Less popcorn, more Ovaltine


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The Independent Online

The cinema-going public is changing.

Where once Britain’s multiplexes were dominated by throngs of popcorn-munching, cola-slurping teenagers, now – says the British Film Institute – audiences are primarily populated by more mature viewers. The official statistics lump together everyone over 45, but a glance at the roster of recent British films (Quartet, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, to name but three) confirms that the surge is, in the main, at the upper end of the age range.

Cinemas are over the moon; how better to fill the empty seats of a weekday afternoon than from the ever-swelling ranks of retirees? But pensioner-friendly films are surely just the beginning. What about the extras? Has the time come to phase out the popcorn in favour of, say, a plate of biscuits, and replace the fizzy drinks with Ovaltine, perhaps, or a nice cup of tea?