The Electric Cinema in London's Notting Hill recently screened Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth to a sold-out crowd. Of course, the film was part of the draw, but it was the billing of an “edible cinema night” which lured a lot pleasure-seekers.
Imagine harnessing the power of taste, smell and texture to create a more evocative cinema experience. As the folks at the Guardian describe it, “In your seat, you find a tray of numbered cups and parcels. During the screening, in the style of a dolly bird parading the scores at a boxing match, an usherette holds up corresponding numbers indicating what to open when. It's good fun and went down a storm with the (estimated at least 50% hipster) audience.”
We question whether edible cinema really is nothing more than another silly gimmick to draw crowds to the theater. Although we’re still trying to understand why every new children’s film is being made in 3D.
And, like 3D (which has been around for decades but never really caught on, edible cinema appears to be making the round at theaters around the UK. Recently (the Guardian also reports) a screening of the Mission Impossible TV series last year tried to "reinvent cinema food" by matching a menu to a screening of the film Perfume. The audience was treated to such delights as fermented fish paste (for the fish market scene) and an edible sperm shake, complete with pump action dispenser, (for the orgy scene). “They were transported all right. But they were also somewhat repulsed. The prudes.”
I think I’ll just stick to throwing hot dogs and rice during screenings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.