It’s hard to imagine walking into a movie theater without immediately meeting the fresh, buttery aroma of popcorn. At one time, however, popcorn at the movies was unheard of. So when and how did this salty snack become so closely associated with cinema? The following guide explores the fascinating history of popcorn in the theater.
Why Popcorn Is a Movie Theater Staple
Association With Entertainment
From the time of its first introduction to the US from South America, Americans loved popcorn. People found amusement in popping kernels, so much so that it was sold at just about every entertainment venue — except the movie theater. While patrons enjoyed the salty snack at sporting events, fairs, and carnivals, theaters refused to integrate food into their showings. The noisy crunching, mess, and the their desire to appeal to a more elite clientele that kept theater owners from allowing popcorn and other snacks.
Movie Theaters Widen Their Audience
Literacy was essential before “talkies” — movies with sound — arrived. The first movie to introduce sound premiered in 1927, marking a massive transformation in the movie-going experience. Now everyone could enjoy movies. Audiences from all walks of life flocked to theaters, boosting their profits and expanding their clientele.
A Luxury in Scarce Times
The rise in talkies coincided with the beginning of the Great Depression, so Americans were looking for a distraction in the form of inexpensive entertainment. Popcorn was an affordable snack, and independent vendors jumped on the opportunity to turn a profit. They set up mobile popcorn machines outside of theaters to sell their wares. Movie theaters soon caught on and allowed vendors to sell inside their lobbies for a fee, and later cut out the middle man to offer their own popcorn. This tactic allowed many movie theaters to stay afloat during the Depression. Owners who refused to adapt suffered significant losses. Popcorn’s reputation as a movie theater staple was further cemented during World War II, when sugar was shipped overseas and candy and soda became scarce. Today, popcorn remains the champion of movie theater snacking.
If you’re craving fresh movie theater popcorn, come to Clark Cinema 10 – A Luxury Seating Theatre for a buttery, salty snack to complement your cinema experience. Located in Andalusia and Enterprise, AL, this theater is the best place to watch new movies at an affordable rate. With cozy custom luxury seating, a delicious selection of snacks and beverages, and easy online ticket purchasing, they go above and beyond to make your visit convenient and comfortable. Call (334) 347-3811 or visit their website to see what’s playing today.