Confessions of a Snack Smuggler

moviepicnicLast week, my boyfriend and I went to see The September Issue, a rare treat since neither of us ever seem to have the time for the luxury of a movie-theater movie. I was set for movie snacks, I’d just gotten a sampler pack of Theo chocolate bars as a birthday gift and it was securely buried in my handbag beneath a scarf. Eschewing my stash of chocolate, he bought a small soda and a small popcorn at the theater snack counter, the total for which came to $11, which sent him into spasms of indignity. To which I said, “That is why you SMOS–Smuggle Your Own Snacks.” 

I’ll probably get my Regal Crown Club card pulled for this post, but I’m a firm believer in packing in your own movie snacks. It’s not just the outrageous cost associated with in-theater snacks, it’s the selection and quality control. It’s true that a few theaters around town, like The Academy Theater in Montavilla or downtown’s plush Living Room Theater or (depending on how you feel about the McMenamin’s menu), any of the McMenamin’s theaters, serve up a decent spread at a not-too-ungodly markup, but almost invariably the first-run theaters serve up the same tired boxed candy, oversalted popcorn, and conventional soda. The food-lover needs more. 

Michelle and I are huge advocates of the above-and-beyond theater repast. We shared a bag of freshly made cart tacos at Wolverine, we feasted on strawberries, chocolate and Brie in The Proposal, and we took a bottle of Veuve and Riedel flutes to the Sex & the City screening, unintentionally popping the cork at a pivotal point in the opening sequence and earning a theater-wide ovation for it. A few weeks ago we went somewhat thematic and smuggled hot Altengartz bratwursts into New York, I Love You, and packed a French picnic for Coco Before Chanel–ham & gruyere sandwiches, green olives, crisp apples, good dark chocolate, little cans of Sofia Blanc de Blancs, and tiny bottles of Segura Viudas cava. The picnic fit in a small Banana Republic bag, and the ticket-checker didn’t give it a second glance. 

It made me wonder what other people smuggle into the movies. Please, do share your Confessions of a Snack Smuggler. What’s the finest feast you’ve taken into a movie? Do you smuggle your snacks in the giant purse you reserve for moviegoing excursions, in your back pocket (oops), in your scarf-with-pockets? Email them to jen@underthetablewithjen.com. I will compile the best ones and post them, sort of a la Cosmo confessions, but less raunchy. Well, I think they’ll be less raunchy, anyways. Who knows what memories people might dredge up about what they snacked on at the screening of 9 1/2 weeks.