put a DVD on, not spend twice as much for half as much whilst annoying dozens to hundreds of others in the process.
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 14:32
if popcorn goes, the price of the cinema ticket will surely rise?
i worked (albeit briefly) at the Cineworld in Luton during my univeristy time, the manager told us that the cinema only makes 50p from the ticket price. the rest of their income comes from the salted snacks and sugary pop, so surely they would increase the ticket price to cover the loss of popcorn?
anywho, it shan't happen. and like someone says above, the popcorn smells ok (even if it tastes horrendous) but the hot dogs? now THEY smell nasty.
on an un-related note, working at a multiplex was awful! even with the perk of free screenings and advanced blockbusters viewings it sucked.
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 14:43
Keep the snacks. sack the morons who can't behave themselves with it. Otherise i may just stay at home and enjoy my DVD's with a good bottle of red
the ageless stranger
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 14:48
If they're gonna ban popcorn, then they'd better be willing to ban people who answer their mobile phones, flash the screens in the corner of my eye, kick the back of my seat, offer running commentary of the film ( "can she not see him, he's right behind her?!?!" ) Otherwise, let me keep one of the reasons I enjoy going to the cinema.
Anyway, if they ban it, I'm just gonna bring my own.
Margot at the Movies
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 14:55
Although I am preferable to sweets when frequenting the cinema (giant strawbs and cherries!), I would be disgruntled if popcorn was taken away! Nothing says "you're going to see a film" better than the welcoming smell of popcorn.
However, I do agree with previous statements, people should learn to chew! Also- who buys popcorn for an extortionate £4.00+ just to throw the damn stuff!
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 15:06
how about popcorn sections outside the cinema beside the smokers.lol
i like to have popcorn when i'm at the pictures i think its the people rustling through sweetie papers that are the loudest. That and anyone under 18.*
*not all people under 18 are idiots when they go to the pictures but it does seem to be the majority for those who are not i give my apolagies.
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 15:46
I agree with many of the posts here. Popcorn is synonymous with the cinema, however I cannot possibly see why people would get upset with not being allowed to eat for no more than 3 hrs or so! I think it's a total piss-take that hot food is served at all. Again, it looks as though there is no happy answer to this predicament. I for one wouldn't care less if they banned food in the cinema entirely. However you can bet you ass that all the fat ba$tards who have already started to complain (with their stomach's probably rumbling after simply hearing this news) would just start smuggling calorie-packed snacks into screenings so I doubt it'd make much difference either way. Possibly might make the tubby cake-loving bloaters a bit quieter in their gorging perhaps.
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 16:16
Why do people need to constantly feed their faces? Is two hours too long for some people to go without food? We haven't always had popcorn for sale at cinemas in this country, its just another nasty import from America, like the vile hotdogs!
I welcome the ban on popcorn and, fortunately, live near a picturehouse cinema.
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 16:21
There doing you a favour, it's salty and bad for your heart, is saturated fat, gives you indigestion often, this is why I go hungry at the cinema
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 18:03
actually Ace, although your presumed origin of Popcorn is correct, the hot-dog is far from american. the concept of putting a sausage in a bun dates back to as early as ancient greece. and the sausages usually used nowadays are frankfurters, so-called for their origin in Frankfurt. which is in Germany. not America. And am i getting the salt intake by buying sweet popcorn? sugar, perhaps, but salt? and surely wether I injest this "foul american monster" is my own decision. anyone with half a brain knows it's hardly healthy, but the films i tend more to buy popcorn for are big, dumb actioners, for which popcorn is almost an unwritten rule. (Dark Knight was tricky... it's big action, but hardly dumb - though i still went with it). and are you saying that the popcorn is less healthy than the bags of sugar that are pick'n'mix? or the soft drinks? As I said before. a healthier alternative would be welcomed... but even so, it shouldnt be at the expense of popcorn completely.
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 18:27
I don't find Popcorn annoying in the slightest, or I have yet to do so! Its the constant rustling of bags of sweets and chocolates that get on my nerves. Can't we have a ban on irritating groups of teenagers that don't shut up instead? or ban parents from bringing whiny 5 year olds to 12A films (I spent most of my time watching Harry Potter, but hearing "I need the toilet!" "Stop kicking me" and listening to them sucking their sweeties with their mouths open)
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 18:59
Oh my God! Don't ban the popcorn! Fortunately, I have never had to endure idiots throwing it around the place. For me, a small tub of the sweet stuff is part of the experience of going to the cinema, especially if I know the film will be tense - stops me biting my nails.
I am also a huge fan of nachos with extra jalapenos and love the occasional hot dog. Now this isn't because I can't go two hours without eating, but again, would rather miss my tea and get something at the cinema. I really think it just makes the evening complete.
Plus, a bottle of water would never do, makes me imagine having prison rations while my captors let me watch movies; it just wouldn't feel right.
I mean, we all obviously like a snack while watching a movie, even while at home as many have mentioned the superior treat of peanut m&ms and a bottle of red. So reprimand the annoying minority and leave the popcorn in its rightful home.
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 20:13
When I go see a small foreign 'arthouse' movie, the theatres where they're shown don't even serve drinks, let alone snacks and that's just fine by me. But on the days I want to see an Iron Man-type movie the bucket of salty goodness is part and parcel of the experience. So, popcorn has and will always have a place in the cinema, as long as the movie's not in black and white or a foreign language.
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 20:17
Just Ban, mobile phones, excessive talking (and if possible anyone under 18 one can dream) and all would be right with the world.
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 20:29
Could we please stop the teenager bashing? (We do enough of that ourselves!!!)
I am still a teenager and fully understand that people should be quiet in cinemas. It irritates me as much as anyone else. But myself and my friends find that the majority of people using their phones are older people with "business" and the people throwing popcorn and eating horrendous cheese concoctions are the just large groups of people (whatever age) that spur each other on. I've been hit in the back of my head with Coffee (or possibly Orange) Revels by all manner of people before. Getting something in my hair gives you 100 points apparently.
Myself and my amigos understand film and common courtesy and would rather this torrent of tarring with the same brush stopped.
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 20:43
Personally I hate popcorn and always have. But the problem isn't with the snack it's with the "people" who throw it around all over the place. Perhaps the cinema chains need to look at banning the people who are a nuscance rather than any particular food. It's not fair that cinema lovers should have their choice of snacks narrowed down because of an inconsiderate few.
I remember having the last few endings of LOTR:ROTK ruined by an asbo wearing his large size popcorn container as a hat and shouting to his friends who were sat at the other side of the cinema. That said at the FACT in Liverpool they have the sound so loud that i dosn't matter how loud anyone talks.
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 21:36
My brother, who has Down's syndrome, would kick up a real fuss if popcorn were to be banned, as it is a tradition that he have his coke and popcorn. I think popcorn adds to the whole experience, but not when it's stale and overpriced. I have less problems with the noise of popcorn, and find people talking in the cinema or on mobile phones far more distracting. I don't believe I've ever been in a screening when somebody inappropriately used popcorn as a missile.
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 21:53
Popcorn has been an institution ever since I first remember going to the cinema as a kid with my parents. It's personal preference whether to eat it, obviously, but those of us who eat it shouldn't be punished because of some morons who mes about.
I could take or leave the other snacks, you can get them anywhere else cheaper but popcorn is part and parcel of the experience (not always, but I like the choice to have it).
Ban popcorn and they will find something else to throw, it should be fairly self-evident that nothing the powers-that-be dream of will deter such people when they are determined enough to cause trouble.
Ergo, kick the morons out of the cinema, not the kernels.
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 22:32
It's ridiculous to blame popcorn for all the mess in pictures it has to be the easiest thing to clean up.
I love going to the pics (thankfully my local is an odean) I'l go a full day without food just to save myself for a large sweet or salted popcorn and the only noises youl hear coming from my direction are the wimpers of anyone who tries to take some. Name something lighter than popcorn? If they aint gunna have that to throw then im going to have candy thrown at me which will hurt.
I hate people who got to the flics and just end up talking all the way through it if ya bored F OFF!
Saying that tho i dont think i would have got through vantage point if it was for everyone doing chime impresions and making rewind noises.
Please dont rob us loyal capable cinema goers of our golden corn.
Posted on Tuesday September 2, 2008, 02:19
I like a bit of popcorn now and again. But only at Showcase cinemas where they seem to get it right. VUE, and Odeon popcorn is usually tasteless and overpriced. You only eat popcorn at the cinema, don't you, they go hand in hand. But nachos!? nachos I've really got a problem with, its not so much the noise (although that trumps popcorn) its the smell. Cheese and spicy sauce, it reeks, and I hate it... I mean what the hell, soft unflavoured crisps cemented together by rubbery cheese. Why must you eat that? Get a pizza beforehand...
Posted on Tuesday September 2, 2008, 09:29
Never gonna happen.
Do they realise what the profitability is on popcorn? The margins on packaged sweets and ice cream are significantly smaller but fizzy drinks, popcorn and hot dogs are where the real money lies. Popcorn costs about 7p per portion to make and retails for astronomical prices. It's here to stay without a doubt.
At first glance though, this would seem music to the ears of cinema workers up and down the country. When I did my Odeon Service between 2001-2004, sweeping a busy screening free of popcorn was an unbelivably annoying task. However, without that need for someone to sweep, out goes the need for that many staff and plenty can kiss goodbye to their jobs.
And what would the joys of a first date be without a shared bucket of popcorn and the opportunities for a bit of low level, silent flirting this brings.
SOS - Save Our Snacks. They are good for everyone concerned.
Posted on Tuesday September 2, 2008, 09:56
Daniel Broch is a fool. He cant use the junk food card, since everything else they sell in the cinemas is effectively junk food. It encourages junk entertainment? Of course, thats why I go to the cinema, and it doesnt really anyway. Popcorn is the defining smell of the cinema and is not that messy, as long as the people eating it arent total cack handed idiots. Like the type that take hot dogs and nachos in to the film! DONT GET RID OF THE POPPED CORN!
Posted on Tuesday September 2, 2008, 10:32
Its not the popcorn thats the problem, its the teenage chavs and their pals munching as loud as they can and throwing the stuff around. Whats worse is the kind of snacks that dont even belong in cinema i.e. Hot dogs, nachos, pringles etc. Those kinds of foods stink the place up something rotten and are way more distracting. Pan Labrynthe was ruined for me because of some twat behind gorging on kettle chips and nachos like there was no tomorrow.
I think popcorn should stay, ill mannered knobs should go!
Posted on Tuesday September 2, 2008, 10:53
I don't eat the popcorn because of the price, in fact I don't eat any cinema food; I smuggle sweets in from the Sainsburys up the road (£3.20 for a bag of Minstrels when it is 2 bags for £3 elsewhere, I'm a sucker but I aint stupid) but the smell of popcorn is part of the experience. Yes there are annoying people who chew loudly and throw it but there are also people who talk/fart/burp/use their phone and are equally as annoying. Banning anything needs to be carefully thought about.
Sadly though, Picturehouse cinemas are quite arty and TBH I think this is a class thing. They can't ban kids, teenagers, families or poor people so they will just try and force em to other cinemas and keep the Picturehouse high brow and pompous. I hope they lose so much business they go bust! Pompous class warriors like that deserve nothing less.
Posted on Tuesday September 2, 2008, 10:56
Popcorn should stay but other smelly snacks should go. The reason Popcorn should stay is its a great first date snack, the cut a hole in the bottom of the carton and shove your nob through it thing is a classic cinema related gag and should not be consigned to cinema history. What next? banning smoking in the local multiplex? I ask ya?
Posted on Tuesday September 2, 2008, 11:13
During Iron Man earlier this year, I was pelted with Butterkist by hoodie-wearing 13 year olds. Embrace the ban!
Popcorn is the noisiest food in existence and to have people crunching and chewing through films is unbearable. Is it really that difficult to sit still for two hours and enjoy the unfolding projection?
Posted on Tuesday September 2, 2008, 12:06
Okay, Popcorn does not make that much noise! It is in a cardboard casing and that doesn't make noise either. But I love the idea form Acho, where they'll have their mouths full of popcorn and their hands occupied so no mobile phone. And if we just allow Popcorn and NOTHING else we will have a very nice evening. No small annoying paper bags and no soon to be empty sodas. And if they don't want to buy Popcorn, we should tape their mouths so that they can't talk (about how awful that new rule about how you can't bring anything else except Popcorn to the movies). And kids under the age of 16 should not be allowed to attend to movies like Spider-Man, Superman etc, not because of the content, but because of their extensive talk before the movie, under and after. I pray to God (?) that I may never hear another lame comment about how fast Juno gets pregnant or how the cape to Superman fits in his suit. Shut up for Christ sake!
Posted on Tuesday September 2, 2008, 12:19
Having worked at Odeon from 2004 until earlier this year i think i can safely say that popcorn is here to stay. As several people mentioned earlier it costs about 7p to make a 'bucket' worth of popcorn and then they sell it for about £4.
But i think popcorn is part of the cinema tradition and, i know i'm repeating everyone else here, it's the sweet wrappers and mobiles that can ruin a movie experience. I really don't think they should ban popcorn in cinemas as it could potentially destroy the whole industry, making the cinema companies charge a lot more for tickets and putting people off.
And i completely agree with people about the nachos and hot dogs, they should definitely be banned but again, cinemas make a lot of money out of them. They stink out a cinema screen and there's almost no nutritional value in them whatsoever. Nachos are basically cardboard with 'dip' and the hot dogs have never even seen an animal.
Posted on Tuesday September 2, 2008, 12:39
I reckon the price of cinema food is outrageous, I always sneak my own food in. I mean, for god's sake, the multiplexes make enough! If they're that greedy then they should demand a bigger percentage of each ticket. The studios and distributors are just as bad as they are! My local cinema's the curzon in Clevedon, and even though they don't sell hot, salty popcorn, everything only costs between 20p and £1.50. It's not really the popcorn that's noisy, it's the bloody great slurpy drinks and feckin' wrapped sweets and crisps! It's a picturehouse, not a cafe or a snack bar! I think everything apart from Popcron should be banned. It causes a lot of fuss and noise. The problem with going to the great films like Kung Fu Panda and The Incredible Hulk is the bloody teenage audience. I find my peer's behaviour in various blockbusters appalling. They don't shut up, they swear loudly and frequently at films like WAAL-E, with little children listening, and generally ruin the experience for everyone. I reckon they should have bouncers, or more realistically ushers, to pull people who disrupt the film out of the screen, and if they demand a refund, then give it to them! Multiplexes are so souless, of course, that they couldn't care less. That's why I support local and independent cinemas like the Curzon. It's cheaper, you're helping the community, you can see some films not on at multiplexes and the experience is more enjoyable (except Kung Fu Panda and Wall-E mentioned above). In fact, I went to see Hellboy 2 yesterday, and that was the first time I've been to my 'local' multiplex in 18 months! I suggest you all do the same, and bring your own food to money-grabbing multiplexes.
Posted on Tuesday September 2, 2008, 13:08
Doc Batman - Just to let you know, and I am sure you have been told this before, that the only way cinemas exist is charging those outrageous prices. Here's why...
When a ticket has been sold for a film, how much do you think the cinema makes on that? Well it varies from film to film but after taking out everyone's cut it's between 35-15%. And the bigger the film, the smaller the cut. And what's more, distributors are safe in the knowledge that they can charge whatever they want because if the cinema refuses then not only will you not get the film in question but you wont get any other releases from them either. They have them over a barrel.
Two ways round this really. The cinema can either charge a price that means that the cut they are getting is enough to make them profitable. If they did this (And assuming the same number of punters would still pay these massive prices, which they wouldn't) then you would be looking at around £20 a ticket.
The other way is to charge massively for the food. That way, they keep all that revenue and it is your choice to pay it or not. You can still go and see the film without. You sneaking that food in is as damaging to the cinema chains as piracy. And that's no exageration. If everyone went to get their food from Asda then you wouldn't have a cinema before too long.
So think on next time. Do you want a cinema experience at all? Is it worth spending another couple of quid on some minstrels for? I think so.
And I tell you what, I was King of the Upsellers at Grimsby Odeon. Nobody ever got away with having a small popcorn or drink. They were nicely charmed/cajoled/bullied into taking a large. And my spend per customer was a cinema record!
See, that's me doing my bit for the future of film my son. Without people buying large popcorns we will all be sitting at home in front of the plasmas. And where is the fun and sense of occasion in that I ask you?
Posted on Tuesday September 2, 2008, 13:20
Subsidising an industry by buying overpriced crap you don't need and is never satisfying is a bit of a dumb reason to buy popcorn - but a bloody good reason to sell the stuff.
I'm sure the multiplex chains have some pretty hefty bargaining power when it comes to their cut of ticket prices - they're just too set in their ways to take any action. Which is the crux of this whole business - popcorn is only really consumed in cinemas because its "customary" and there is little else to choose from.
Cinema food is rubbish and I'd rather choose my own snacks to enjoy. I pay to go to the cinema for the film not the food and won't ever feel guilty about that.
Posted on Tuesday September 2, 2008, 13:33
The problem with all snacks at cinemas is that they all all vastly overpriced - but popcorn is the worst offender - and as someone has already pointed out it hangs around for so long that by the time you actually get it in one of those buckets it has gone stale. The buckets are so oversized that is practically impossible to eat it all and at some point someone will knock into you as they make their way to a seat and spill half of it all over you, your seat and the floor.
Oh, a tip for Doctor Batman - I tend to go to as late a showing as possible for the blockbusters - or take a sneaky week day trip while the monsters - I mean teenagers - are hopefully in school.
Posted on Tuesday September 2, 2008, 13:51
Correct me if I'm wrong (and someone please do if I am) but aren't the snacks, junk food, whatever, the very things that keep cinemas open? Yeah, they may be dirt cheap to produce and expensive for Joe Public to buy. But if it keeps my local cinema open, what's the problem? I was always under the impression that when it comes to purchasing your film ticket, all of that money goes to the producers/studio of whom the film belongs to and that the cinema only really makes money from all the salty/sweet snacks that they sell. I remember when Phantom Menace was released, there was a big hoo-haa because Mr Lucas decided that not only was he going to get 100% of the ticket but a percentage of the refreshments sold in all the cinemas his cash cow showed at. If this is correct (and please correct me if I'm wrong) then what's wrong with the cinema trying to make some money by selling overpriced snacks especially if it keeps them in business? I always try and buy something when I'm there, because £6 for a large popcorn and coke is a small price to pay to help keep my local cinema open so I can watch all the films I've been desperately looking forward to. So next time, you're in the cinema watching a film and the guy next to you is making a bit of noise with his god forbid popcorn, instead of making noises and stabbing him repeatedly in your head, try kissing his ass. Because if it wasn't for people like that, cinemas would be closing left right and centre...Unless it's salty popcorn. Then you have every right to smack him upside his head. And people who bring they're own food in are just snack pirates who fund terrorism and crime.
Posted on Tuesday September 2, 2008, 14:09
Oh my goodness! Why is there an argument on popcorn? How about the ticket prices?! £8.50 for over 12s at ODEON? Give me a fucking break, that's ridiculous!
But in relation to the actual subject, how the hell is popcorn noisy or smelly? You can't ban popcorn from cinemas that's just stupid. If they ever try that at Vue Lord knows I shall just by my own popcorn and whatever other snacks i want to eat from Sainsbury's. No biggie. What other options are there anyway? Hot dog? Nachos?(which actually DO smell) No thanks. Yes, we could just go hungry but that just takes out the whole cinema experience for me.
And for God's sake leave teenagers alone! It's really annoying just constantly hearing about how loud and unruly they are. Not all of them are bad you know. Jeesh!
Posted on Tuesday September 2, 2008, 16:13
I work in a small part-time cinema. We don't sell popcorn because it's disgusting to clean up off the carpet but neither do we ban anybody from taking in their own food although we probably would ask people not to take hot food in but then most of our clientele is over 35 so they probably wouldn't anyway.
We do however have an intermission when we have a bar and ice cream sales and if we didn't have this we wouldn't be able to run the movies!
Posted on Tuesday September 2, 2008, 16:41
I'd rather have a slight rustling of popcorn or sweets than the constant muttering and murmuring or out right talking that so many people seem to do in cinemas these days! Cinemas aren't cheap and I'm sick of having obnoxious c**ts talking through entire movies asking whoever they're with whats going on! Watch the f**king film and find out!
Posted on Tuesday September 2, 2008, 17:10
Me and a friend have had a ban on eating or drinking at the Cinema for a very, long time now. Years in fact. I sneak in a packet of popcorn and I sneak in a drink(£1.50). I dont ever mind paying for a cinema ticket cuz your getting to watch a multi-million dollor film for a very cheap amount. Buying popcorn and a drink in the cinema, £6. I save £4 each trip. I need two trips to save £8 which is what i spend roughly on a cinema ticket and sneaky snacks. Im supporting a local vendor, my cinema and im seeing many more films. Little bonus for the cinema, im way more likely to pick up after myself so I dont leave any evidence.
Posted on Tuesday September 2, 2008, 21:48
Anything that can be thrown by chavs and oiks should be banned. I love popcorn and M&Ms but waiting for one to bounce of my head is no fun.
Posted on Wednesday September 3, 2008, 11:06
Well, if the cinema chains got rid of the popcorn, just like the multiplexes drove the smaller chain cinemas out of business, then what would we have left from the old style theatres, crap blockbusters, awful smelling nachos!!!!
Popcorn still has a big part to play with going to the movies, as people always say "You cannot go to the picture's without having popcorn"
Posted on Wednesday September 3, 2008, 12:18
If ANY cinema chain thinks that it can charge me £9 to see a movie and then tell me what I can and can't eat then they need to get their head out of their arses! If you watch a movie with HUNDREDS of other people you have to accept that it will not be the same experience as sitting at home with a DVD.
I personally don't eat during movies, but I'm not enough of a dick to start crying when somebody makes a noise. I think this move is pompous, short-sighted and frankly immature. What will be next? Banning audience reactions? 'Audience members are kindly asked not to laugh during funny scenes or gasp when shocked. If you must react, please muffle yourself with a hanky or sleeve.' Heaven forbid anyone should actually enjoy themselves!
Picturehouse should stop being so arrogant and realize that they work in an entertainment industry, not a flippin' art gallery!
Posted on Wednesday September 3, 2008, 13:35
Preach Nicky C!!
Posted on Wednesday September 3, 2008, 13:37
I once dropped a jumbo size Sprite down a man in the row in front, the condensation made it too slippery you see. This has nothing to do with the popcorn debate, i just feel very, very bad about it...
Maybe food could be served in the foyer/sitting area and banned in the actual screen? I went to see Wall.e over the holidays and, though the room was filled with kids, it was the bloody parents making all the racket- eating crunchy stuff with their mouths open(including the offending grain), unwrapping rustling sweets they must've brought from home and sucking every last bit of moisture from the cinema drinks which are more ice than juice. Maybe there should just be a douchbag detecting test at the door and those who can be trusted to eat in peace are allowed to.
Posted on Wednesday September 3, 2008, 16:25
Could we ban doppers, chavs, wino's, thickie's and idiots too please? They're noisy, distracting and so fucking irritating the make me realise the true genius of Harold Shipman's "put 'em to sleep on the sly" plan.
Posted on Wednesday September 3, 2008, 23:09
Big bags of popcorn cost 86p at my local Aldi's, where the same amount costs £4.10 in my cinema.
I don't think a ban is right, but they could stop selling food and if people really wanted some they could bring their own. The chavvy wankers who throw the stuff around would probably see a detour to a local shop, to buy popcorn and Minstrels that they're gonna chuck at people anyway, as a bit too much hassle and not bother with anything.
And if anyone complains about it, the cinema staff can just tell them "there's a shop across the road, you lazy bastard".
Maybe not the last bit, mind....
Posted on Thursday September 4, 2008, 00:17
they are completely missing the point screw the popcorn what about seating space that you can't fit in, lights on the ceiling to guide you out of the cinema just incase your neck breaks during the film and you can't follow the stair case, lights on the ceiling that shine annoyingly in your peripheral vision, or lights on the ceiling that don't go out fully and leave you in a slightly dimmed as apposed to dark cinema. shitty sound where you can't make out speach, shitty sound that makes the THX sound trailer more redolant of a pissed bloke yawning, six million adverts that insult your intellagence, because they need more money to improve the crapness of your cinema going experience, I say spend the money on Imaganovision, my invention where you can imagine your at the cinema because you'd rather be anywhere else than at Huntingdon Cineworld.
Posted on Thursday September 4, 2008, 11:19
Don't like popcorn so it's no sweat off my sack, but like most have already said, they need to ditch the fucking hotdogs and nachos. I once bought a Hotdog at the cinema (to eat BEFORE entering the screen) and it was rank. Stunk too. Never again! I'm partial to a few minstrals (not the black and white kind) when I go to the cinema (which are served in cardboard cups these days, at least in Vue cinemas) so I'll back my fellow snackers right to snack, but you don't need a fucking meal! Apologies for my over zealous use of the bracket buttons there(.)
Again, as a lot have already said, it's the little in-bred, cretinous fuckwits, who either throw said savory snack at innocent cinema goers or chow down with their disgustingly over-filled, moronic gob-holes wide open, that need to be banned. Either banned or led into a small room with a heavily armed lunatic
Posted on Thursday September 4, 2008, 19:11
If they ban popcorn from the cinema it will be the final nail in the coffin of a once great social institution. In my 23 years there have only been two occasions when i have been to the cinema without popcorn (is it a coincidence that were tripe, tomb raider 2 and jurrasic park 3). Over recent years cinemagoers have had to put up with the skyrocketing cost of a trip to the cinema and now they want to take away our god given snacks. If the happens i will never go to the cinema ever again fact. cinema + popcorn = perfection.
Posted on Thursday September 4, 2008, 20:44
I think the corn should stay, its a tradion and should be considered part of the cinema way lol. I think the hotdogs and nachos should go, they stink and only the fattest of the fat enjoy them!!!!!!!!
If i had my way, all you would be able to get at the kiosk is Popcorn, Coke and sweet POTS - as the bags make to much noise!!!!!!!!
Posted on Friday September 5, 2008, 09:42
Speaking as a cinema worker... get rid of it! please!
Lord Byron Pitt
Posted on Friday September 5, 2008, 12:28
This no popcorn thing is great for the small arthouse cinemas. however for mainstream cinemas. the food (and it's stupid markup) is the life blood. Thats how the places make their profit as the tickets all go towards filmhire. Even in screenings for people like NRG people buy popcorn and the cinemas love it. free movie but people still buying.
Personally I love eating popcorn with a movie. I do it at home and I do it at the cinema. It keeps me going during a bad movie and I love the freshly made stuff. I spent five years working at a cinema so it's the least I can do. I try not to make too much noise and I always place the rubbish in the bin afterwards.
I feel it's harsh to ban it because a small group of people have generalised the snack as "down market" despite the fact it keeps alot of places going.
I also like the idea of people complaining about the noise of popcorn in a subtitled film. for some reason that makes me grin.
Posted on Friday September 5, 2008, 12:55
Popcorn is dangerous stuff. It has been scientifically proven* to induce chavish behaviour when mixed with visual stimulous. Those who are lucky enough to have the "good manners" gene are immune to this reaction but, in some extreme cases, tend instead to suffer the "popcorn is the slow-fried genital wart of Satan" reaction instead.
In conclusion, I love popcorn. Ban it from the cinema and I will cry. As a man wiser than me once said, "There's nothing worse than seeing a fat man weep." I rest my case.
Posted on Friday September 5, 2008, 13:25
I agree with most people in that it isn't the popcorn that's the problem, it's the people who lack any social skills and eat like it's the first time they've had food.
My problem is that I always sit next to the inconsiderate wankers who rustle and ferret around for every last bit of popcorn. They do the same with the haribos, revels and whatever else and no matter how much you tut and hint that they are ruining your film pleasure they just don't get it because they have such limited intelligence.
Maybe cinemas should start thinking about showing a film, on two screens, simultaneously. One can be for all these bootom feeders including those who don't understand that texting and talking is not acceptable and then another screen for those who actually want to kick back, relax and get absorbed in to a film without disturbing anyone else.
Posted on Friday September 5, 2008, 14:06
How about having certain screenings - maybe one or two of the later slots per week - designated as 'snack free'? That way people can have the movie-going experience of their choice and everybody's happy. If individual cinemas found these performances often sold out they could have more, thereby tailoring their service to fit local needs (depending on how prevalent their snack-throwing population was).
I've often thought they should do the same with adult only showings of things - not because I automatically blame teenagers for everything but because I'd love to watch 'family' movies without the screaming kids (just because it's certified 12a doesn't mean it will keep a 4 year old quietly amused people).
Again, I would never suggest an outright ban, just the option to choose.
Posted on Friday September 5, 2008, 14:13
Popcorn isn't noisy - it's the mindles masses that are given control of it who are.
It's the same poeple who talk, mess with their phones, move around inexplicably and bring their 2 year old along.
Rather than popcorn free cinemas how about inconsiderate moron free cinemas.
Posted on Friday September 5, 2008, 14:24
I don't really understand the need to be eating while you watch a film, if I was at home at 3 in the afternoon I wouldn't be mindlessly snacking whilst I did whatever it is I do. That said I don't have a problem with other people eating popcorn, as long as they don't leave it lying around! Is it really so hard to pick your rubbish up at the end of the film and put it in the rubbish bag which the nice young man by the door is holding?
Posted on Friday September 5, 2008, 15:15
Simply put, popcorn keeps most cinemas open. The Picturehouse can get away with not selling it because they have other options which keeps the coinage coming in, such as alcohol or expensive coffee shop areas etc. I do prefer my local Picturehouse to say my local Odean. But this pseudo high brow, hoity toity bullshit about banning popcorn is a bit much. If they banned Adam Sandler films, I'd be more impressed.
Posted on Friday September 5, 2008, 15:27
I can think of more annoying things than popcorn. Coughing. Sneezing. Talking. Giggling schoolkids who have no interest in the film. People with weak bladders who visit the toilet 5 times in half an hour. Crisps. Boiled sweets.
Popcorn is to cinema as the beehive is to Amy Winehouse - the moment someone mentions it it is instantly associated. I can't imagine going to a cinema without seeing the salted/sweet snack in the glass boxes of the foyet but I do agree that sizes could be restricted to save people moaning about waste or too much noise.
Watching a film without popcorn? I may as well buy a multipack of malteasers for the same price as the cinema's, be at home and watch it on TV, which to me, is not the point of a film experience.
Posted on Friday September 5, 2008, 16:30
And that's just one of many reasons why Picturehouse continue to be my favourite cinema; they actually care about the film! I've never understood why people seem incapable of sitting through a film without guzzling food... makes you wonder why they didn't eat before hand. But if you really must eat, at least buy something quiet like ice cream and be considerate the other people in the cinema who've paid every bit as much as you to see the film. And maybe think about a trip to the doctors for a diabetes check...
Posted on Sunday September 7, 2008, 12:34
The idea that popcorn is a necessary part of the cinema experience is an illusion, one that has clouded the judgment of society for centuries, this foul-tasting, noise-producing, bland annoyance serves no other purpose than to give morons something to do with their hands and to thoroughly piss off any one with sense or with the idea that you go to a cinema watch a film not give your jaw an unnecessary exercise.
Popcorn never gets finished-ever, there’s either over half of the bucket left or some Nob has just clumsily released the trough from their grip or a bunch of 'yoofs' just throw it aimlessly around the cinema making it their sole mission to ruin the film for everyone else.
A normal man can survive a week without drink and a month without food, and since the last time I checked the majority of films do not exceed a 44640 minute running time-not even the lord of the rings trilogy back-to-back, so take a bottle of water to a cinema but for Christ’s sake save your money and don't ruin my film with your tub of bland, pointless entities.
Glen Ferris you must be Hanged by the neck until almost dead, then
Disembowelled, your genitalia and entrails burned before your eyes, beheaded and then finally your body must be divided into four parts for your unholy treason.
Posted on Sunday September 7, 2008, 18:17
How can people say popcorn is noisy???
i´m a regular cinema goer (1-2 times per week) and cannot recall
ever hearing people who eat popcorn.
I have never had any thrown at me either, and i live in london!!
The annoying people are those who eat sweets in noisy wrappers, crisps,
pick and mix etc etc, they are the ones who should be banned!!!
Popcorn is as much a part of the cinema experience as the Dolby logo and annoyingly long commercials!
I think if it went i would have to catch more on dvd and leave the big screen well alone.
Posted on Sunday September 7, 2008, 19:48
Yes!! I totally concur with the popcorn ban. It's not so bad when you're sitting down watching a noisy film, but, for example, when viewing a particularly emotional scene in the film Gone Baby Gone, the last thing I wanted to hear was the sound of some chav gobbling down Butterkist in my ear
Posted on Monday September 8, 2008, 09:16
I have worked for the head office of a huge multiplex chain for 7.5 years now and it is unfeasible for popcorn to be banned in the multi plex's.
As a lot of people have pointed out, it is through the food and drink thats cienmas make money. When a a film is shown at a cinema the HO agree terms with the distributor and how much % will be kept by the cienma..this can sometimes end up in a loss if the film does not take as much as expected (i.e X files 2).
And the cienma has a lot more costs than just tickets and sdtaff - external cleaners, security,energy bills, rent etc.
Therefore the money made is from mainly popcorn and postmix as it costs little to produce and can be charged for a high price.
If you dont want to pay the prices then dont! its not rocket science!
And it is all very well people saying ban the morons, teenagers, winos etc from entering the screen....er......how do you know they are one until they demonstrate it in the screen! most trouble is caused by couples in the age range of 25-45 arguing with other people...not teenagers or drunks etc...'normal respectable' people who obviously think they own the cinema whilst they are in it.
Rifght rant over..i just think people should appreciate that working in a cinema is not all free films and dossing about..it can be bloody hard work and you have to put up with terrible abuse from customers who think they are better than you
Posted on Tuesday September 9, 2008, 03:16
None of this would be an issue if we could get some LONG OVERDUE headphones in cinemas!
Posted on Monday September 15, 2008, 13:01
Well, I’m all for good manners but some of you guys seem to have a rather fascistic attitude to cinema etiquette. Popcorn isn’t the easiest thing to “eat as silently as possible” given its crunchy nature and the inherent rustling of the bag in which it is contained, and surely if you go to the cinema then you should expect people to be eating popcorn, and if the sound of people eating popcorn annoys you, then perhaps you should find an alternative way to watch new movies.
Posted on Sunday September 21, 2008, 20:10
Wow. "Snack-free screenings"? How about "Free snack screenings"? LOL!
I never eat popcorn because the idea of eating something that has been lying around in a huge container for god knows how many years, is gross.
I always eat at the cinema, but always buy the snacks outside to take in. Cinemas are just too expensive to buy snacks at.
I'll eat crisps or chocolate or whatever.... but I've never yet had anyone complain of noise because I try to be quiet with the wrappers. It CAN be done. It's not the food or the wrappers, but the people.
A bigger annoyance are people who arrive after the show has started, those who talk during shows, those who kick their feet up behind your seat, and those (especially tall types) who insist in sitting right in front of you when they're surrounded by empty seats.
I'd like to know how they enforce this "snack-free" screening. Do they raid pockets or what?!