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1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 374 (336)

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition
1952 Theatre Catalog
1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 374
Page 374

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 374

Theatre Confection Vending in 1952

A Complete Analysis of All Facets of Warehousing, Display, Management, Merchandising and Maintenance

The amazing progress of confectionery sales in theatres is overshadowed only by the romantic story of the motion picture industry itself.

Questions are often asked as to the actual history of confectionery in theatres. Many advocate that some form of edibles were available to Roman ancestry while attending various forms of amusement during this era. Others accept the beginning of confectionery in entertainment as being introduced during intermissions of Shakespearean plays under the Elizabethan reign. Nevertheless, with such escape into the distant past, one Would hardly recognize the confec By J. J. FITZGIBBONS, JR.

President. Theatre Confections. Ltd.. Toronto

tionery business in theatres today as a descendant of many centuries ago.

During the (tRoaring 20w a trend developed toward selling boxes of chocolates and refreshments in burlesque theatres throughout America. At this stage, the selling was done by the tibutcher" who, roaming among the patrons, hawked the merchandise he had for sale. Toward the latter part of this prosperous decade we saw a further indication of candy sales in theatres

A FHESHLY LAUNDERED UNIFORM is a prime requisite for the proper appearance of the candy counter attendant since the customer's impression of cleanliness and sanitation is of the utmost importance.

when many of the bigger houses introduced the selling of candy through a device attached to the back of theatre seats. This, as many will recall, was also the first evidence of a coinoperated machine as the patron would insert a coin and obtain a circular unit containing chocolate drops.

After the 1929 crash, confectionery in theatres, like many types of businesses, went into temporary oblivion.

BRIEF: It is, of course, obvious to theatremen that the concession stand is as much a part of successful operation as the screen and the film product . . . Although this phase of the business has come a very long way from its tiny beginnings, it is also obvious that the surface has barely been scratched . . . It is a matter of serious study as to just how many more nickels and dimes the patron is willing and able to spend . . . and how best to induce this greatest maximum expenditure . . . Much, much more can, and will, be done to improve present day methods and practices with this profitable end in view . . . The author of this article has grown up with concession operation and knows from first-hand experience that the sales potential is almost without limits . . . It is gratifying to be able to publish the point-by-point details of his companyis approach to a more ebicient and more profitable operation.


It was not until the mid-30's that it again became of interest to theatre management, and, as has been stated often, chiefly through antagonism. The story is often told of the irate theatre manager who, during the 30s, cursed the debris he had to pick up after every show. Perhaps, after weeks, months, or even years, had passed, the added burden prompted this manager, together with others, to go into the confectionery business to at least, as he tought, offset his additional cleaning costs.

Much to his surprise, and the surprise of many, this introduction proved he had not only missed considerable revenue during the past, but potential sales were most encouraging.

Like the advent of sound, this boon to the theatre world reverberated throughout the continent. However, much to the chagrin of many, the introduction of candy in theatres throughout Canada was merchandised through the medium of candy machines similar to those known to us during the past decade.

Toward the end of the 30s, and the early part of the Second World War, theatres began installing candy counters as it was realized that faulty mechanism in these machines would eventually retard top sales.

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 374