Why do you eat popcorn in the movies and since when?

Pop corn (popcorn or popcorn, as it is known in some countries) has always been related to the act of watching movies. In fact, many do not conceive the idea of ​​doing it without having a tray of this snack at hand, and it is the quintessential food for accompany a fiction. But have you ever wondered Where does this custom come from?

Currently, the popcorn ceased to be even an exclusive food for watch a movie in the cinema, as many also choose to do it at home, either to watch a feature film or a series on a streaming platform. The truth is that behind this practice there is an interesting story. In 1999, Andrew F. Smith published the book “”, in which he analyzes this snack in a social context.

Throughout the work, the author explores in detail the history of porp corn, and there he reveals how it ended up becoming the main appetizer at any public entertainment event. Here are more details about it.

A young woman and a tray full of pop corn or popcorn (Photo: ShutterStock)


It’s no surprise to learn that money had a lot to do with it. However, what will surprise you is to learn that at the beginning the popcorn-cinema relationship was not good, because precisely the cinemas were the only place where they were not allowed when they began to become popular.

The popcorn began to spread mid-19th century North America and, at the end of the century, the invention of popcorn making machines by Charles Cretor, founder of Cretors, made it possible for them to hit the streets and begin to have a greater presence in many places.

Thanks to the fact that it can be easily moved and the speed of its production, it became the perfect machine to be at any event: circuses, fairs and sporting events.

Pop corn plate (Photo: Freepik)
Pop corn plate (Photo: Freepik)

The ban in cinemas

Although they began to gain popularity at some events, theaters wanted nothing to do with pop corn because, according to Smith, “They were trying to reproduce what was done in the theaters”. Also, the writer points out that “they had beautiful rugs and rugs and they didn’t want the snack to end up on the floor and be stepped on”.

The triumph of pop corn

At first, cinemas had a more elitist business vision, but the arrival of sound at the end of the 1920s changed the scenario quite a bit and attendance at cinemas multiplied in the first years. With the overcrowding there were more and more people who wanted to watch a movie while enjoying snacks and soft drinks, something that those responsible for the movie theaters could not deny.

So, what better idea than to give them the product that was becoming fashionable and that was very easy to prepare, as well as being cheaper; In short, it was the snack that best suited the current situation of a population that was facing one of the worst economic crises in history, known as the Great Depression.

What began as a simple proliferation of itinerant stalls on the outskirts of movie theaters, ended up earning a permanent seat in each complex of this type. And, of course, in a fundamental part of the business. The idea spread around the world and now, popcorn and movies have gone hand in hand in popular culture for as long as we can remember.

At the movies, serving a box of salty popcorn (Photo: ShutterStock)
At the movies, serving a box of salty popcorn (Photo: ShutterStock)


Popcorn with butter

  • In a pan or pot, put 1 tablespoon of butter and when it is melted, add the corn kernels. Cover and wait for all the popcorn to pop.

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