Sunday, January 16, 2011

Let's Eat at the Movies

Quote of the Blog:

Richard: I hate the movies on the planes. I keep seeing bad movies like, “My Special Trousers” or “My Magic Pants” or something.

Everyone looks confused.

Mario: Do you mean “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”?

Richard (snaps): That’s the one!


Three years ago my friend Amanda and I decided we should go to a documentary or foreign film once a month. On one such night we were supposed to grab dinner before the movie. I don’t remember if the movie started earlier than we thought or if we were late to dinner; either way, we didn’t have enough time to eat before the movie started. We were hungry, and while popcorn for dinner is something we’d done before, we preferred to find another solution. And if there is something Amanda does well, it’s come up with solutions.

Amanda: We eat in the theater.

Me: Eat dinner in the theater? During the movie? Like, take dinner in with us?

Amanda: You’ve never eaten dinner in the movies before?

She asked so incredulously I thought this must be a common New York thing. And well, even though I had never done it, I had seen people eat anything from quesadillas to hot dogs to sushi in the theater. I gave my consent.

She nodded and pulled me into a Chipotle. Chipotle? We’re sneaking burritos into the theater? I started to get nervous but didn’t want to let on. I hadn’t snuck any “legitimate” food into the theater since 7th grade:


Time: Saturday matinee.

Scene: Seven fourteen-year-old girls try to walk nonchalantly through the empty lobby past the ticket holder (TicketMaster) at Movies 8 in Orem.

TicketMaster: Umm, excuse me girls. You aren’t allowed to bring outside food into the theaters.

We try to look innocent. He shoots a meaningful look at the abnormally square stomach of my friend’s sweatshirt. And another glance at another friend’s bulging sleeve-ends.

Had we been crafty we would have handed over just a few items. But as we were by and large honest, obedient, kids, we handed over everything. His eyes widened as we pulled treats from pockets, purses, sleeves, and hoods. The cache grew. He called his coworkers over to see the mound: one package twizzlers, five candy bars, four bags of chips, seven Gatorades, and one medium pizza.

Just then a group of 9th grade boys walk in. Oh the shame.

End scene.

I thought about this memory as Amanda and I walked toward the Lincoln Plaza Cinema. My heart beat a little faster but this TicketMaster didn’t even make eye contact to notice the heft of my tote or the slight waft of marinated chicken.

The theater was small and mostly empty and Amanda and I sat towards the back by ourselves. It was a French film: almost all dialogue with little music and scene after scene of teachers talking with each other, lecturing in class, footsteps echoing in empty halls. I waited for a loud scene, in vain. I glanced over at Amanda and was shocked. Somehow she had managed to open her burrito and eaten half of it without making a sound! She has the art of crafty eating down.

Finally I pulled my burrito out of my bag and out of the brown paper sack. The crinkling noise filled the theater. People shifted, irritated in their seats. Excuse me while I cheer the opening serve at Wimbledon with a vuvuzela. A vuvuzela that smells like marinated chicken and roasted veggies. I slunk down in my seat and took a guilty bite.


  1. Great story. But it seems you had an easier time with dinner during Iron Man 2. I'm extremely proud of you. :)

  2. HEHEHEHEHE!!!! Brook, I've been doing this for YEARS!!!! And now my hubby is in on it. Our fave?? Wendy's Chili. I've also snuck in take out desserts and a few Olive Garden platters. It's good being a girl. Just a few months ago I used my baby's carrier to bring some dinner. And yes, my infant comes to the movies, too.

  3. We always sneak stuff into the movie! Sometimes just treats, but once we snuck in Chinese about smelly. Although the best was when I sat next to my brother, he walked in with a bulky coat on and pulled out, a quart of eggnog, a large bag of m&m's and I think a couple 7-11 hot dogs!

  4. We totally did that (back when we actually went to movies). Welcome to the dinner & a movie club.

  5. Oh my gosh. I have never even thought of doing that! That is hilarious!!!! Wow! Way to go.

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  7. Reminds me of a time in high school where a bunch of my friends got together at my mom's house before going to see a movie. We were sitting around talking in the kitchen when someone mention we were going to be late. In the midst of everyone shuffling out the door my friend Adam steps out from my mother's pantry where he's be hiding (apparently).

    "Hey do you have a can opener?" He held up a can of olives.

    "Seriously? We're going to be late."

    "I'll eat them at the theatre."

    Over my protests a can opener was found, given to Adam, and we all piled into cars. We got to the theatre just as the movie was starting and sat in a big line in top row of stadium seats. Adam sat at the other end of the row and I forgot all about his/my mother's can of olives.

    That is until two hours later when the hero snatches the damsel-in-distress from certain death . . . and there's an loud 'klink!' of something light and metal getting kicked. And then another 'klink!' as something light and metal fell from one concrete riser to the next. Then a moment later another 'klink!' and then another and another and by the time that empty can of olives really picked up speed we were all howling in laughter.

  8. Thanks for the comments! I didn't know how widespread eating din-din in the theater was! And Joel - hilarious!!