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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 387 (349)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 387
Page 387

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 387

corn machine where it is readily visible to all parts of the lobby to serve as a beacon to attract attention to the rest of the stand.

It is equally good merchandising to place beverage dispensers close by the popcorn machine. Popcorn is a thirstprovoking item. Experience has proved that most patrons buy popcorn when they enter the theatre, coming back to the stand at intermission for Coca-Cola or some other beverage.

It goes without saying that the popcorn machine should be kept spotlessly clean at all times, that it should be kept in constant action instead of being filled and left idle, that ample supply of corn should be prepared in anticipation of peak periods of traffic, and that popcorn should be kept hot and fresh always.

The preparation of popcorn is a delicate art that takes understanding and practice. The reputable salesman from whom one buys a popcorn machine has a complete understanding of this process, and is more than glad to pass it along to personnel charged with subsequent popping. It is advisable to let him check personnel on the operation of the popping equipment for best effect.

The process starts with the purchase of good corn, salt, and seasoning. Unless storage facilities are absolutely ideal, and the business is brisk enough to warrant purchase of the 100-pound sack, the hermetically-sealed 10-pound can of popping corn is usually considered the best buy. Although some authorities disagree with this, at least one expert in the popcorn business believes that this is a good rule of thumb: a theatre doing less than $150 per week on popcorn is better off with the 10-pound tin than with the larger bag, despite the small premium paid for the smaller package.


More than one-fourth of all candy bars sold throughout the United States is sold through concession stands in thea POPCORN machine should be kept in action throughout evening to attract customers. Proper supply of corn rendy-to-serve includes few bugs or boxes already filled, supply on the pan.


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A MAIORITY of operators believe that open-face displays of candy are better. boost sales considerably. People like to handle before buying.

tres, although film houses represent only two per cent of outlets selling candy. This is caused by a combination of factors. The theatre patron is out for amusement, he is in the mood to spend money to satisfy personal desires, and everybody likes candy.

Alert exhibitors have recognized these factors working in their favor, and have done a good job merchandising candy in their refreshment stands. More than 90 per cent of the theatres sell candy, even though, unlike popcorn, candy must be merchandised to sell.

We have covered in a general way the value of display in the sale of candy. This much additional reference is pertinent. The better the display, the higher the candy sales and the greater the profit. Slanting shelves, open displays, and attractive massing-all play their parts in attracting the customer.


One comment is appropriate on the subject of pilferage, a matter that ape pears to worry some exhibitors in connection with open-face display. The general experience of concessionaires across the country has been that pilferage accounts for a very small loss, and can be easily controlled. And the selling advantages of open display, as opposed to closed-top cabinets, cannot be. overlooked. In some situations where opentop cases have led to pilferagc, the problem has been solved by the addition of a narrow glass strip along the front of the case. In other instances, sample stocks only are displayed on the countertops, with bulk storage on shelves below.

Variety of Stock

The problem of stocking in wide variety has been discussed at some length, but specific application to the candy counter is worthwhile. At one successful concession stand, 47 per cent of the volume is done in 17 name brands of

candy .although the stand stocks 130 different varieties. The nationwide aver ' 'age is 30 to 50 brands of candy stocked,

with volume sales coming mainly from less than a dozen.

As in other lines, new items introduced by reputable candy makers deserve careful consideration and thorough trial. Frequentlyy introduction of a new confection can serve as the focal point of an attractive display that will provoke interest throughout a weekend, or even longer. Records of sale of all candy items carried are valuable as guides on how to restock. This principle is especially important when considering new bars.

Candy Business Seasonal

To some extent at least, candy sales are seasonal. This does not mean that the public stops buying candy during hot months. They do shift allegiance in the summer, however, preferring cool mints, fruit gums, and other cello-wrapped items to the winter favorites, chocolate, and nut bars.

It is extremely wise to watch stock closely during the hot months, concentrating chocolate and nut items in a few best-sellers, reducing inventory slightly, and ordering more frequently. Chocolate bars tend to go limp and gooey with heat, while nut bars may easily become wormy during warm weather.

The candy counter can continue to do a brisk business all year round if smart promotion is used. Cooling decorations surrounding tempting stacks of mints and jellicd-candies will help take up the seasonal slack in this profitable line.

Freezing of Candy

Another solid merchandising idea in connection with candy sales is the freezing of bars in the ice cream coolerAlthough freezing causes chocolates to go lighter in color, it is not in any way harmful to any type candy, and may actually add sales appeal to such things as chocolates, nut bars, and nuggets. Here again, the public wonlt know about this special feature unless it is told by

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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 387