Popcorn and soda in a movie theatre is expected. I mean how can one get through a movie without it, really? A movie theater, however, is much different than a live show. In a movie theatre you have loud (can we emphasize LOUD) volumes of music and talking. We have lots of action and color and drama. You also have extremely good ventaliation. The air conditioning is usually freeze-you-out-of-your-seat efficient and even though people are munching popcorn everywhere around you, the smell is not distracting because itís being whisked away. Neither is the munching noise distracting because as I already stated, the volume is LOUD.
At a live theatre, where real people are really singing and talking, the volume is different. The audience is quieter and listening intently because dialogue that is performed live is not delivered in THX. This means that while they are still very entertaining, much like a movie, the venue is different. Therefore, the people in the audience need to act differently too.
When you are attending a live theatre performance, you need to be much more considerate of the people around you as well as those on stage, and in the pit and backstage. This means you will most likely see signs stating No Food or Drink. Many adults will read this and believe the sign is directed at children who might spill and cause a distraction. While I donít argue that spillage happens more with kids than adults, and yes, it is distracting, you are not beyond the possibility of having a snack accident during a performance.
We arenít just talking dropping your soda, however. Consider that package of Skittles you smuggled in and are now attempting to open in the dark. Can you hear the noisy plastic rubbing against itself and your fingers? Did you notice that the wrapper is directly behind someoneís head? Yes, the guy in front of you is lower than your face and his ears are lined up with your hands and lap. So he is acutely aware of the contraband in your hand and would really like you to stop making so much noise.
If this isnít bad enough, lined up with his sensitive ears is his nose. Trust me if he can hear you reach into that bag of Skittles everytime you try to find a lime flavored one, he know when you found one because he can smell it too. Letís just hope this person is not a nautious pregnant woman who, if she feels the need to hurl, does not turn around and spew into your lap. Howís that for unexpected spillage?
You are attending a live show. The voices and music are dependent on lots of different microphones. The audience is intently listening and trying to enjoy a performance. Your need to crunch on a granola bar or slurp a Coca-cola is really grating on those around you. People who, I might add, followed the request and opted to forgo something to eat Ė even if they are starving.
No food means no food. No drink means donít bring it in Ė not just donít spill it. It doesnít mean that we donít want you eating because you might cause M&Ms to roll down the aisle. Being a cautious neat freak doesnít mean you are going to be quiet too.
So police yourself and be sure to police your kids. If you are eating cookies and asking little Johnny if he wants a lollipop you are irritating those around you who can hear and smell what you are doing. Keep the food in the lobby. Wait till intermission. Better yet, celebrate after the performance and go out. Itís healthier for everyone anyway.