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How Popcorn Became a Movie Theater Staple

If you’re one of those people who loves spouting random pieces of trivia to your friends, then you’re going to soak up the Mental Floss YouTube series Big Questions like there’s no tomorrow. The episodes are short, and they adequately fuel your insatiable thirst for knowledge. The latest offering caught our attention because it involves two of our favorite things: movies and food (duh!). So, the question is, how did popcorn become a custom in movie theaters?

You’ll have to watch the video to find out exactly what century popcorn graced our shores, but what you probably already know is that in those early days, it was sold at outdoor events like circuses and fairs. When proper movie theaters weren’t around yet, food vendors seized the opportunity to set up shop near those shoebox-sized Nickelodeon theaters. As more elaborate theaters came into being, they didn’t sell food because they didn’t want to deal with the mess, and let’s face it, crunching on snacks would be a mighty distraction when the movies are silent. When sound was introduced, you can assume that those food vendors breathed a sweet sigh of relief. Still, it wasn’t an easy gig by any standards. The video also mentions one super resourceful lady from Kansas who made bank in the ’30s, just by the powers of persuasion.

For answers to more curious questions like this, visit Mental Floss, and remember… being a knowledge junkie is nothing to be afraid of!

Are you into big questions like this? Did you know about the history of movie theater popcorn? Reach out to me on Twitter, or sound off in the comments below.

HT: YouTube/Mental Floss

IMAGE: Mental Floss

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