There are many cinematic free treats this week but these come with news that Picturehouse cinemas is planning to ban sales of popcorn . Citing the smell, sound and contentiousness of popcorn as reason to stop, Head of Media for Picturehouse Cinemas Gabriel Swartland will be running a trial popcorn-free period before rolling out the ban across all 19 Picturehouse venues.
A full popcorn cull at Everyman Cinemas is already in place, saving the states of the carpets that previously suffered ground-in bits of the snack. It doesn’t quite fit the sophisticated brand the chain is trying to exude, and we would have to agree that choking on a scratchy, sawdust flavoured half-exploded kernel during the quietest bit of a tense Peruvian socio-political guerrilla docu-drama with the date you met in the London Review Bookshop doesn’t quite cap the heights of intellectual and cinematic élan the Everyman chain aims for.
Having been at the IMAX cinema with several dozen overexcited children, we can spot good reason to back the ban: half the kids spilled their overflowing cartons of popcorn before reaching the doors to the auditorium. This was the ‘treat’ their overstretched parents had stumped up almost the same price as the tickets. There's also the regular two hour stomachache after a Hollywood blockbuster, due to the poorness of yet another Mummy Returns sequel (the Mummy Just Doesn’t Know When It Should Stay Away?) or the eye-watering indigestion from cramming down far too much popcorn as an expensive distraction technique.
One downside to the ban is that nachos and hotdogs might become the main cinema snacks and every film will become a gross-out movie, smothered in orange processed cheese and spongy sausages. Bring on the popcorn ban: after all, we can always bring our own snacks. Can’t we?
Image author's own