Popcorn may be the most popular movie snack of all time. People love it. They get small bags, they get huge bags and share with their families. They get a free refill and take it home to eat it for lunch or dinner. It can get pretty obsessive.
But why do we eat popcorn? Popcorn wasn’t always in movie theaters. They were the primary snacks at circus and stage shows. Hell, in the silent era of film movie theaters didn’t even have concession stands. The crunching and eating everyone would be doing was too distracting.
But then talkies came along. Now movies were packed with sound, and it was suddenly more tempting to bring a snack. Plus, the popcorn explosion was around the time of the Great Depression. Popcorn was cheap, about five cents a bag. And vendors could easily get a spot inside or outside a theater.
Then theater owners figured out they could spend $10 on hundreds of pounds of kernels, which is enough for thousands of bags to sell. It was a cash cow for them. Unfortunately, they had to generate popcorn by hand at first. During World War II that changed. Mechanical harvesting made it easier to get popcorn, and the popularity of candy bars dropped because of sugar rationing.
Soon there was even a National Popcorn Association, who made eating popcorn a patriotic duty. One slogan used for popcorn was “Popcorn is fighting food!” Little did they know that the only fighting it did was to your arteries.
Anyway, popcorn breeders soon learned how to mix strains to make bigger and better popcorn. Or as I like to call it: modern popcorn. All this led to popcorn being the most popular snack at the movies today. Not only in the United States of America, but world wide. Do you like eating popcorn at the movies? Or do you have another favorite snack? [The Academy]