I recently had a conversation with someone in a doctor's office waiting room about the last time I was at a movie premier, and as it turns out, it was to see No Country for Old Men...in 2007. Not only had it been a long time since I'd seen a movie in a theater, it had been a long time since I'd had any movie theater food of note. Then again, what was I really missing? According to the person I was talking to, quite a bit.
Right before they headed to see the doctor, she mentioned to me that movie theater food had changed quite a bit from the old standbys of boxed candy, salty popcorn, and soda. Theaters had really gotten the what-for from customers over the years about being better to their patron & offering options that appealed to changing lifestyles. More importantly, customers started pushing back by letting movie theaters know that they had multiple avenues when it came to watching movies & getting quality food options.
For years, technology has slowly made the home the ideal theater. Streaming services allow us to access libraries of thousands of movies & TV shows at any time, which is much more convenient than what's on any marquee. Moreover, we can pause, play, rewind, etc. as much as we want to. When it comes to what we can eat, the only thing holding us back is what is inside of your refrigerator.
The foodie revolution has started making food become more important for a lot of folks. People are starting to pay attention to what they eat, where it comes from, shopping locally for ingredients, and trying their best to eat a healthier diet. This all-encompassing state-of-mind around food has made its way into the restaurant/hospitality world, but it has most certainly made its presence known in the movie theater realm. Now, popcorn & candy just won't cut it like it used to.
Intrigued by all that I was hearing, I asked for a basic, bullet-point version of what kinds of things I should know about movie theater food as it stands nowadays. Here's what I got:
- things are made from scratch
- ingredients are fresh, opting for local/regional suppliers
- with some theaters serving craft beer (cinema breweries/movie grills/dine-in theaters), food pairings are paramount to menu construction
- baking, grilling, and actual cooking are taking place rather than just frying pre-frozen items
- attention to detail is a high priority
As our conversation ended & my new friend went off to her appointment, I thought about all that she told me regarding movie theater food. Not only was I really intrigued by what I heard, but I was really excited to know that so much had changed for the better when it came to the movie theater experience. This month is a busy month in terms of anticipated movie releases, so I think my triumphant return to check out the big screen has come, and now I can do it while enjoying one amazing meal at the same time. Win-win, baby!
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