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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 549 (523)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 549
Page 549

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 549

their theatre lobbies at all. The corn is popped away from the theatre and delivered already boxed. It is then placed on trays over an oven. This keeps it warm and to some extent emits the appetizing popcorn aroma!

With the advent of new popcorn machines, improved hybrid popcorn, and new seasoning, most of the disadvantages of popping corn in theatres have entirely diminished and the all-important profit angle has greatly risen.


Proper merchandising of popcorn begins with the selection and storage of corn that will pop. Few customers have a taste for unpopped grains, commonly called hard tacks or old maids. Sales of half popped or half seasoned corn is not conducive to profitable business.

Assuming that all of the earlier-mentioned factors are adequately taken care of, there is then the very important matter of popcorn supplies. Many vendors have experienced difficulty during the past few years in finding acceptable popcorn. Much of the corn being sold today, varies markedly in moisture content which greatly affects its expansion. If the moisture is below 11 percent or above 14 percent, results will be unsatisfactory. If the corn is too dry, moisture must be added. This can be accomplished by spreading the corn out in a 3 to 4-inch layer, either on a clean floor or table, and sprinkle it with water. It should be stirred at intervals to facilitate uniform absorption of the moisture. It is also possible to sack the corn immediately after sprinkling. After a few days, the corn can be treated by popping a portion of it to determine if the moisture content is high enough for best results.

Properly processed corn for commercial popping is shipped with a moisture range of 13 to 14 per cent. It is necessary that the corn be stored in the theatre where it will not become excessively damp to increase the moisture, or where it could be subjected to heat to dry out the correct moisture. It is the explosion caused by the steam from the moisture in the kernel that causes the corn to pop.

If the moisture content of the corn is satisfactory at the time it is received, it is a relatively simple matter to hold it at that point. It should not be stored in a damp basement nor in a room that is too hot and dry. Theatre operators who use only a small supply of corn will find an ordinary oil drum which holds approximately 200 pounds and equipped with a tight lid, ideal for storing popcorn. The moisture content of the corn may be retained for a long period by this method and the corn is likewise protected against rodent damage.

Even among commercial users of popcorn, there are many misconceptions regarding the popping of corn for maximum results. here are some who still follow the practice of always fwettingll the corn a few days before popping. This may or may not improve the popability of the corn depending upon its original moisture content. If the corn originally contained more than 13.5 percent moisture, the addition of water would reduce rather than increase its popping expansion.

Some users feel that there is a rela 19457THEATRE CATALOG

{tionship between temperature of the corn

at the time of popping and the results obtained. In storing corn, temperature is, of course, important as it affects the drying out of the corn, but the temperature of the corn when placed in the popper, is in itself of little importance as far as popping results are concerned.

Frequently, the question is asked whether popcorn loses its quality with age. Contrary to popular belief, popcorn does not lose its popping expansion with age, but only through loss of moisture, or by insect or rodent damage or, perhaps, by mold, if kept too damp. Tests at Iowa State College at Ames, revealed that popcorn properly stored through a 14-year period, was found to have deteriorated only slightly in popping expansion. Corn held for five to six years may become slightly rancid or stale, however.

Aside from the moisture content of the corn at the time of popping, there are other factors which determine popping expansion. As already indicated, the temperature of the popper and the use of seasoning are factors. In addition, corn

that has been bored into by weevils or damaged by rodents will not pop. The corn ear worm likewise destroys the germ end of the kernel and such damaged kernels do not pop. In addition, immature corn does not have the same expansion as well matured corn.

Another factor is the inherent ability of different varieties to expand. Normally an expansion of 21 to 1 is the standard of comparison. Some varieties exceed this standard while others do not. In recent years, the development of hybrid popcorn by various experimental stations, have greatly increased this ratio. Most notable of these hybrids have been developed at Purdue University and Kansas State Agricultural College. Some of these actually have an expansion ratio of 30 to 1. Theatres as well as other users of popcorn should be warned, however, that not all of the so-called hybrids, which are now appearing and will soon appear in every increasing amounts, are actually superior in popping expansion and quality. Generally speaking, however, users of popcorn can look forward to better results from popcorn hybrids

THE STAR MANUFACTURlNG COMPANY, INC, says of its Super-Star theatre model that ii was designed to meet the needs and particular requirements of the theatre trade. I! has o large capacity for the rush-hour business, it is easy to operale, and if is construcled to withstand years of continuous operation. Among the features of this theatre model, the company says, are the thermostatically controlled kettle and on automatic corn and oil feeder.
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 549