I dare you to walk into a movie theater and not savor the scent of freshly made popcorn.
When I go to a movie even if I have no intention of buying popcorn, I rarely can resist the fluffy treat due to the smell emanating in the theater lobby. These days a movie fan can get various treats at the theater ranging from pizza to pickles, depending on the theater you choose. Did you know when theaters first started showing films, snacks, mostly popcorn, was sold outside the theater? It didn’t take long for theaters to realize they were losing money in that set up.
Of course candy has also been a part of the movie going experience, and the most popular treats have varied over the years. According to MSN the hit movie treat of 1926 was Milk Duds. In 1935 Kit Kat ruled theaters. 1949 was a big year for Whoppers. Hot Tamales rules the box office in 1950. One of my favorites, Sweetarts ruled theaters in 1963. 1979 saw Reese’s Pieces being eaten by most movies patrons, and they became even more popular in 1982 due to being featured prominently int the movie “E.T”. Sour Patch Kids ruled in 1985, and when they first came out were called Mars Men. Butterfinger BB’s were a smash hit in 1992, due to part to being bite sized and favored by cartoon character Bart Simpson. 1999 was a hit year for Zours, with their combination of chewy and sour. Jolly Rancher Bites were the hit of 2001, which were flavorful soft chews.
2013 saw Starburst chews make the big time at theaters in the ready-to-eat from the bag format. Even with candy being a stable at theater concession stands, and no matter what other choices are available, popcorn will also rule in theaters. Often while we are munching on theater snacks, we see movie characters eating onscreen, or we may even be watching a food themed movie. If you have ever seen the 1955 Disney animated film “Lady and the Tramp”, you will no doubt remember the famous spaghetti eating scene. Other movies feature food as the main theme. They include the following: “Chef” from 2014; “Dinner Rush” from 2000; “The Hundred-Foot Journey” from 2014; “Julie & Julia” from 2009; “Like Water for Chocolate” from 1992; “Ratatouille” from 2007; and “Soul Food” from 1997. You may also have seen “Mystic Pizza”, “My Dinner With Andre”, and the infamous “91/2 Weeks”. So needless to say, you often eat at the theater and see those on the big screen doing the same. Some specialty and upscale theaters even have employees who will bring your food and drink to your seat, and a lot of theaters have a tray-type contraption you can put in from of you. In fact, the Showcase Cinemas chain features appetizers, steaks, salads, sandwiches and burgers along with the more traditional snacks.
These theaters even has a call button service so you don’t need to leave your seat. I’m in favor of Showcase Cinemas hitting our area. Food at movie theaters sure has progressed since the days of the Nickelodeons (what the first theaters were called). Well until next week when I will be discussing “Wonder Woman”, I’ll see you at the movies with my snacks in hand.