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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 550 (524)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 550
Page 550

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 550

than with the older varieties of popcorn, especially when purchased from reliable sources of supply.

The Food and Drug Administration is very active in their inspection of popcorn in theatres. Improperly processed corn, or corn subjected to rodent infestation has been seized in a number of recent cases. It is recommended that the corn be stored in specially built bins*which can be obtained pre-fabricated or built by a good carpenter. If the storage requirements are for less than six or eight bags, steel drums are obtainable for the purpose. By the use of bins or drums for the storage of popcorn the moisture can be better controlled and it permits easier fumigation for protection against weevils and insects. All good popcorn is fumigated during the processing procedureebut frequently the popcorn can become infested while in transit and it is advisable to fumigate the corn as well as the storage room, bins, or drums, that will be used during the spring and summer months. A common fumigant for grain is carbon disulphide, a volatile, highly flammable liquid which, when

mixed with air, is extremely explosive. However, handled with care and discretion, there is no danger. The usual dose is 1 pound of carbon disulphide for each 100 cubic feet of space in the fumigation chamber. To reduce the fire hazard, one part of carbon disulphide is sometimes diluted with four parts of carbon tetrachloride (better known as the non-flammable cleaning fluid, Carbona). When this mixture is used, the fumigation dose is five pounds to each 100 cubic feet, which, of course, is actually the same amount of the active ingredient.


The popcorn machine and the popcorn that is placed in it are perhaps the two most important items for consideration, although others may, at times, be equally important.

The popcorn popper is in itself, a relatively simple piece of equipment and yet nothing is more aggravating to the vendor than to have the machine break down during a rush period. With many machines where the seasoning or oil is added to the popping unit, the addition of oil

THE VIKING POPCORN MACHINES, INC., offers a Deluxe model for use in theatres. This machine is said to pop 16 ounces of corn in but 160 seconds, a rate which can be increased to meet peak demands. Among the features are, it is said, storage space for 50 pounds of corn and 2 gallons of pre-heated oil; a heating element which can be changed in 5 minutes; an automatic feed for full-kettle capacity; and inner kettle instantly removed for cleaning.



when too hot has caused very disagreeable burning odors. This may, of course, be due to (1) the machine itself getting too hot for best results and the subsequent burning of the oil and corn, (2) the seasoning being of low grade with too low a fiash point, or, perhaps, (3) the inexperience of the machine operator

The use of a dry popper whereby the seasoning is added after the corn is popped, has gained favor with many theatre operators because it eliminates the chance of burning the oil during the popping process. However, there usually is less danger of scorching the corn or having the corn p0p poorly if some oil is used to insure a more even distribution of heat around the kernels. The amount of seasoning added should be approximately 10 percent of the volume of the unpopped corn, although an excess of oil will do no harm so far as insuring maximum popping results is concerned. The addition of oil results in some increase in expansion and also reduces the time required for the kernels to pop. During rush periods, this advantage may offset any advantages that a dry popper might have. At any rate, it is essential that the popper be at the right temperature. If the corn is popped too slowly, some of the moisture will escape before popping begins and- maximum popping expansion will not be obtained. Likewise, expansion may be low if the popper is too hot because the kernals scorch and do not become uniformly heated.

Selection of the popping oil or shortening is important. Some oils impart a very undesirable odor to the theatre, others impart a gummy film to the kettle which causes smoke. Properly selected oils will lend an appetizing aroma that will deveIOp business.

During the war period, most popcorn machine operators had diiiiculty in 0btaining sufficient supplies of satisfactory seasoning or oil. Through necessity, much of their seasoning used was of low grade. There is still considerable difference of opinion regarding the best type of oil to use and again the best results obtained from any seasoning may depend to a large extent upon the temperature of the popping unit of the machine. There is still much research that needs to be done on this subject of seasoning and temperature for maximum popping results.

One of the objections theatres have to popping corn is, that it is greasy and does damage to the carpets, drapes, and seats. This objection has largely been overcome With the new powdered popcorn seasoning. With the use of this powdered seasoning in popping corn, it is necessary only to use enough popping oil or shortening to insure proper popping volume, the fiavor and color being supplied by the seasoning. Thus, it is unnecessary to sell a greasy popcorn, to sell good popcorn.

Some vendors recommend the application of salt to the popper. If this is done, a very fine grade of salt is much more satisfactory than table salt, as it penetrates the popped kernel and seems to give it a better davor.

The box or container in which the popcorn is placed is of great importance in popcorn sales. During rush periods, the speed with which the box can be filled

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 550