Stephen King: The Pop of King

Stephen King's Guide to Movie Snacks

The Bard of Horror takes a gastronomical tour of the movie-theater concession stand -- all hail the cholesterol-lowering properties of diet soda

MOVIE CUISINE Stephen King's rule of multiplex nutrition: ''A big diet cola sops up the calories and cholesterol contained in movie snack food just like…
Image credit: Corbis
MOVIE CUISINE Stephen King's rule of multiplex nutrition: ''A big diet cola sops up the calories and cholesterol contained in movie snack food just like a big old sponge soaks up water''

For a magazine that prides itself on the many aspects of the movie business it covers, EW hasn't had much to say over the years concerning the important subject of snacks. Oh, an occasional piece about how much they cost, but few words on their culinary wonderfulness. This needs correcting, because, while some people eat snacks while they are at the movies, there are some who go to the movies so they can eat snacks. That would be me. So let me impart a few lessons years of snacking have taught me.

First, support your theater. Buy at the snack bar and damn the expense. You could probably sneak your own food in, but if you're caught, you'll be thrown out. As for bringing healthier snacks from home: Did you really hire a babysitter and drive six miles so you could snark cucumber slices half-drowned in buttermilk ranch out of a slimy plastic bag? Is that what you call living it up?

If you want to get healthy, there are places for that: They're called ''health clubs.'' And I find there's something giddy about tossing down $4.50 for a box of Gummi Bears or a bag of chocolate raisins. It makes me feel like a high roller, especially when the matinee ticket itself only costs 50 cents more.

I always start my order with the ritual drink — Diet Pepsi if possible, Coke Zero as a fallback, Diet Coke the court of last resort. A big diet cola sops up the calories and cholesterol contained in movie snack food just like a big old sponge soaks up water. This is a proven fact. One expert (me) believes a medium diet cola drink can lower your cholesterol by 20 points and absorb as much as one thousand empty calories. And if you say that's total crap, I would just point out I don't call it a ritual drink for nothing. Sometimes I add a strawberry smoothie with lots of whipped cream, but I'm always sure to take enough sips of my ritual drink to absolve me of those calories, too.

NEXT PAGE: ''My motto is 'Never buy a hot dog that's been waiting in a foil Baggie under a heat lamp.' For all you know, that stray dog could have been there since Revenge of the Sith.''

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