How do I avoiding disturbing others when eating snacks at the cinema?

When eating popcorn and other loud food items at the cinema, I always feel self-conscious. Should I wait for a noisy part of the film before munching, so I don’t disturb or disgust other viewers? Question from A.B., Thornbury, Vic

Illustration by Simon Letch.Credit:

A: I’m not a big fan of the food ’n’ film combo. I don’t like people snacking during movies, I don’t like people slurping during movies, I even don’t like movie scenes where someone orders a meal in a restaurant and it always arrives in less than a minute and I spend the rest of the film thinking, “How did the chef prepare it that fast? Was the food cooked through adequately? Is there a chance of listeria? I’m worried about listeria!”

But the food ’n’ film combo is always going to be around, so your suggestion is a good one: if people are going to munch during movies, they should only eat during the noisy parts. Then, when the movie goes quiet, they should instantly stop eating and just sit there with a half-chewed food wad in their mouths, hoping a noisy bit will come soon so they can swallow.

Here’s an even better suggestion: film eaters should tailor their snacks to the type of movie they’re seeing, so their disgusting eating noises will blend seamlessly with the audio track.

If you go to an action movie, eat popcorn during the gravel-crunching car chases, and potato chips during any fight scene where necks get snapped.

If you go to a sexy movie, jellies are ideal for wet, smooshy kisses, and during the big, raunchy sex scene, a Starburst liquid-centre fruit chew. If you’re going to a horror film, eat an overripe tomato during the zombie face-devouring bit, and for the gruesome intestinal disembowelment, a bucket of raw listeria-contaminated chicken parts.

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