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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 548 (522)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 548
Page 548

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 548

Popcorn as Adjunct to TheatrerOperation

A Brief Review of the Selling of Popcorn As Latest Revenue Booster for the Cinema

America is eating more popcorn today than at any time in its history. There are some, however, who are a little apprehensive about it all and declare that it is a fad which may not continue. When one considers that it is a rare individual indeed who does not care for it, it can be readily understood that the universal consumption the past few years is merely an expression on the part of the public to purchase something they like when given the opportunity to do so.

The sale of popcorn in theatres has be come so widespread that patrons consider it essential to their enjoyment of the entertainment and, accordingly, it has recently become the most important side line of theatre operation. There are theatres, of course, in some areas of the United States which have been selling popcorn in the lobby for a number of years but for the most part, the practice is fairly new. Some theatres, of course, have still not adopted the practice. Even among old timers in the field, there are many problems which have a habit of

THE CORN GROWS TALL FOR THE POPPING BUSINESS, as is manifest by this view of port of a National Popcorn Company field near Fremont, Nebraska. Popcorn is popularly supposed to grow only on small, more or less stunted stalks, but this 8-foat variety disproves the old idea. Other than increasing the height, modern agricultural research has given popcorn other augmented characters, such as a popping ratio of 30:1, instead of former 8:l.


bobbing up with greatest regularity.

Today theatre goers in most parts of the United States have come to regard the munching of popcorn while attending a movie as an important part of their eveningis entertainment. In fact, some theatre owners who merchandise popcorn in their lobbies in the MiddleWest, declare that some patrons actually attend a movie as a convenient place to sit and enjoy eating popcorn.

Most theatre owners upon merchandising popcorn for the nrst time have been pleasingly surprised at the tremendous volume sold and the subsequent profit to them. Although the practice is commonplace enough in most areas of the country, there are still many theatres who have not yet capitalized on this trend. Some theatre owners however, actually regard the popcorn-eating habit at theatres as the greatest opportunity to make their enterprise more profitable since the advent of the talking picture.

There is another point that should not be overlooked. An entirely new generation of popcorn eaters has grown up. Formerly it was only the children who bought popcorn. Not that the adults did not like it as well, but simply that children had less restraints on what was the uproper" thing to do. Today these kids have growu up and comprise the large group of adults who individually walk up to the popcorn stand and say utwo please."

Theatre owners say that popcorn is, by all odds, their most profitable side line. One even remarked that he was coming to think of his business as a popcorn stand with a theatre in connection with it.

Consider this: The new hybrid popcorns have a popping expansion of more than 30 to 1. With good popping equipment, 100-p0und sack of good popcorn will pop out more than $100 worth of corn. The total cost of the popcorn, popping oil, powdered seasoning, and bags (or boxes) is less than $28, leaving the theatre a gross $72. The average theatre can pop from five to ten sacks of corn 3 week, if it is merchandised properly; thereby grossing several hundred dollars a week extra.

Those who have already capitalized on this side line should study the set-up even deeper than heretofore. Perhaps by more skillful merchandisingewhether it be better popcorn itself, improved lighting and display. or even the box you put it in-sales can be still further increased. Those who have not already made provision for selling popcorn might consider getting into it as quickly as possible. Popcorn eating is here to stayv and, incidentally. it is as distinctly American the hot dog.

It should be mentioned that some the. atre owners are not popping the corn in

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 548