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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 389 (351)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 389
Page 389

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 389

paper cups before being handed to the customer. The cup machine or the selfcontained dispensing unit is most widelyfavored medium for beverage sales, and the paper cup is the standard container. Many theatres now provide some form of cardboard trays for carrying several drinks into the theatre at a time on the valid premise that much refreshment buying after patrons are seated is done by one member for an entire group.

Right-Buying of Syrup

One special factor is worthy of mention in connection with buying of beverage syrups. Many operators order and take delivery of syrup in large quantities on the theory that slight savings thus effected make the practice desirable. This is definitely not the case. Beverage syrups should be bought a weeks supply at a time, on the same day every week. Like other fine food products, syrups should be protected against the natural hazards of storage and heat. For that reason, and to insure top quality drinks at all times, a weeks purchase at a time is highly desirable.

Merchandising of the beverage depart ment is important and comparatively easy. In many cases, the customer is eager to buy a refreshing drink. One has only to let him know that it is available, and where. To help in this regard, most beverage companies supply attractive signs and display materials of all sorts that dress up the refreshment stand and help sell. For example, The Coca-Cola Company offers a wide variety of materials which merchandise CocaCola and the concession stand as well. Dispensers themselves, where installed, are attractive additions to the merchandising operation. Particularly in the case of nationally-advertised products like Coke, appearance of the celebrated trade mark goes a long way toward getting people to buy.

Once again, it should be remembered that certain items are naturally complementary. Placement of the beverage dispenser next to the popcorn machine will improve sales in both departments.

Ice Cream

More than one-third of managers now sell ice cream in one form or another at refreshment stands. More than half the larger houses are in the "yes" group. This represents a sizeable gain in this department in recent years, and is, perhaps, a trend. Even so, ice cream is not as big a factor in the conventional house as it is in the drive-in.

Chocolate-covered bars appear to be the most popular items in this class, either on or off the stick. They are followed by ice cream sandwiches and fruit sherbets on a stick, including Popsicles, etc. Snow cones have recently begun to nnd favor in scattered indoor houses, and are a big item at the driveein. However, Snow cones and others in this class must be watched carefully because of the possibility of their being dropped on the fioor, as they often are by children.

As in most other concession items, display helps the sale of ice cream considerably. This factor has become increasingly important recently with the introduction of self-service dispensers


which can be built into snack bars, offering the customer display of ice cream products and the chance to serve himself. Some houses, notably those in larger circuits have devised their own methods for the self-serviCe of ice cream products.

Some five per cent of the houses are said still to prohibit the eating of ice cream in the theatre auditorium, but this is a disappearing rule.

Other Items

Sixty per cent of America's theatres sell chewing gum at their concession stands, despite some complaints about the cost of cleaning it off seats and carpets. However, most progressive exhibitors adopt the idea that they will have cleaning bills to pay whether they sell the gum or someone else sells it. And in 90 per cent of the cases interviewed, house managers reported that selling gum at their candy counters did not increase their cleaning bills.

Roughly one third of the snack bars offer hot nuts. These usually are kept heated in colorful and attractive warmers that do a good job of merchandising the product. Nuts sell well in some sections of the country, and are fairly profitable. Disadvantages lie in their storage, which must be absolutely air-tight, and in the fact that sale of nuts may interfere with the sale of popcorn.


In addition to shelves and cabinets within the stand itself, an adequate

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concession requires a storeroom where enough stock may be safely kept to operate the stand properly, a weeks supply of beverage syrups, three weeks supply of candy, etc.

This room should be cool, clean, and well-ventilated. It should not be near furnaces or hot water pipes. It should contain shelving for candy stock and a cold cabinet for surplus ice cream stock, if carried. It should be easily available to the candy stand, and yet accessible to the street. In many theatres, this happy arrangement is not possible, and it works a real inconvenience when bulk stock must be carried up and down stairs and around corridors.

The storage room should contain no broken cartons, if possible, because full carton stock makes inventory easier and more accurate.

As a general rule, it is wise for only the theatre manager or the concession manager to carry keys to the storeroom. For obvious reasons, this can go a long way toward eliminating shortages.

Stock inventory must be taken often, and must, of course, be accurate. Although the schedule in each situation may be different, it is wise to check stock at least once each week. This can be done easily if shelves are properly spaced, and if merchandise is carefully arranged where it is easy to see and count.

FREQUENT. accurate inventory is a must. Only a manager should carry keys to the storage area. Stateroom must be clean, dry, well ventilated.
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 389