These Are the Best (and Worst!) Foods for Your Home Theater Image

These Are the Best (and Worst!) Foods for Your Home Theater

By Film Threat Staff | October 24, 2022

What’s the one thing that completes the perfect home theater setup? It’s not the seating, and it’s not the sound setup. It’s not the lighting or even the screen. We’re talking about the one thing that every home theater must have, or the experience simply won’t feel complete. 

It’s the refreshments, of course!

If you want to host an unforgettable movie night, you’ve got to have some great foods to offer to your guests. Some refreshments, however, work better than others in home theater environments. 

First of all, you’ve got to think about your expensive carpets and furniture. At some point in your life, you’ve almost certainly been in a dingy old theater with stained carpets and seats. You might have found the experience charming or a little nostalgic, but it’s an entirely different situation when the stained furniture happens to be yours. A home theater is an expensive investment, and you want to protect it as much as you can. A big part of that is serving refreshments that aren’t likely to cause stains.

It’s also important to think about the way your home theater smells. Many people use interior or basement rooms for their home theaters, so they won’t have to worry about light coming in through windows. That’s going to reduce air circulation, though, which means that you’ll have to worry about lingering odors. Strong smells are often difficult to completely remove from enclosed spaces, so you’ll probably want to avoid serving foods with large amounts of garlic, barbecue sauce or liquid smoke. 

So, what are the best and worst home theater foods? Reading this article, you’re going to get some practical advice that can help to make your next movie night absolutely perfect. 

First, though, let’s talk about the one home theater food that breaks all the rules.

Popcorn Breaks the Rules – but It’s the Perfect Home Theater Food Anyway

Popcorn is the one food that absolutely everyone expects to have when watching movies, and it also happens to be a food that breaks all of the rules we’ve just discussed. Popcorn is a finger food, and it’s usually covered with greasy butter. It’s a huge stain risk, and the smell is definitely going to linger long after the movie night is over. Everyone expects a theater to smell like buttered popcorn, though, so popcorn is the perfect home theater food even if it isn’t necessarily best for your furniture. 

At the end of this article, we’ll discuss some tips that can help you protect your investment.

Bonus Tip: Think About the Smokers in Your Movie Group

Nicotine isn’t a food or a drink. It’s something that the smokers in your movie group expect to have, though – and in any large group of people, there will almost definitely be smokers. 

Unless you’re a smoker yourself and already smoke in your house, you definitely can’t allow people to smoke in your home theater. The smell will be impossible to remove from the furniture and carpets. That’ll reduce the value of your investment – and your entire home, for that matter. At the same time, the smokers in your group will miss the fun if they’re forced to spend the entire night outside.

What’s the solution? Grab a selection of disposable vapes from a reliable vape shop like Premium Vape. Unlike smoking, vaping leaves no odor behind and is perfectly safe for furniture.

The Best Home Theater Foods

Boxed Candies

In terms of protecting your furniture from stains and preventing unwanted smells from accumulating, the absolute best home theater food is any candy that comes packaged in boxes and isn’t likely to melt. The best part about serving candy in a home theater is that it doesn’t require a great deal of effort or money on your part – plenty of companies sell pre-assembled assortments of classic movie theater candies. All that you need to do is buy an assortment and set up a little display, and your guests can help themselves.

Soft Pretzels

Remember how we just mentioned that popcorn is the exception to all of the rules about home theater refreshments? You might completely disagree with that statement if it’s your furniture on the line. Maybe you don’t even like the smell of popcorn. If popcorn isn’t the right choice for you, get a pretzel warmer and serve soft pretzels in your home theater instead. With some big, salty pretzels and a little mustard on the side, no one will miss the popcorn.

Catered Finger Foods

If you want to serve something savory in your home theater but don’t want to do the cooking yourself, consider bringing in a catered spread instead. Look for finger foods that are easily contained, served at room temperature and aren’t likely to cause stains. Sandwiches are perfect. Sushi isn’t the best choice, though, because soy sauce stains can be extremely difficult to remove.

The Worst Home Theater Foods

Chicken Wings

The absolute worst home theater food – and the one thing you should never, ever consider serving – is chicken wings. People eat them with their hands, and they’re covered with butter and red sauce. After the movie night is over, you’ll examine your furniture and find fingerprints everywhere – there’s absolutely no avoiding it. Under no circumstances should you ever serve wings in a home theater.

Anything Requiring a Fork and Plate

If you’ve ever been to a movie theater that offered full meals as refreshments, you know that enjoying a steak or a plate of pasta while you watch a film can be a lot of fun. At least, that’s the case when you’re eating on someone else’s furniture. If you want to serve a full meal during a movie night, don’t serve it in the viewing area – serve it in your dining room between films.

Hot Dogs and Burgers

On the surface, hot dogs and burgers might seem like great foods to serve in a home theater. They’re both finger foods, and they don’t present a huge risk of staining since they’re relatively self-contained. With hot dogs and burgers, though, the smell is the thing that you need to worry about. Do you really want the smell of sizzling animal fat to permeate your home theater? Probably not. Treat these foods as between-movie meals and serve them in a separate room.

How to Protect Your Home Theater Furniture from Stains

No matter how carefully you select the foods that you serve in your home theater, someone is bound to spill or drop something eventually – and when that happens, you’ll be thankful if you took some precautions beforehand to help prevent stains. Consider treating the carpet in your home theater with a stain blocker. For your seats, it might be worthwhile to buy waterproof covers that can be discarded and replaced when they start to look worn out.

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