So, I don’t like popcorn (I know, your mouth probably dropped right now and you’re thinking “How do you not like popcorn?!?”), but I found this interesting article that explains why people eat popcorn when they go to the movies. Popcorn was introduced to the general public as a snack food around 1840. This is when people started seeing it at fairs, carnivals, and rallies. It was in 1885 that the first portable popcorn was invented which increased its popularity dramatically. The popcorn boom happened around the same time that nickelodeon (dime) theatres started up. Popcorn venders sold their treats outside of the movies and the movie-goers loved it. Then as the Great Depression set in and profits dropped, owners were looking for new ways to bring in money. They noticed how lucrative the popcorn business was so they decided to install machines of their own inside. A movie and a bucket of popcorn became one of the main forms of entertainment for struggling Americans well into the 1930s.
When TV came along and threatened the movie business again, the concession stands became a huge part to the movie theatre’s success. Then sugar rations took hold during World War II, which made candy no longer available at the movies. Because of that, popcorn sales skyrocketed. By the time sugar was reintroduced to the public, everyone was so used to popcorn at the movies and it became ingrained in the minds of theatre patrons everywhere.
Today, concession stand sales make up 40% of movie theatres’ net revenue. New snacks are still being introduced but popcorn still endures. I’m not actually surprised that only 40% of the movie theatres’ net revenue comes from concession stands. The snacks and drinks are so expensive that it’s better to take the risk and bring in candy you got at the dollar store. But I don’t know, if you wanna bring in your own popcorn, I’d be careful with that. I think it would be a little suspicious if you have a freshly popped bag of popcorn in your bag. Leave me comments and let me know what your favorite snack is when you go to the movies.