Best of the Internet
Today I Learned
Stories That Matter
About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use Accuracy & Fairness Corrections and Clarifications Ethics Code
© 2024 THEDAILYNET All rights reserved
tdn logo
tdn logo
THEDAILYNET.COM / BEST OF THE INTERNET

Popcorn Remains an Essential Part of the Movie Going Experience. Here's How it Gained Popularity

Various businesses at the cinema theaters might continue to evolve but people's love for buying and munching popcorn during the shows will remain constant.
PUBLISHED MAY 31, 2024
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Tima Miroshnichenko
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Tima Miroshnichenko

Heading to a cinema theatre isn't just about watching a movie on a bigger screen, but everything from the atmosphere, sound, and even popcorn is required to complete the experience. But why is this simple yet flavorful snack loved by moviegoers all over the world? Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst for Comscore, explained to CNN that "popcorn and movies are inextricably linked."

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pavel Danilyuk
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pavel Danilyuk

“Popcorn and the movies are linked just as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, peanut butter and chocolate and, as such, represent perhaps one of the greatest duos in modern history,” Dergarabedian told the outlet. “It’s hard to imagine a more perfect combination and one that has become part of the culture in such a profound and ubiquitous way.” Author Andrew F. Smith wrote a book titled "Popped Culture: A Social History of Popcorn in America" that documented the rise of popcorn's popularity through the years and also debunked some fables attached to the origin of the snack.

According to Smith's book, popcorn was not a “first Thanksgiving” side dish but rather arrived in New England in the early half of the 19th century with American sailors returning from South America. Popping corn was also a recreational activity in the 1840s after the invention of “wire-on-the-fire” poppers and popping apparatuses. Popcorn slowly started to spread through vendors at fairs, circuses, and on city streets. By 1930, about 90 million people were regularly visiting movie theaters every week and popcorn slowly made its way into the rows.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay

“To some owners, vending all concessions was an unnecessary nuisance or ‘beneath their dignity,’” Smith wrote in his book. “In the rowdy, burlesque days, hawkers went through the aisles with baskets selling Cracker Jack and popcorn. Much of the popcorn was tossed in the air or strewn on the floors. At five or 10 cents a bag, popcorn was an affordable luxury for most Americans,” Smith added mentioning how the popularity of popcorn soared during the unlikely period of The great economic depression. “Popcorn sold so well because of its aroma — the same smell that some theater owners had reportedly despised earlier. The aroma was maximized during the popping process. As soon as the machines were placed in the lobbies, business picked up," he wrote.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | JESHOOTS.com
Representative Image Source: Pexels | JESHOOTS.com

When the theaters reopened after the pandemic, people started buying premium tickets and also started spending more on concessions, per Alicia Reese, an analyst for Wedbush. “We thought that there was just pent-up demand for going out and people treating themselves,” Reese said, per the outlet. “But this trend has persisted. It has not declined, and it’s still growing.” Ricard Gil, an associate professor who specializes in organizational economics at Queen’s University in Canada, revealed, "That was good news for theater operators at a time when attendance hasn’t yet returned to pre-pandemic levels. That’s because, at their heart, cinemas are mostly food service and real estate operations."

Image Source: NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 18: A view of the AMC Theater at Times Square during the coronavirus pandemic on October 18, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
Image Source: NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 18: A view of the AMC Theater at Times Square during the coronavirus pandemic on October 18, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

"The cinema business will continue to evolve, but one thing will remain constant," Gil stated. “The only economics of movie theaters that has changed is the romanticism of showing movies has gone away a little bit, and movie theater companies have realized that they are real estate companies, and they have the capacity, and they’ll do whatever (it takes) to actually do that. Theaters will stop playing movies before they will actually stop selling popcorn,” he added. According to the Northern AG network, an average American eats 68 quarts of popcorn each year. The country consumes about 17.3 billion of popcorn annually.



 

Nels Storm, AMC Theatres’ vice president of food and beverage product strategy, said in an interview, per the outlet. Storm shared how popcorn still remains a "venerable force" behind their business. After the pandemic hit, the popcorn evolved as well with theaters introducing collective popcorn buckets which are known as Collectible Concession Vehicles (CCVs). In the past years, AMC introduced the R2-D2-styled popcorn buckets from Star Wars, Ghostbusters’ Ecto 1 and the infamous Dune: Part Two sandworm popcorn bucket, which sparked a lot of debate in media.



 

POPULAR ON The Daily Net
MORE ON The Daily Net