The mouth-watering scent of salty, buttered popcorn is inseparable from the movie theater experience. This light and crunchy snack wasn’t always associated with the movies. During the early days of the movie theater, popcorn was in fact banned. Popcorn had been a popular American snack since the 1840s, the invention of the steam-powered popcorn maker in 1885 only increased the snack’s popularity—vendors could now sell popcorn at sporting events, circuses, and fairs. Movie theater owners however, refused to allow popcorn at their establishments. The first movie theaters were modeled after elegant opera houses and playhouses and a pedestrian food like popcorn had no place in the lavish atmosphere movie theaters sought to cultivate. Additionally, films were silent up to 1927 and snacking in a theater was distracting. The introduction of sound into film opened movies to a wider audience and made snacking more acceptable. But it took the Great Depression to turn popcorn into the movie theater snack.
Inexpensive bags of popcorn sold by vendors outside theaters made popcorn a favored movie snack during the Depression. By the mid 1930s however, theaters were barely surviving, and theater owners began selling snacks like popcorn to make money. WWII only strengthened the relationship between popcorn and movie-going since sugar rationing made candy a rare treat. Movie theaters and the popcorn industry suffered a decline in the ‘50s and ‘60s with advent of television, but the snack made a comeback with the invention of home popcorn makers and the microwave. Popcorn returned as the number one movie time snack, and today, the smell of popcorn is inextricably linked with the movie theater.
Find a local movie theater for a night out by using Real Local Pages (RLP), an online business directory with listings for thousands of businesses across the United States. Visit the website, http://www.reallocalpages.com, and choose your location. Use the search box to enter search terms like “movie theater” or “cinema” to find theater locations. Every listing includes a phone number and address for your convenience. RLP can also be used to find other types of businesses and services in your area, from florists to physicians, Real Local Pages can help you find what you need.