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Food in the Movie Theater


Published December 3, 2007 at 10:03 a.m.

It's not the point of this particular post, but I have some unusually strong feelings about the consumption of food in movie theaters. For example, I think that  whomever chose crisp popcorn in crinkly paper bags and candies packaged in cellophane as appropriate for consumption during heady dramas should inhabit a special place in Hades. There he should remain, encircled by Furies who nosh on loud, crunchy foods without sharing, for eternity. 

What would be better? Chocolate truffles or fudge served on quiet little plates, or maybe some Vermont cheddar cheese and baguette slices? Anything soft and chewy. I wonder how the candy/popcorn paradigm came about.

But like I said, that's not what this post, which is only tangentially food related, is about. Last night, D. and I went to see No Country for Old Men at the Roxy in Burlington. The Sunday-night audience was mostly made up of the 30-60 set. A quiet bunch; no teenagers to be seen.

When the movie ended, we stayed for the credits and everybody else streamed out of the theater. Eventually the lights came up and a youngish employee entered pulling a large trash can behind him. And it's a good thing he did, 'cause there was a big old mess for him to deal with: crumpled popcorn bags, empty water bottles, candy boxes and random bits of non-theater-related trash. Some was tucked into the cupholders between the seats, much was on the floor.

How is it that over and over each day, bunches of adults collectively decide that leaving their trash lying around a movie theater for someone else to pick up is acceptable? This particular crowd probably wouldn't drop their detritus on Church Street, nor would they do so in a restaurant. What makes a movie theater different?

In my mind, nothing. Movie theater employees deserve as much respect as anybody else. It barely takes any effort to collect ones own soda bottles and wrapped up bits of leftover chewing gum, so why don't people do it? This is beyond my comprehension.

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