I’m one of those people who sneaks my own contraband snacks into the cinema.
Usually it’s a packet of the most retro of chocolate, Revels - and, yes, I love the coffee ones. I never smuggle in anything noisy, sloppy or smelly, apart from the occasional Bross Bagel. As the cinema fun sponge, I think those should be the rules for everyone.
Food is very much the focus at Edinburgh’s Everyman cinema, which has just opened its second Scottish branch, with the first in Glasgow, on the fifth floor of St James Quarter and can be reached by lift, or an Escher-esque assortment of escalators.
This is the sort of place for lunch, drinks or dinner, rather than just pick ‘n’ mix sweets.
As well as the huge lounge and bar areas, downstairs and upstairs, where there are low slung sofas and tables, you can also order food at the bar, to be delivered directly to your cinema seat while the trailers are running. Each of the velvety pews in the five screening rooms is about the size of the back seat of a car and has a table on either side for you to set up your ration station.
Unlike other battery farm style cinemas, there’s enough distance between each seat that you won’t hear most of the noshing and slurping from other film lovers.
As well as sharing plates, like tempura squid, padron peppers and honey halloumi, they’re serving cinema classics. There is sweet or salty popcorn, of course, but also pizza and huge beefy hot-dogs, all slathered in American mustard, ketchup and onions. The US theme continues with the sundaes, which you build yourself and can be topped by caramel sauce and crushed Oreos, among other sugary things
I tried one of their Spielburgers, and the mess factor was relatively low, though maybe not if you added the optional gruyere and streaky bacon.
Nothing jumped out of the bun and onto my lap anyway, as the action in the film ramped up.
Same goes for the nachos, though trying to scoop guacamole and salsa in the dark is like playing pin the tail on the donkey.
I don’t think the smart livery of the screening rooms are going to remain this pristine for long.