Margaret Minnicks is a health-conscious person who researches the health benefits of foods and drinks.
There are over four dozens fun facts about popcorn, the popular snack that children and adults love. All of the popcorn trivia is interesting, but my favorite fun fact is that popcorn that is sold in theaters around the world today was once banned in movie theaters.
If there’s one thing that goes along with seeing a movie, it’s eating popcorn. There is nothing more enjoyable than settling back in a comfortable theater seat and munching on hot popcorn as you watch a good movie. However, that has not always been the case. The delicious, salty, and buttery snack was banned from being sold in theaters because theater owners thought popcorn was more of a nuisance than a good source of revenue.
Why Popcorn Was Banned
Movie theaters haven't always been like they are today. In the early 1900s, movies were not shown on a screen from a projector. Actors performed in front of a live audience. Theater owners were not pleased with the crunching of popcorn that often distracted the performers.
Besides the noise, owners did not want popcorn kernels dropped on their beautiful carpet. It would have been extremely hard to get out once customers walked on them and they became grounded into the carpet. Therefore, popcorn was banned from theaters.
Why the Popcorn Ban Was Lifted
As you already know, there is no ban on popcorn in movie theaters today. When street vendors found out about the ban, they began selling popcorn outside cinemas to moviegoers who took the snack into the theater with them. People were asked to check their snacks with their coats. This method was not satisfactory to customers or owners of the theater because the smell of the popcorn filled the area.
Cinema owners were not satisfied with street vendors making money in front of their establishment. They finally decided the theater could be getting the money the street vendors were making. Therefore, the ban was lifted, and popcorn was allowed back into the theater where it is the most popular item on the snack menu today.
Theater owners are quick to admit that they make most of their profits from the snacks they sell rather than from movie tickets. Popcorn and other snacks are sold at inflated prices because officials know they can get away with the prices. About 90 cents out of every dollar spent on popcorn is profit for the theater. It is illegal for customers to take their own snacks into movie theaters, but a lot of people do so to save money.
After the ban was lifted, theater owners found it very convenient to make popcorn. In 1938, theater owner Glen W. Dickinson Sr. installed popcorn machines in the lobbies of his theaters. He soon noticed that popcorn was making more profits than any of the other snacks.
It is safe to say that when you go to the movies today, you can rest assured that you will be able to enjoy that delicious snack along with your favorite movies. In some modern-day theaters, there is a popcorn bar where you can sprinkle any topping you like on the popcorn you purchase.
Other Fun Facts About Popcorn
Original Price of Popcorn
Popcorn was first sold for 5 to 10 cents a bag during the Great Depression. It was an affordable treat for the poor. Even though the price was extremely low, the popcorn business thrived while other businesses failed. Popcorn became the main source of income for farmers.
A shortage of sugar during World War II prevented manufacturers from making sugary snacks. Americans ate three times more popcorn because that was the only snack available.
The price of popcorn at the movies today cost much more than it originally did. At most theaters, a small container of popcorn costs about $6, a medium container costs $7, and a large container costs $8.
America's Favorite Snack
More popcorn is eaten in the United States than in any other country. Every American eats about 38 quarts of popcorn every year with a national total of 17 billion quarts That's enough to fill the Empire State Building not once but 18 times. About 70 percent of the crunchy snack is eaten at home. That's more than what is eaten at the movies, carnivals, sports events, and at the beach.
States Associated with Popcorn
Even though popcorn was first discovered in New Mexico, a quarter of all popcorn in the United States is produced in Nebraska with an estimated 250 million pounds of popcorn per year. That's more than any other state.
The official snack of Illinois is popcorn. The first Popcorn Day was celebrated on April 12, 1958. The tradition continues on the second Saturday of September every year. However, National Popcorn Day is celebrated on January 19.
Popcorn is one of the healthiest snacks available for consumption. Popcorn is very low in calories with only 31 calories per cup when popped in oil. Air popcorn has only 30 calories per cup. Popcorn is loaded with large amounts of protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and iron. It is also rich in antioxidants. Popcorn is gluten-free.
Health Benefits of Popcorn
If you have a choice of snacks to eat, select popcorn for its health benefits. The snack helps build strong bones and muscle tissues and it assists with digestion. It helps you lose weight. It keeps your blood sugar at a normal rate. Popcorn may prevent the risk of cancer and heart disease. It may also help keep your eyesight healthy.
Two Shapes of Popcorn
Popcorn comes in two distinct shapes. You can certainly tell the difference when it's popped. Snowflake is used in movie theaters and ballparks because it looks and pops bigger. Mushroom is used for candy confections because it doesn't crumble.
Popping Popcorn Is Main Microwave Use
Some people use the microwave to cook and reheat foods, but using the microwave to pop popcorn is one of the main reasons some people use that kitchen appliance. Microwaves are used to pop popcorn in college dormitories and in break rooms at work. Modern microwave ovens have a control button especially for popping popcorn.
Makers of Popcorn
Orville Redenbacher is the most popular and best-selling popcorn in the world. In 1919, Redenbacher began growing popcorn when he was only 12 years old.
Most popcorn is sold during the fall and winter. October is celebrated as National Popcorn Poppin' Month. January 19th is National Popcorn Day.
Not Just a Snack
While most people eat popcorn as a snack, there are other uses for popcorn. Native Americans made soup and beer out of popcorn. Popcorn can be added to oatmeal, cookies, brownies, and other foods. Use popcorn as a substitute for croutons in soups and salads. If you want something cold, sweet, salty, and crunchy, add popcorn to ice cream. Some people still use strings of popcorn to decorate their Christmas tree.
Popcorn Is Cheap
Two tablespoons of unpopped kernels can produce a quart of popcorn for about 25 cents. Popcorn can expand to 30 times its original size when popped. That's more than enough for an entire family to enough while watching a movie at home.
Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on February 29, 2020:
Rochelle, I eat popcorn occasionally. I will start eating it more often for weight loss and for keeping my blood sugar at a normal level.
I particularly like sharing the story that popcorn was once banned in movie theaters.
Thank you so much for reading and commenting.
Rochelle Frank from California Gold Country on February 29, 2020:
I knew it had a lot of filling fiber but wasn’t aware of its other nutritional benefits. Interesting article. I’ll have to start eating it more often.