Go to movie theater it’s good. But going to the movies with a popcorn is even better! The combination is so popular that popcorn and cinema are almost synonymous.
But do you know why we eat the delicious contents of the bag at the cinema? If not, look here!
The Origin of Popcorn
First of all, it is necessary to answer the question: where did the popcorn come from? Pop corn, literally translated, appeared on the American continent. Early Europeans described popcorn as a corn-based salty used by the indigenous inhabitants of the continent. In addition to food, popcorn was also used as a hair ornament.
Popcorn? Not here!
In the 19th century, popcorn was already sold in parks and fairs in the United States. At the end of that period, the first cinematographic manifestations appeared.
At first, popcorn was not welcome in exhibition spaces. Cinema owners considered the noise of popcorn and the dirt left by it in the rooms as obstacles for the arrival of food in the environments where the films were set.
The Spoken Film and the 1929 Crisis: popularization of cinema
If silent films were more reserved for the elite before, since the poorest population was illiterate, in 1928, Warner Bros. gave voice to cinema.
Thus, the barrier of intertitles, which is abundant in silent films, was broken down and, consequently, access to the rooms by low-income people was made more flexible.
However, in the following year, the Great Depression brutally shook the American economy. In the 1930s, unemployment in the country remained at around 30%.
With the reduction of the population’s purchasing power, cinema remained the most favorable form of entertainment, as it was cheaper than theater, for example.
Taking advantage of the situation, cinema owners began to authorize the sale of popcorn, which were also very cheap, in their theaters, as this would increase their profits. Exhibitors authorized the entry of street vendors, who also benefited from the measure.
Vendors approached the audience, staying inside the rooms, and attracted more and more spectators with the remarkable smell of the snack. In addition, improvements such as popcorn machines, by the American Charles T. Manely, expanded the sale of food. Now, popcorn was essential for Cinema.
The cost of big screens
Currently, viewers pay more at the bombonieres (the “stores” of the cinema) than at the films themselves. On some occasions, the price of popcorn is almost the same as for cinema tickets.
In the United States, popcorn sales make up 40% of the rooms’ profit (2018).