Friday, July 21, 2017

Wait until the Movie Starts!

INGRID THOFT

You wouldn’t think that popcorn could be a divisive issue, but believe me, it can be.  I love to go to the movies, and I love movie popcorn, but over the years, I’ve developed a strict rule about the consumption of said popcorn.  The Ingrid Thoft popcorn rule is that you can’t start eating it until the main attraction begins.  Not when the lights go down.  Not when the previews begin.  Not even when the opening credits come on the screen telling you that Paramount or MGM produced the film.  I wait until the moment the movie starts.

When and why did this rule come about?  I can’t pinpoint when it started, but as long as I can remember, this has been my stance on popcorn at the movies.  The why is a little more obvious:  The movie itself is such a special event that I want its beginning to be heralded, not just by the opening chords of the soundtrack, but also by that first bite of buttery, salty deliciousness.

I know it sounds rather strict, but the good news is that my movie-going companions are not required to follow my rule.  In fact, I have one friend who enjoys placing her bag of popcorn under my nose during the previews in an attempt to lure me to the dark side.  The interesting thing I’ve found, however, is that some people adopt the rule voluntarily and then never go back.  They, too, have experienced the satisfying ritual of true movie popcorn.

What about all of you?  Popcorn or not (my hubby opts for Twizzlers)?  Wait or dig in?




58 comments:

  1. Movie popcorn? Only if we can get it without the fake butter and the salt [and Twizzlers are good] . . . . and we don’t necessarily wait for the film to begin. That way, when the film is over and everyone else is making for the door, there’s no popcorn [or Twizzlers] left to distract me from reading the film credits . . . .

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    1. I'm with you Joan--no fake greasy pretend butter and sadly, no salt either!

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    2. I don't have them add butter, Joan, but there is salt aplenty! Even though I wait for the movie to start before I eat, I'm finished way before the credits roll!

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  2. I'm not a big popcorn fan, and the prices are so outrageous, that I rarely buy it. I only get it when I have enough credits to get it for free. But, every time I do, I swear I'm not going to touch it until the movie starts and then wind up eating most of it before the movie begins. You can't put food in front of me and not expect me to eat it.

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    1. I hear you, Mark. Sometimes the popcorn and drink are more expensive than the ticket itself!

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  3. I always get popcorn and a drink, and I always dig in before the movie starts. I have tried to wait but . . . no, that just doesn't happen. Your question brings up a broader question about food rituals, though. What other food rules do we live by? For instance, am I the only person who eats her M&Ms in strict color order? For me, it's brown, red, orange, yellow, blue, then green. Anybody else?

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    1. Red, blue [M&Ms should not be blue; there were no blue ones when we were kids], orange, yellow, green, brown. John always gives me all the brown ones and he gets the rest, a perfect division of the candy. My favorite? The purple dark chocolate ones . . . .

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    2. Oooo! I don't know if I've ever seen the purple dark chocolate ones. I'll have to keep an eye out for some of those. Thank you for supporting my notion.

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    3. I have never heard of the M&M rule, Gigi. How does it work exactly? Do you pick them out as you go? Separate them by color before you start eating? Do you remember how and when your M&M approach started?

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    4. I pick them out as I go, and I've probably been doing it since I was about three years old. I start with the colors I like least, and move on to the colors I like best. It probably has something to do with my art teacher mother, who drilled us on color harmonies when we were all still young. I like the way the balance of color changes as I subtract the ugly ones. The order has changed, of course, as red ones went away, then came back, and tan ones went away forever. Holiday ones give me a whole new set of challenges.

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    5. Gigi, that's how I always ate gumdrops and jelly beans, the colors I liked least first. And it infuriated me if someone came along and just had a casual handful of my hell-bent favorite ones! How dare they? 😉

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  4. Oh, this is such a point of discussion in our family too! Our intentions are good, but our resistance is low--to the point that after a while, it's "We should save some for when the movie starts, shouldn't we?"
    Best laid plans.....

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    1. You guys should go to the movies with me, Art. I'll have you sitting patiently without a bite in no time.

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    2. I can attest to this. Ingrid converted me!

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  5. I no longer get movie popcorn, but we always bring Dove dark minis to the movie. However, we get to start them as soon as the lights go out. Sorry!

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  6. Popcorn?! My kids were always so humiliated because I refused to spend that ridiculous amount of money on something you can pop at home for about a quarter. So we'd bring our popcorn with us, and by the time you went to eat it it was so unappetizing that it really didn't matter when you started.

    I love that rule to wait until the movie starts. Howevah... that brings me to my pet peeve about movies today. If the movie 'starts' at 8 PM there will be at LEAST 30 minutes of trailers and bald outright commercials to sit through with the sound BLASTING before the film starts.

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    1. LOL, Hallie. I'm with your kids on the popcorn front. My parents got us popcorn, but I don't know how it didn't bankrupt them!

      Who decides how many trailers can be shown before the feature? It seems like every time I go there are more and more previews. I went to a movie about a week ago, and there were at least 30 minutes of trailers including one for Stephen King's "It," which was so creepy and scary. And it seemed like an odd choice to run before "The Big Sick."

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  7. Great post! My wife and I usually have the first bag (free refills!) polished off within the first 10 minutes of the movie. We don't wait.

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    1. Go big or go home, David! I like that you two really commit!

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  8. With two little boys, Ingrid, the movie theater popcorn and a big shared drink were part of the thrill of the experience. We would choose our seats, and they were allowed to dig in as all the junk previews etc. played. Otherwise, once the movie started, they would be engrossed in the movie and actually forget to eat! And, Hallie, as for prices! Sheesh! We didn't go often and picked our movies with care.

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    1. I would never inflict the rule on kids, Flora ;). Part of the fun for them is definitely digging in right away!

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  9. And I forgot to add, because of the prices, we often played 'go to the movies' at home. With home-made kettle corn and other treats, a line-up of movies from which to choose, and either real or Monopoly money to buy their tickets and treats!

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    1. What a great idea! I bet your boys loved it!

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  10. The Hubby and I went to see Wonder Woman and, since it was a "date night," we bought popcorn. It was long gone by the time the movie started.

    Hallie brings up a great point about previews and commercials. For a show that "started" at 7:25, we didn't get out of the theater until after 10:00pm. Which lead us to a new rule: we will not see a show with a start time after 5:00pm. Not unless Hollywood starts making movies that are less than 2 hours long again.

    Mary/Liz

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    1. Sounds like a great date night, Mary/Liz!

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  11. Ah, I see it is First World Problem Day here on Jungle Red!

    Left to my own devices, I wouldn't get popcorn at all. However, it is Julie's raison d'etre at movie time. When and how it gets eaten is up to her. I do have a few fistfuls, then spend the rest of the film picking it out of my bridgework.

    After the War, my father, the German professor, decided he wanted to own a small town movie theater. And so he bought one, then another and then a couple more. I therefore grew up with movies and popcorn, all I wanted of either. When I was perhaps 11-12, I became the popper of popcorn, standing in my little booth at the corner of the lobby, sweat streaming from my brow, no air conditioning, popping corn from 7 pm until halfway through the last showing, when business tended to drop off considerably.

    Lordy how I hated that job, for which I got paid 50 cents an evening. Raised to a dollar when I was 13. Were there child labor laws? Certainly. The law stated that children worked. Period.

    On another note, all the "old maids", which were the kernels that didn't pop, plus the leftover popped corn, went into a bin, and a local pig farmer picked it up once a week for feeding his livestock. Nothing went to waste in those days. And you always wondered why ham was so salty, Lucy Roberta.

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    1. That may be the most original "first job" story I've ever heard, Ann! It sounds miserable, and I would think the smell would get sickening before too long. I had no idea about the "old maids" and pig feed. Pigs eat anything, right? Including bodies (sorry, it is a mystery blog)! Fascinating thinking about the popcorn and salty pork.

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  12. WE DO THIS! We totally do. You can't start eating the popcorn until the movie starts. Definitely. or else it will be all gone. Exactly. It's to eat WITH the movie. And the Twizzlers, and they are better together. And I love the previews. LOVE this previews. Jonathan and I vote on each one. Wanna see that? Nope, yup. Commercials should be banned entirely. UNFAIR. We already paid.

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    1. We can go to the movies together, Hank and Jonathan! And no one will try to lure us to the dark side!

      If I go to a movie with my mom, we also rate the previews. Unfortunately, more often than not, we both say, "That looks terrible!"

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  13. Sometimes it's my idea of dinner and movie (that is, I skip supper so I can have popcorn....!) I settle in and start eating right away.

    Popcorn may be pricy, but at my local rep cinema (as likely everywhere else) the little bag is about 50 cents less than the jumbo bag, so of COURSE I go for the jumbo.

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  14. I totally agree with your meal planning, Susan. If I go during the day, it's my lunch. It's not the most well-rounded meal, but those popped kernels are so light and airy. It really is a modest-sized meal when you factor in the air!

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    1. I have to admit, Denise Ann, I don't really understand Sno-caps! Do you eat them for the dark chocolate? Don't the white things get stuck in your teeth?

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    2. Denise Ann, when I was a teenager, I would get Sno-caps as a snack.

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    3. Denise Ann, so YOU'RE the one who buys those!

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  16. I grew up with popcorn. My parents had a business as manufacturer's reps for theater concessions. My dad started out actually selling the popcorn to theaters before he moved into being a rep for the suppliers. His company was called "The Popcorn Man" and I've got some fabulous photos of his popcorn bags being loaded on early American Airlines planes. Needless to say, we always had free movie passes, and movies without popcorn were just NOT DONE.

    And of course I was a dig-in kid. These days, we mostly go to our local iPic, which serves drinks and meals. It makes a great date night (except for dropping food on your clothes in the dark...) Our seats come with a complimentary bag of popcorn, and, yes, I still dig right in. I'm usually starving. Story of my life...

    At home we have a stove-top popper, and we use coconut oil, which has a really high smoking temperature and is the secret to really good popcorn. Believe me, I am the expert.

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    1. You definitely know your popcorn if your dad was "The Popcorn Man"! I agree that movies without popcorn is NOT DONE!

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    2. What a cool memory, Debs.

      And you are absolutely right about stovetop popcorn and coconut oil. Hands down, the best.

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  17. I always try to get there for the pre-show and movie previews AND I wait until the movie actually starts to dig into the popcorn! I confess I usually bring in some fruit and cheese & sometimes those get eaten during the previews, but the actual popcorn always has to wait!

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    1. That's very clever, Pauline. We would be good movie buddies!

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  18. I like my popcorn hot or at least good and warm, so I have to dig in during the previews, but I'm good at pacing myself. Popcorn doesn't always agree with my stomach issues, but I do indulge at the movie theater.

    Debs, what a great connection you have to popcorn and the theater. Oh, and we are finally going to get a theater with the reclining seats and a bar. I'm not sure about the meals.

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    1. I'm impressed that you're good at pacing yourself, Kathy. You may be in a club of one! Once I start the popcorn, I don't dawdle!

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  19. When I would get popcorn, I would eat it after sitting down in my seat. I would like to be done eating it by the time the movie started so that I could focus on the movie. I would never put butter on it thought. It makes the popcorn so bad.

    Of course, that's when I got popcorn. I generally don't get popcorn anymore because theaters don't know how to make it properly anymore. It used to be POPCORN, now it is THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS POPCORN. Nasty vile stuff.

    I try to go to the early morning showings as much as possible these days (Yes, I'm cheap when I have to be) and the last thing I want to do is further commit suicide by bad food by having gawdawful popcorn at 10 am in the morning.

    Oh, and don't for the love of all that is either holy or unholy get those pretzel nuggets with the toxic waste packaged as dipping cheese. It makes TAFKAP look like ambrosia by comparison.

    I settle for a drink of some kind and after the movie is over I head over to grab a sandwich somewhere close by.


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    1. That's fascinating, Jay! I've never considered that maybe my popcorn habit is taking away from the movie. Food for thought. I also tend to go to daytime movies. Mostly because I don't like crowded theaters, but I admit, I'll eat popcorn at 10am. Shame, shame!

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    2. That's okay Ingrid, movie popcorn at 10am can now be something a certain Boston PI with a notorious junk food habit can do. :D

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  20. Always popcorn with extra butter and I start eating as soon as my butt hits the seat. It never occurred to me to wait but having just consumed half a bag before the THIRTY minutes of trailers finished, I may have to adopt your rule. Brilliant!

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    1. The wait has gotten much longer. I may have to adopt Pauline's trick of snacks before the popcorn!

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  21. When I was single I'd make a big bowl of popcorn on a week night and eat the whole thing myself. Now I either share, or make a small bowl, but it's still one of my favorite snacks.

    We so rarely go to movies these days. It's so much nicer to be in our own cozy home, where Steve can use the closed caption feature, and we can have adult beverages with our salted but not buttered popcorn. Do we wait? Hmm. Probably not.

    However, the last time I babysat for my grandson we went to a theater near their house that serves food and drinks right to the extra comfortable seats. Which I'm not sure I enjoyed. Eating sloppy food in the dark is kind of goofy.

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    1. I like the idea of adult beverages, Karen! I've not yet been to a theater that serves dinner, but my most recent outing was to one with reclining seats. I could get used to that.

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  22. Popcorn YES! Hubs thinks I'm goofy. I admit, I can't resist digging in immediately. There was a candy I remember in my childhood, a licorice called Night n'Days. Loved them. Haven't found them since the Rivoli Theater in Rutherford NJ. Anyone else remember them?

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    1. I've not heard of Night n' Days. I've heard of Now or Laters! Weren't they some kind of taffy?

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    2. I haven't seen Night 'n Day candy [made by E. P. Lewis & Sons in Massachusetts] in years . . . the closest still-available candy that I've found is Licorice Bridge Mix. Several companies, including Jelly Belly, offer this, but the licorice pieces covered with nonpareils are not abundant in any of the mixes . . . .

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    3. Are night and days like ..oh, gosh what were they called? Pink and white and black capsule looking things.l

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  23. I also eat M&Ms and Skittles in strict color order and never mix the colors. I have to have popcorn and a drink at the movie (salt, no butter). I try to wait until the movie starts but usually can't make it. Sometimes, I have Junior Mints with my popcorn.

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    1. So do you eat them straight out of the bag in color order, Chris? Love Junior Mints! I heard some people put M&Ms in their popcorn, so I tried it, but was underwhelmed.

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  24. Ingrid, I had forgotten the popcorn rule. These days I try to finish eating before the movie starts because I need my hands free to hold the rear window captioning device so that I can get the dialogue from the movie. When I was a kid, it was foreign films so I could read the English subtitles. I still watch foreign films with English subtitles. If I see a foreign film, then I wait until the movie starts. Usually I eat Junior Mints candy. Once in a while I get popcorn with lots of butter. Not a big fan of salt, though. There is a local cinema that also serves variety of foods like hummus plate, hamburgers, nacho, salads, pizza among others. That is the same cinema with rear window captioning. I usually get the hummus plate because there are different veggies on the plate.

    Great topic!

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