Lights, camera, popcorn!

 Curio & Co. thinks about popcorn at the movies. Photo of Popcorn in Curio & Co. brown paper bags with logo. Curio and Co.

Celebrating the real star of the silver screen.

Popcorn and entertainment have long been partners. As early as 1870, popcorn was a common staple at stadiums and parks in the United States. Popcorn in the cinema really took off during the Great Depression; because of its cheap price it was an affordable luxury for audiences.

Sold for 5 or 10 cents during the 1930s, popcorn now costs half the ticket price in cinemas, sometimes more. Why the sky-high prices? Popcorn and other concessions are the cinema’s main source of income.

Admission prices go to distributors, studios and producers, while little of the ticket prices stays with the cinema – barely enough to keep the lights on. Popcorn sales can determine the films cinemas show and for how long. Action films or kids’ movies (so-called “popcorn movies”) attract more popcorn consumers than art house or independent films. Cinema owners keep this in mind and give more screen time to films that will yield higher concession sales.

Doctors may not recommend mindlessly shoveling in popcorn at the cinema – all that butter is bad for you, after all. But eating popcorn on autopilot may be a sign of a good film. If you were aware of the all the popcorn you were eating, you obviously wouldn’t be caught up in the story of the film.

However, one recent film experience actually saw the experience of eating popcorn pulled this audience member out of the film: the Artist. Maybe loud crunchy popcorn just doesn’t go with silent films…