There’s something that’s been lost in the modern days of streaming movies on demand on Amazon. A kind of je ne sais quoi that only being in a real movie theater brings. It’s that feeling of warm nostalgia that I simply don’t experience when firing up the Roku. And while I love the convenience of every movie at my fingertips, I miss the smell of buttery popcorn, the rustling of candy bags, and the friendly pianist who used to play in the front of the house.
You remember the days. Back when you could get a movie ticket for a nickel, and a quart of milk for a dime, and cough drops that had cocaine in them to control your cough while also allowing you to write feverish novels without sleeping for 72 hours. Fun stuff.
Though of course, not everything was good in the ‘good old days’. Back then, women, on average, didn’t make as much money as men, we had a government that was cracking down on immigration by passing acts that favored white, northern European immigrants over people of color, and there had never been a female president of the United States. It was a different time, with no resemblance to the world we enjoy now.
But I do miss the sounds of a movie theater, don’t you? Like collectively grieving together with quiet sobs as our favorite character refuses to fit on a floating door with lots of available space, or the chorus of uproarious laughter as we all watch a dog put on a hat like he’s people, or the inevitable shocked gasps as the screen rips open and the characters from the movie spill into our reality.
“This must be some kind of nightmare!” Someone always screams. And it brings me right back to my childhood in Appleton, Wisconsin watching the Hyenas from The Lion King eat a woman in the front row while Whoopi Goldberg’s voice cracked jokes and viscera sprayed across my lap.
I miss that kind of thing. The simplicity of buying a ticket to a new flick and then banding together with other movie patrons to hunt down all of the characters who tore through the screen and started marauding through the theater. Remember it? Remember the way Meg Ryan’s character from You’ve Got Mail was surprisingly violent when cornered? She was hard to track down, that Meg.
All of it brought people together. It’s what helped us to grow up! Kids these days are just so weak. The only obstacle they face is the near constant gun violence that plagues them absolutely anywhere they go: school, malls, movie theaters, churches, etc. It’s like “Try walking uphill in the snow both ways, kiddos! Jeesh.”
The old days are gone now. We’re in an iPad world, convenience destroying the very things we all remember growing up. Because it’s just different. I’ve never been watching Netflix and had the characters from Clueless crawl their way through the screen, brittle dirt-covered fingernails scratching their way across the wood to reach me as their faces twist into an unearthly smile.
So, as technology shifts, I know I have to shift with it. I do. But as movie theater after movie theater shutters it’s doors or homogenizes into the same AMC-like Plex showing the same eight Jennifer Lawrence movies, I can’t help but feel a pull of nostalgia for what it used to be. In honor of that, this week I’ll be ranking the best movie theater concessions.
Our ranking today will be how long you’re willing to sit still while a movie monster is breaking open the screen to get to you because like, you’re almost done eating and can they just wait for TWO SECONDS?
10. Red Vines
When someone asks if you prefer Red Vines or Twizzlers more, the only correct response is, “I don’t understand the question and I won’t respond to it.”
This isn’t objective, and there aren’t ‘some very fine people on both sides.’
Red. Vines. Are. Trash.
Ranking: As one ghostly, demonic child crawls her way out of the screen, you show her the red vines and tell her to go ahead and take you now. You bought them because the theater didn’t carry Twizzlers, but after one bite, you’ve decided life genuinely isn’t worth living.