Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chic Habits: Be Chic at the Movies

One of my favourite treats at the movies is a box of popcorn. I have always loved popcorn and love the thought of being in the dark, watching a movie with a big tub, just for me. I used to order Large and in the last few years in an effort to be more normal, would order Medium size.

Still, I knew a big bucket of snack food wasn’t chic and somehow thought it could be my guilty secret, because it’s dark in there. I don’t think my dream Parisian girl Sabine would do this, snack on a giant size of something that is used to fatten cattle. My latest chic habit therefore is to:

Be chic at the movies.

Before: not being able to go to the movies without purchasing a medium or large tub of popcorn to graze unattractively on. My husband doesn’t eat anything at the movies so I feel really conspicuous next to him with my tub-0-lard.

Even when I went by myself to a movie recently I still felt self-conscious. I saw Audrey Tautou’s movie Beautiful Lies and was aware that the slightly older crowd of couples did not have buckets of grossness.

After: no popcorn. Now when I go along, I take a small bottle of chilled sparkling mineral water and sip this. I can buy it at the supermarket for a small price and slip it in my bag to take along. I feel très French and chic sipping on this periodically throughout the movie.

When I leave, I can throw the empty bottle in the bin and Voila, no ‘popcorn remorse’. I don’t even miss the popcorn! It was just always something I had done and enjoyed the ‘tradition’.

I think the transition was helped somewhat by the last bucket being underflavoured, slightly stale and pretty much tasteless. It tells me yet again that when you don’t prepare the food yourself you have no power to guide the ingredients.

Does anyone else have a popcorn fixation like me?


  1. I have indulged on rare occasions, but usually the high cost is enough to discourage its consumption.

  2. I must admit i'm not much of a popcorn person. Having small sensitive teeth means they always get caught somewhere in my gums so i always avoid popcorn.

    But i always fall into the temptation of buying coke as i only take fizzy drinks when at the movies. Need to replace that habit with sparkling water

    xo Stephanie

  3. That's a good idea, bringing your own mineral water. Movie popcorn, while a guilty pleasure, is always so salty and leaves me parched and honestly, it makes me feel physically bad after eating it. Bravo!

  4. For years I also had this horrible popcorn addiction. It was terrible because it made me feel positively ill.
    Now I don't eat anything at the movies and I feel quite virtuous. Listening to other people eating is sickening however and this is why I like watching movies at home. Oh but the main reason I like watching movies at home is because I have wine here.
    Just found your blog and I'm so happy I did!

  5. Fiona,you're so good! I understand only too well the evil temptation of popcorn! So, what I do now, is sneak in a little bottle of wine! I know, it's naughty but I need it to numb any potential pain and suffering. Obviously, if any of my "favourites" are in the movie, (Jude/Gwyneth/Little Tommy Cruise) I'll switch it up to a mini vodka ! x

  6. Hubs and I are bad for buying popcorn at the movies (and candies...I have a sweet tooth, obviously). We both like popcorn and I absolutely cannot stand dry, bland popcorn without butter. So drenched with butter it is.

    I like your tip about bringing along mineral water to drink instead. I may have to do that tomorrow as we're going to see Iron Lady. :)

  7. Yes, I have this love / hate relationship with Movie Theatre Popcorn! The last movie I went to served Herbal tea - I ordered it and loved the experince! Just came across your blog through pintrest - looking forward to reading more of your posts!

  8. I NEVER eat the theatre.
    I always want to watch what is on screen..

    no distractions s'il vous plait!

  9. I'm afraid I love popcorn at the movies just as you did. However, I have only been to the movie theatre five times in the last 16 years, so I haven't been un-chic very often (well, in that particular way anyhow!). Because Bill is so very particular about what he'll sit through and because I find the price of movies so ridiculous, I tend to watch videos at home instead (sometimes with popcorn, but mostly not). Drinking water does sound much more elegant, not to mention the calories one escapes.

  10. OMG! I am addicted to popcorn. I eat about 100grams/day of plain popcorn as a snack (mid morning and evening), EVERY day, and I've actually lost weight doing so, as it fills me up for so long. I had no idea corn was used to fatten cattle. Now I'm really shocked!! :-(

  11. I don't buy popcorn at the theater because little bits inavariably get lodged in my teeth. That's enough to keep me away from it. I like your idea of bringing mineral water though.

  12. We don't go to the movies very often but when we do, DH is the one who likes to buy popcorn. I probably wouldn't buy it myself, but I eat it when he buys the big tub. I have taken bottles of water before (I can't believe the price they charge for a bottle of water!). I like the idea of taking sparkling water, that does sound chic!!

  13. I went to the Cinema with friends last night to watch "War Horse" - fabulous :) One of my friends is fairly chic and took in water but in a plastic sports bottle, so not as chic as your bottle of sparkling water.
    Food at cinemas is awful.
    When my husband was a student, he worked in a cinema and said that the main way the cinema made money was through the popcorn and drinks and staff had to encourage customers to supersize their purchases to bring in more money.
    They had to make up the popcorn every day and the amount of salt and sugar they add is frightening.
    Homemade Popcorn is really easy to make and much healthier. Maybe you could make up a small batch at home to take with you to the cinema?
    Being English, I have been known to sneak a small flask of tea and biscuits into the cinema.
    My next planned trip to the cinema is to see the "Marigold Hotel", which is about a group of pensioners who go on a tour of India. Maybe I should take a packet of Bombay Mix with me - a spicy Indian snack, for the full Indian experience :)

  14. I also love this tradition, but totally get that it's not the "chic"-est movie food option. Still, I think part of being chic is also owning what you love and being who you are. Perhaps a "kid-size" portion of popcorn that you eat one or two kernels at a time is just as good. All things in moderation!

  15. I do love my popcorn!! And I go to the movies maybe 7 or 8 times a year, so I will absolutely have it! But, being vegan, I usually make and bring my own,stovetop made, with a little olive oil and nutritional yeast. Delish! In fact, I eat a bowl of popcorn at least once a week. It is a good source of fiber. I did have a friend whose mother would bring a little box of good chocolates to share, and thought that was rather chic!

  16. I love popcorn, but only eat it at home, popped without oil and with real butter and Old Bay seasoning on top! Yum!

    Movie theater popcorn is so awful here -- oversalted, with that fake butter on it -- that I don't indulge. My favorite theater does serve wine, so usually I'll get a glass of wine before the lights go down.

  17. I don't care for movie popcorn. And I so rarely go to the movie theatre...usually opting for a DVD.

    What I do miss is homemade popcorn as an evening snack. I don't eat very many carbs anymore so popcorn is out. It's one of the few carby foods I really miss.

    Hope all is well with you!

  18. I really love popcorn! We don't keep it in the house - otherwise I would eat it all the time - so I feel okay if I indulge at the movies (we go to a movie once or twice a year). However, I have finally found the inner discipline to have a small bag of popcorn (maybe four cups' worth?) and large bottle of water. I will have sparkling mineral water in the future, though, as that would be a chic way to have something bubbly that also isn't a noxious chemical compound like soda.

  19. I LOVE movie popcorn. And since I go to a movie only twice or so a year, I treat myself. But, I have a kid's sized bag, no butter and I mix it with a handful or so of Hot Tamales. I never feel guilty...but I don't ever feel chic, either. Point taken. :)

  20. I LOVE popcorn (have posted about it before too) but I HATE movie popcorn. If I have popcorn at the theater, it is smuggled in from home. Yes, I know this is frowned upon (and hits a whole new un-chic level) but until the theaters clean up their heavy oil, butter ladened, stroke producing salt saturated version of popcorn, I will be bringing my own. Plus no one is offering sharp cheddar cheese slices, Pink Lady apple slices or Dirty Bastard beer to go with my popcorn at the movies either (this is currently my favorite dinner). xo, Bliss

  21. Thank you for all your popcorn comments! After writing this post I had homemade popcorn with butter and salt. I had it on the mind obviously. As much as I would love to be the type to daintily eat a small size popcorn, I just couldn't do it. Better for me to go without. And I also know I feel sick and horrible after movie theatre popcorn. It was illuminating to learn what goes into this stuff, and yes, I have been known to sneak a bottle and two Strahl (unbreakable) wine glasses into the theatre. Not for a while though, perhaps it's time. I also like to support the nicer theatres which serve coffee in a real cup and saucer, wine and reasonably priced gourmet icecream (I choose one though, I don't have all three in one session).

  22. About a year ago we bought a whirley popper for the stovetop. Takes 3 minutes, you can control the amount and type of oil used to pop it. much healthier. Love it.
    PS Fiona let me know when you've seen that movie steph told us about so we can chat about it!

  23. I smuggle in grapes. And if I really want popcorn I get the children's pack and get water instead of soda. Then I spurge on butter but don't have them fill the bag all the way up. So it's not quite so gross. Of no children's size, I get smallest size possible and hav ether fill halfway. Rather not feel obligated to eat the popcorn just because is there. The two bucks worth I don't get I do t miss at all.

    Sometimes I sneak in a few chocolate chips and strawberries.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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