An idea to make your favorite plotlines even tastier
I have a confession to make: I was a teenager before I first stepped foot in a movie theater. I grew up in a conservative family that eschewed pop culture, so while I watched It’s a Wonderful Life and The Sound of Music on DVD, I knew I was missing out on an all-American experience. Finally, when I was fourteen, my aunt discreetly took me to see G-Force, an over-the-top action comedy featuring… secret agent guinea pigs.
I wouldn’t visit the movie theater again until college, where I grew to love the experience of laughing with a crowd and loudly counseling reckless protagonists on how to save their skin. I developed my own eccentricity—sitting throughout all the credits while my friends tried to drag me out and glaring at whoever turned the lights on so soon.
I feel that my latecomer status gives me insight into parts of the moviegoing experience that everyone else accepts but are actually sorely lacking.. First of all, what is going on with the food? I confess—I’ve never bought a bag of movie popcorn (although I happily swipe a few kernels from friends). Still, I’ve always wanted theaters to complete the immersive experience by serving food relevant to the plot and setting.
Yes, I am aware of the practical limitations. Imagine uncouth theatregoers throwing string cheese during a Spider-Man movie. And those with sensitive noses would suffer from the lofting scent of fried tilapia during Aquaman.
But your strongest objection to my futuristic idea is cost-based. According to BoxOfficeMojo, the average movie ticket in the United States now costs about $9. Even in cheaper theaters, specialized menus would mean no more $5 movie nights (unless they serve cheap hot dogs at The Sandlot.)
Despite all these arguments, I still think there’s merit to making food part of an immersive experience. We’re willing to pay for unnecessary 3D movies, so why not offer movies with menus as a special option? Such creative expansion not only benefits us; it also helps local independent theaters that promote cultural exchanges compete in a crowded market.
In an effort to pave the way, here are some easy-to-eat menus I constructed based on recent favorite films.
Red caramel candy apple covered in chopped peanuts
Strawberry banana smoothie with coconut
Rabbit shawarma with sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and tzatziki sauce
Before young Adelaide enters a creepy hall of mirrors in Us, she drops a bright red candied apple, a terrifying prelude to her loss of innocence. Years later, grown-up Adelaide is seen only consuming strawberries, while her Tethered half, Red, resents a life of gnawing on raw rabbit. Hopefully, moviegoers won’t be freaked out when they realize that only half the audience received the rabbit dish…
Pan dulce with coffee
Chicken tamales with salsa verde
Cheesecake with guava
We need something to comfort us after the emotional fireworks of seeing Miguel reconnect with his ancestors in a flurry of orange marigolds. No Tex-Mex for us—let’s instead feast upon the pan dulce seen on a public servant’s desk in the Land of the Dead and other dishes from Michoacán, the region of México where Coco takes place. What better intro for us to ponder how to pass on our own families’ traditions?
White rice, Cuban black beans, and roasted chicken breast topped with sautéed onions and cilantro.
In Moonlight’s beautifully tender diner scene, Kevin prepares a meal for his childhood romance, Chiron. In these precious moments, you long for the full nourishing of Chiron and all those who have had to defend their heart and body from the world.
Wakandan Jeweled Vegetable Pilau with Berbere Braised Lamb
Sobolo – a royal ginger and jamaica beverage fit for a member of the Dora Milaje
Jabari “meat”pies stuffed with chickpeas, yam, cayenne and other spices
Kelewele – spicy fried plantains
Mandazi – coconut and cardamom doughnuts
I am baffled that no one has started an Afro-futuristic, Wakanda-inspired restaurant yet. While we wait, we can devour several courses from each of the kingdom’s five regions.
Comfort Sampong’s heart is sparked by fried plantains, tropical foliage and the stories of women thriving and creating a way out of no way. She graduated in 2018 with majors in economics and international development. Now she lives in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where she works on English communications for the Association for a More Just Society, a Honduran non-profit fighting for justice and peace.