Cinema etiquette: the dos and don’ts of snacking at the movies

There is a person in my life I admire more than anyone else. I have never met her, but we watched a movie together.

In 2010, I saw her enter Newtown’s Dendy Cinema and sit in the front rows, eating a family-sized Clem’s Chicken Shop meal – the smell of chicken fat and garlic potatoes was heavy in the air.

I think of her often. This fried chicken lover was certainly a remarkable person, but I must admit that she may not have been a very considerate theatergoer. This leads us to discuss some of the other dos and don’ts in cinema etiquette.

Open up your crinkly snack before the movie begins

Have you ever watched a movie and heard someone explain a major plot twist? It’s not okay. The same goes for opening a packet of salt and vinegar chips or Maltesers after the commercials have ended.

Do not bring hot food.

It doesn’t matter if you’re eating a Clem’s family pack. If your snack is hot food, it will smell. It might smell great to you. However, the other people who are sitting in that recirculated atmosphere for up to two hours could find it distracting. We don’t want it to smell if it’s not popcorn.

Stop the slurping

Do you really need the last few microlitres? You probably had to remortgage to buy a medium Fanta to go to the movies. But if you continue to slurp loudly on those icy, watered-down dregs, someone will get hurt. You.

Take care when chewing.

Loud chewing could have easily been placed in the category of ‘open up your crinkly lollies,’ but I think it’s in a class by itself. Scientists still don’t understand how corn chips in a movie theater can break the noise barrier. However, it is widely accepted. Probably. Chew your chippies quietly, please.

The importance of discretion

If you feel the need to sneak alcohol into a movie theater, please be discrete. Cracking a tinnie open is much more obvious than quietly popping a screw cap. Popping a champagne bottle will have you kicked out immediately.

Place your garbage in the bin.

It’s a strange breed of people who refuse to put their trash in the bin as they leave the cinema. On your way out, you’ll walk past a trash bin. Why not use it then? This is a simple act of service to the public that will make a cleaner’s life much easier. After all, there’s not much time between movies. You’re leaving your trash on your seat or in your cup holder. It isn’t good.

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