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For some of us who don’t get out much and write movie news all day long, going to the movie theater is a nearly religious experience. There are certain rituals that go with attending a movie in a theater that many people simply can’t do without. The simple bag of popcorn stands as one of those important rituals. Now, somebody in the UK is trying to get popcorn banned from movie theaters, and there are actually other people agreeing with him. Not a lot, but still, this is an act of war.
The online petition, which has been online for over two weeks, as of now only has 416 signatures, but that’s about 400 more than we would ever expected. The individual who started the petition, UK resident Mike Shotton, feels very strongly that popcorn is just about the worst movie theater snack ever. Shotton is tired of listening to you eat popcorn, and wants it all to stop right now. The documentation actually calls popcorn the "loudest food known to man" which, we have to say, feels like a bit of an overreach.
For the most part what you really see is that what this person really hates is noise being caused by other people in the theater. While we know that some people can be "open mouth grazers," as the petition claims, that’s hardly all popcorn eaters. Popcorn can be eaten quietly and most people in the theater do that. We don’t need to ban the popcorn, we need to ban the people who crunch it.
Besides, if we want to start banning stuff that makes too much noise, aren’t there much better things to start with? Candy wrappers than crinkle when the guy next to you tries to open his candy bar? Skittles or M&Ms make too much noise if you insist on pouring them into your hand rather than picking out a few at a time. Shouldn’t we be banning this stuff first if we want to reduce noise?
The noise really isn’t the only thing. Mike Shotton has a truly deep and abiding hatred of popcorn for some reason. He closes out the petition like this:
In brief it's Loud, it smells, it tastes of nothing, and shares a consistency with weakened polystyrene.
While we can understand why the first two points would be annoying to somebody, even if we happen to completely disagree, the last two points have no impact on somebody who doesn’t eat the stuff. Missing entirely from the petition is what we should be replacing popcorn with. That’s because there is no better option, because popcorn is the best.
So, while the UK doesn’t look to be banning popcorn anytime soon, we hope this idea doesn’t catch on elsewhere. Popcorn is part of the movie experience. We don’t know what we’d do without it.