Social Question

janbb's avatar

Why and when did eating pop corn get associated with watching movies?

Asked by janbb (62853points) 1 month ago

As asked. I know I could do some Googling but thought this might be fun to chew on. Humor welcome.

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13 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

From going to Saturday matinees -$0.25 to get in; a soda and box of popcorn cost the same.

janbb's avatar

But why were they being sold there?

ragingloli's avatar

I am guessing it is because corn is dirt cheap, and since you can literally inflate them so that they are mostly air, while jacking up the price for, it made the perfect junk food to make money for cinema operators.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Important attraction for the theaters: you can put salt and butter on the popcorn. The added salt means that you sell even more fountain drinks, and the profit margin on soda is something like 95%.

So you sell empty food with a huge profit and drinks with a huge profit, and you have easy money.

smudges's avatar

But why serve popcorn rather than any number of snacks that could have been served is what the OP is asking.

jca2's avatar

I googled and in the 30s it became popular at movies because it was very cheap, and then became associated with the movies. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/why-do-we-eat-popcorn-at-the-movies-475063/

filmfann's avatar

Cheap to make
Quiet to eat
Not filling
Not very messy, considering you eat with your hands.

janbb's avatar

@jca2 Great article!

tinyfaery's avatar

There was an egg shortage and the deviled eggs could no longer be served. (10 points if you get this.)

janbb's avatar

^^ I had to Google to find out.

tinyfaery's avatar

The trailer used to make me queasy just thinking of the smell. Yuck.

janbb's avatar

@tinyfaery I don’t eat eggs so it would make me queasy too.

LifeQuestioner's avatar

One of the best field trips I ever got to go on with the students when I worked at a school was to a local movie theater. Not only did the kids get to watch a movie and get bargain drinks and popcorn, but we got a tour of the projection room and it was really cool! And one of the things the lady doing the tour told us was that the theater makes hardly any money from selling movie tickets because they have to pay for the rights to show the movie, even if they’re a second run theater. So they make all their money from whatever concessions they sell. Which probably makes it even more important that they have items that are cheap that they can charge crazy prices for, like soda and popcorn. It’s also probably why they are pretty strict about people not bringing in outside food.

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