To abuse John Lennon’s immortal quip, “Those of you in the cheap seats, please rustle your crisp packets, the rest if you can just sigh in disbelief!’
This was my experience at a recent Sunday afternoon screening of ‘The Hobbit’.
I could only imagine how furious the Sound Editor of this film would be, having no doubt laboured tirelessly to create a perfect soundtrack for this movie, if he knew that most of it was being drowned out by the incessant rustle of food wrappers.
It was this crazy cacophony of packaging related noise that distracted from the movie – a movie that I had paid £11 or my hard-earned to see.
Now while I am well aware that ‘snacking’ in cinemas (movie theatres to my American audience) is a long held tradition, the historic choices of popcorn and hotdogs are somewhat silent in comparison to the modern offerings. When was the last time you heard a frankfurter ‘crunch’, or winced at the ‘crackling’ of a cardboard popcorn carton? Even Maltesers were traditionally sold in boxes for this very reason.
I always believed that such packaging precautions were in deference to the performance which, after all, is the main reason for attending!
It would now seem that ODEON Cinema’s tag line ‘Fanatical About Film’ should be changed to ‘Fanatical About Food’. During a brief inspection of their food concessions after the film, I found large bags of Doritos and a myriad of sweets in noisy plastic bags – not exactly Film Friendly Fare!
Have the owners of these establishments forgotten what their core business is all about? Yes, Mr Odeon, you are a cinema, you show movies; it’s all about the movies!
So why would you want to encourage the less considerate amongst us to crawl out of the shallow end of the gene pool and consume food that would have adversely affect everyone else ability to enjoy your main product? Unless thats the point here?
There’s not enough money in selling movie tickets, so you have to supplement your income with snack and drinks? Now, as a businessman myself, i understand this. But what i do not understand is that you are quite able to limit this fare to that which is less audible, but for some reason you are not prepared to do so.
It has even been made easy for you with some free advice, courtesy of the BBC which I have reposted below. Anyone who is vaguely into films should listen to Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s brilliant 5live show/podcast – you will quickly pick up on the theme that movies are there to be appreciated considerately, and their ‘Conduct of Conduct’ is the embodiment of this movement.
Until such time that modern cineplexes take note of such concerns and return to their roots, i say:
“Odeon – Fanatical about Fuck-All except Feeding their Fat Faces with our Filthy Lucre!”