I love movies, and I love going to the cinema. There’s something about the atmosphere as you watch a new film, experiencing it (mostly) for the first time with strangers – bonded by a mutual curiosity and vulnerable to the whim of your emotions. The cinema is a space where the ideological restraints of reality are left at the door and we are all stripped back to simple spectators of life within the black hole of a suspended now.
Oh no, wait, popcorn’s a thing.
According to one informed PBS endorsed article, we can thank Glen W. Dickson for introducing the baffling concept of popcorn machines in theaters, way back in 1938. Since then movie lovers around the world have been incensed with the gnawing, the chewing and the rustling of the inconsiderate and greedy masses; our only solace lying in the hope that we will continue enjoying the films of tomorrow long after these intruders have been crippled with diabetes.
But it doesn’t just stop with popcorn, oh no. Just when you think it’s safe to relax, as that couple walks past your aisle holding nothing more than their ticket stub, they pull a bag of sweets from their coat. Precisely measured to be the ultimate stealth snack, luring the unsuspecting cinephiles into a false sense of security but, like the petulant popcorn addicts, they behold a deadly noise polluter that condemns their neighbors to a two hour rendition of Cineworld’s Confectionary Symphony (other cinemas chains available).
The soundscape of a film – from every word spoken and every effect in every action to every beat of the soundtrack – is an intrinsic aspect of the movie watching experience, one that is integral to our total understanding of a text. Are some audiences so pompous they presume a film is lacking, presumably at the fault of the filmmakers, of a good old popcorn bag rustle? Do you assume this was somehow removed from the final edit accidentally?
No! Why should we attempt to justify your actions. There is no layered understanding of cinema, no misguided aural philanthropy at play for these cultural cretins. Their one and only purpose is to make our lives as dim-witted as theirs. Damn you popcorn lovers!
But this is not entirely the fault of the perpetrators. Action is the result of opportunity, so is this ultimately not the work of evil mastermind Glen Dickson? Or perhaps we could blame the tribesman from thousands of years ago that first discovered the corn and set this tasty snack on such a cataclysmic trajectory.
It is time to stand up and say no to popcorn. It is time to usher in a new era for the concession stand, one that removes the loud and messy and embraces movie friendly food. Pizza, marshmallows, cheese, milk, muffins – these are the real film foods, so let’s make a change and make a difference to cinemas everywhere. Who’s with me?!