Tonight I’m going to relish in being a kid again as I’m set to see Jurassic Park 3D. I’m pretty excited about this; when it first came out, I was 8 years old. It actually hasn’t been too long since I’ve seen the movie (it’s my husband’s pick for whenever he’s sick – my ‘sick movie’ is You’ve Got Mail), but I’m buying into the hype of the re-release and, frankly, I can’t wait to see what those dinos look like when they’re popping out of the IMAX screen.
Tonight’s plans got me thinking about food at the movies and whether or not it’s gluten free. So I called Cineplex and AMC Theatres and did some digging. Here’s what I found out:
I spoke with a representative on their customer service line after failing to see if any of this info was on their website. I was on hold for about five minutes for her to find the answers:
- Popcorn – Yes, it’s gluten free, BUT the popcorn salt and liquid margarine are produced on machinery where gluten is present. So it’s fine for people with a gluten intolerance, but not those with Celiac disease.
- Nachos and cheese – Gluten free!
- French fries – Gluten free, but they are fried in oil that is used to fry breaded items
- Hot dog – Both the bun and hot dog have gluten
- M&Ms – Gluten free (Big yay for this one; M&Ms are my weakness)
- Skittles – Gluten free
- Maltesers – Contain gluten
- Yogen Fruz – Gluten free
I couldn’t find this information on my own, and their website said to call your local theatre directly for any questions. I called the Woodbridge, Ont. location, and my conversation went something like this:
Me: Hello, I’m wondering if you could please tell me which food items are gluten free.
AMC Woodbridge: Uh…*silence*…one moment please.
On hold for 10 minutes and 50 seconds, then disconnected. I call back.
Me: Hello, I just called to inquire about the gluten in your products…
AMC Woodbridge: Oh, sorry about that, I’ll put you on hold again and get that answer for you.
On hold for 30 seconds
AMC Woodbridge: Hi, so I think the drinks, popcorn, nachos, and skittles are all gluten free.
Me: …You think?
AMC Woodbridge: Yeah, that’s what my supervisor told me.
Me: Well, do you know if any of this food might have come into contact with gluten?
AMC Woodbridge: No.
Me: Ok, thank you, good-bye.
I am fully aware I was probably talking to a 17-year-old who truly did not know how to begin addressing my question. It’s a shame the supervisor did not take over the phone call for her, but he or she probably wouldn’t have had any answers either. I sent a follow-up email to AMC Theatres head office and hopefully they will provide a more concrete response.
Let’s end on a more satisfying note, shall we? Here’s my gluten free movie snack that I recently whipped up. It’s not so much baking, as it is melting-stuff-and-stirring.
- Melt 4 semi-sweet chocolate squares with ½ tbsp. of butter
- Mix in chopped unsalted cashew nuts and plain Chex cereal
- Spread mixture in a pan, sprinkle with shredded, unsweetened coconut, and place in the fridge. A dash of sea salt is good on these too!
- After at least an hour, remove from fridge, break into tiny pieces, and enjoy with your movie (whether you eat these sitting on your couch, watching a movie, or sneak them into a theatre is up to you 😉 )
Well, that’s it for me. Hopefully AMC Theatres will get back to me about their movie snacks. It would be even greater if this information was readily available for inquiring movie lovers. In the mean time, I’m off to re-live some classic Spielberg magic 🙂
In light of the recent and sad loss of Roger Ebert — the only critic whose reviews I actively and regularly Googled — I looked up his 1993 review of Jurassic Park. It’s an interesting read and I thought I’d share it in memory of him.