VOTD: How Did Popcorn Become The Staple Movie Theater Snack?

If you were on Family Feud, the number one survey answer for treats you have at the movies would be popcorn. Sure, candy and soda have become an important part of the movie-going experience, but popcorn is considered the quintessential snack when you sit down in theaters. So how did popcorn become the traditional movie theater snack? An informative video takes us back decades for the answer, to a time when popcorn was actually banned by movie theaters.

History of Movie Theater Popcorn

As Cheddar explains, popcorn could be found almost everywhere when it first arrived in the United States. Circuses, carnivals, fairs, and more all had popcorn available for customers. But movie theaters didn't want the snack anywhere near it, because they wanted to keep up the appearance of being an upscale experience that let the movie be the center of attention. A loud, crunchy snack had no place in the cinema. However, the invention of talkies would change that as theaters found themselves welcoming all walks of life and silence was no longer in the fashion for entertainment inside of a movie theater.

Even though snacks became a staple of the movie theater experience, despite some initial resistance from owners, a sugar shortage during World War II resulted in candy and soda being cut from the equation. That left popcorn as the cheapest and most readily available movie theater snack. Not only did it save the movie theater business from going under completely, it also became the signature snack of going to the movies. The rest is history, and now we have helmets we can eat popcorn out of easily.