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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 388 (350)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 388
Page 388

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 388

alert attendants, by special displays, and signs advertising "frozen candy bars," etc.

Concessionaires everywhere share the opinion that a candy bar with torn or soiled wrapped should be immediately thrown away, not given away. This is, of course, to get the soiled wrapper out of the display, where it will detract from the overall appearance of the counter, and give an impression of untidiness and carelessness. If the wrapper should be soiled or the bar in any other way damaged while it is in the carton, it should, of course, be turned in for credit to the distributor.

To Price or Not to Price

A matter of widespread discussion among men in the candy industry has been the question of whether or not to show prices in connection with displays. As in other sales operations, grouping different items by price would appear to be a good thing, with the price posted prominently in each section so that the customer can shop price and have his change ready for the attendant. However, the fact that many exhibitors feel that sales drop when the public becomes price-conscious is reflected in the fact that only 25 per cent of them show any prices whatsoever.

Happiest solution seems to be this: give featured position in the counter to items with top profit. This may be front and center or at a high-traflic end of the counter, depending on the position of the stand.

As a matter of general interest, here is the price-sales policy of houses across the country: roughly 97 per cent of them handle nickel bars; 86 per cent sell 10 cent bars; less than 17 per cent have candy at 25 cents, and an adventuresome five per cent go in for higherpriced items, including boxes and cellowrapped bags. Five-cent bars account

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for three-fourths of the theatre candy business and 10 cent bars for most of the rest.

Penny Items

The above figures do not, incidentally, include one cent items, which are stocked by stand managers in many sections of the country. Many far-thinking exhibitors have lowered their admission prices for children to nine cents because of the 20 per cent federal tax, and find the extra pennies coming back to them through the concession stand. For that reason, they carry an assortment of penny items, such things as Tootsie Rolls, Walnettos, and mints being most popular. In playing for pennies today, the exhibitor is bidding for dollars tomorrow.

Freshness of stock is of paramount importance in the handling of candy. Most popular practice seems to be the purchase of candy bars in 100-count cartons, although many experts think this is inadvisable for smaller stands. Although there is a slight saving in the 100-count carton to those packed 24to 60-up, the smaller cartons safeguard freshness and quality and increase turnover in stands doing only nominal candy business.

In an effort to determine precisely how atmospheric conditions affect different classes of candy, the National Confectioners Association and the Refrigeration Research Foundation have undertaken tests of 18 classes of candy, more than 300 different kinds of confection. Results were reported as follows:

1. Not all candies can be stored under the same conditions.

2. Certain candies must be kept at low levels of relative humidity, these

SURVEYS indicate most popular beverages at theatre refreshment stands are (.1) Coca-Cola. (2) root beer. (3) fruit-flavored carbonated drinks.

Retreshment stands frequently carry all three.

being hard candies, milk chocolates,

solid chocolate bars, chocolate-covered

peanuts, and peanut brittle.

3. Such candy as peanut rolls and peanut butter tatfy, coconut squares, and milk chocolate need refrigeration to be kept a substantial length of time.

4. The highest level of relative humidity at which any candy can be stored for more than a few weeks is 65 per cent.

5. When candy is stored where temperature is kept below 500, no safeguards need be taken against insects.

6. Low temperatures are always safe for candy. There is no danger of injury by freezing.

7. To prevent itsweating" of candy when it is removed from storage where temperature is much lower than that of a display case, it should first be placed and allowed to remain for a short time in space that is only from 15-200 higher than the temperature of the storage space.

The consensus of the industry on the length of storage desirable for candy stock is that a three-week supply, kept in adequate storage space, will provide normal operation, allow for unexpectedly heavy peak sales, and still stay fresh.


Third most important concession item at the conventional theatre is the cold beverage. More than 79 per cent of circuit houses and over 60 per cent of noncircuit operations now sell beverages, either over refreshment counters, through automatic vending machines, or both.

Coca-Cola is by far the most popular beverage offered, appearing as a featured item in over 50 per cent of all theatres in the country. Root beer is offered in 35 per cent of the houses; other carbonated fiavors in 19 per cent, and still-water orange drinks in 18 per cent. The current trend is to feature multiple-drink dispensing units, offering Coca-Cola, root beer, and either orange or some other fruit flavor. Still-water fruit drinks have some popularity, and frozen fruit concentrates are slowly gaining. Hot beverages have not made much headway in conventional houses, although coffee is offered in a scattered few.

Beverage Department Protitable

The average theatre in the United States does more than 500 gallons of business a year at the beverage counter. This can be a tidy item on the profit ledger, as more and more operators are coming to realize. For one example, a gallon of Coca-Cola syrup makes 115 drinks. The spread between the price paid for the syrup and the gross intake at five cents per drink is four dollars a gallon! In other words, the average theatre does in the neighborhood of $2000 gross each year on beVerage sales alone if the bulk of its beverage business is in Coca-Cola!

A recent report in the national trade press cited several reasons for featuring beverage sales at the theatre concession stand in addition to the straight profit angle, case of service, public demand and acceptance, ease of handling, stimulus for sale of other items, etc.

Where. bottled drinks are handled, they are poured by theatre personnel into

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 388