If there’s one thing synonymous with cinemas, it’s popcorn. The delightfully delicious, salty, buttery, and somewhat messy snack has no fonder home than a cinema. But believe it or not, it wasn’t always that way. In fact popcorn was once banned from cinemas. But why would they go to such lengths to ban a major revenue source?
When attending a movie today you are often presented with a range of snacks, and there’s one that’s always present no matter where you go. It’s popcorn. Mass production has offered us a variety of delicious snacks to devour while we keep ourselves entertained with the most recently released movie, but it hasn’t always been the case. Although other snacks such as potato chips have been around since before movies, popcorn was the first that was able to be mass produced just about anywhere. Potato chips required a kitchen at the bare minimum. It’s for this reason that cinemas took up popcorn as a quick and easy snack. But as we have said, popcorn was actually banned from cinemas not so long ago.
Why was popcorn banned from cinemas?
In the early days of movie theaters they resembled real theaters, the ones where actors performed in front of a live audience. It was the ambition and goal of cinema owners to replicate the standards, class and clientele that real theaters had. They didn’t want the mess and noise that popcorn presented. Especially with beautiful carpets and rugs that popcorn would have been ground into. But the ban didn’t last, and it was profit that led to the lifting of the popcorn cinema ban.
As cinemas had banned popcorn from being sold, street vendors capitalized on a unique opportunity. they would station themselves outside cinemas and sell the snack to patrons. This resulted in cinemas requesting patrons to check their popcorn with their coats.
Eventually the cinema owners realized that there was profit to be made as so many people were smuggling popcorn into movies. They eventually cut out the middleman and sold it directly to their clients, at an extremely inflated price, which obviously still exists today.