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October 4, 2013 7:09 AM   Subscribe

“Movie theaters wanted nothing to do with popcorn,” Smith says, “because they were trying to duplicate what was done in real theaters. They had beautiful carpets and rugs and didn’t want popcorn being ground into it.” Movie theaters were trying to appeal to a highbrow clientele, and didn’t want to deal with the distracting trash of concessions–or the distracting noise that snacking during a film would create. - So Why Do We Eat Popcorn At The Movies Anyway? (Smithsonian Mag)
posted by The Whelk (134 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite

 
I am not a fan of popcorn. Especially the variety served at most theaters. One thing that ruins the cinema for me is the sound of all the people stuffing their faces during quiet parts of the movie. Now if you'll excuse me, there's kids I need to chase off my lawn.
posted by birdherder at 7:18 AM on October 4, 2013 [10 favorites]


I am the 100% opposite of birdherder. I rarely go to the movies, but when I do I buy the biggest bucket they have and eat it nonstop until it is gone.
posted by Melismata at 7:23 AM on October 4, 2013 [26 favorites]


I love stories about how we got to eat certain foods, because they all have the same theme of happy accidents and chance encounters. In an alternate universe all those random events happened backwards and humans are filtering krill through straws or something.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:23 AM on October 4, 2013 [25 favorites]


We should start eating Doritos instead!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:24 AM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


I rarely go to the movies, but when I do I buy the biggest bucket they have and eat it nonstop until it is gone.

I did that exactly once in college. It was so salty - I woke up in the middle of the night after the film and had just enough time to think to myself "Something doesn't feel right..." before I threw up all over my bed.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:24 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Or if you're like members of my extended family, the question should be:

"So why do we eat buckets of butterish- substance with popcorn sprinkled on top at the movies?"
posted by blue_beetle at 7:25 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


wow twenty paragraphs to say "because it is cheap and profitable"
posted by ook at 7:27 AM on October 4, 2013 [9 favorites]


The article's claim about sound bringing a mass audience to movies that had been shut out from silent films by illiteracy is almost completely bogus, --which makes me a little leery about the rest of the claims it advances.
posted by yoink at 7:27 AM on October 4, 2013 [11 favorites]


They had beautiful carpets and rugs and didn’t want popcorn being ground into it.

That appears to make sense.

But meanwhile, in London, you eat ice cream in the theatre. Not the movie theatre, the theatre theatre.

I've managed to narrow down the dates a little. I'm confident that ice-cream was introduced to UK theatres at some point between 1849 (when the dessert first became widely available in the UK) and 1924, which is the date on a parliamentary question I've found in Hansard that directly references the sale of ice-cream in theatres. Indeed, it claims that theatres were breaking the law by selling ice-cream after 9.30pm. This was part of an ongoing feud between theatres and confectioners during the 1920s over whether theatres should be allowed to sell sweets, including ice-cream.
From a Guardian article about why theatres and ice cream
posted by vacapinta at 7:30 AM on October 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


So wait, is the hard-boiled-egg-as-movie-snack thing just something I'm misremembering?
posted by uncleozzy at 7:31 AM on October 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


Microwaves in the 1970s? 1980s maybe.
By 1986, roughly 25% of households in the U.S. owned a microwave oven, up from only about 1% in 1971
posted by tilde at 7:31 AM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Movie theaters make an estimated 85 percent profit off of concession sales, and those sales constitute 46 percent of movie theater’s overall profits.

I guess this is why those few theaters I've visited which serve cocktails and real food don't seem to last for very long. The sort of profit margins generated by popcorn and jujubes is hard to match.
posted by three blind mice at 7:31 AM on October 4, 2013


I love popcorn. At the movies, at home, wherever. What I *hate* is microwave popcorn. Ewww. It tastes... metallic? Just wrong. Even when someone makes it at work the smell is awful.

I have one of those hand crank stovetop things. It's awesome, pops all but maybe four kernels, and it doesn't take much longer than the microwave.

Humans: Stop eating inferior product. Cook popcorn the proper way.

I recently had my first experience at a luxury theater. For a certain price, we not only got to sit in a Lazy-boy type chair, but we also got unlimited popcorn. You pushed a button on your chair and a dude would bring you more. It was pretty much the greatest thing I've ever experienced. You PUSH a BUTTON and POPCORN comes to YOUR SEAT! It was magic and worth whatever we paid for the seats.

Damn, I love me some popcorn.
posted by bondcliff at 7:31 AM on October 4, 2013 [43 favorites]


I agree with yoink that this article seems to be casually throwing out unsupported observations.
posted by vacapinta at 7:32 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


"First the earth cooled. Then there was teosinte. Later, World War Two. And thus: popcorn at the movies"
posted by ook at 7:33 AM on October 4, 2013 [23 favorites]


I guess this is why those few theaters I've visited which serve cocktails and real food don't seem to last for very long.

We have a theater down the street that sells beer and wine, and - get this - doesn't gouge you with the prices, and they're doing great as far as I can tell. They also have the lowest ticket prices in the area and surprisingly reasonable concession prices. I have no idea how they stay in business but they've been there since the '20s or so and have managed to stay independently owned that whole time.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:35 AM on October 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


So wait, is the hard-boiled-egg-as-movie-snack thing just something I'm misremembering?

You want the universe three doors over. Microwave popcorn was popular in the 1970s there - first patented here in the 1980s. For a full summary of variances between the multi-universes, see Dr Morbo's A Brief Kernel of Universal Time: Timelines in which to have fun before I DESTROY YOU.

But seriously, maybe. It was a popular bar snack for many a year, I can see it in theatres.
posted by tilde at 7:35 AM on October 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


Popcorn wasn’t widely eaten in homes, mostly due to how difficult it was to make: consumers needed a popper, oil, butter, salt and other ingredients to replicate their favorite movie theater snack at home

There's gotta be more to it than that, because oil, butter, salt, and a pan are not too difficult to come by. And what's "other ingredients"? Besides the popcorn kernels?
posted by JanetLand at 7:35 AM on October 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


I have one of those hand crank stovetop things. It's awesome, pops all but maybe four kernels, and it doesn't take much longer than the microwave.

I concur; my Whirly-pop is one of the few kitchen gadgets I have gotten as a gift that I actually use!

On the other hand, I am disappointed to hear that the factoid about literacy and silent movies may not be true; that's exactly the sort of serendipitous little bit of knowledge that I always enjoy discovering.
posted by TedW at 7:36 AM on October 4, 2013


Humans: Stop eating inferior product. Cook popcorn the proper way.

Yep. We eat a lot of popcorn at home. We buy it in 2-pound bags on a pretty regular basis and cook it with nothing but a few drops of oil and a bunch of fine salt in a Whirlypop (the real-deal is genuinely better than the imitation I bought at Target a few years ago). I really like it. Other people seem to really like it. It is better than microwave popcorn.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:36 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I only go to the movies once or twice a year, so I let myself indulge in the disgustingness of the most buttery, salty bag of popcorn you can imagine. No regrets.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:36 AM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


"First the earth cooled. Then there was teosinte. Later, World War Two. And thus: popcorn at the movies"

Isn't that part of the Big Bang Theory theme song?
posted by TedW at 7:38 AM on October 4, 2013


Also, a wok (with a lid) makes an excellent stove-top popper and keeps a little-used wok seasoned as well.

--The More You Know.
posted by bondcliff at 7:38 AM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


I guess this is why those few theaters I've visited which serve cocktails and real food don't seem to last for very long.

The Alamo Drafthouse would beg to differ.

(And locally, the Movie Tavern and Studio Movie Grill seem to do fine for themselves. Though I wish we had a real Drafthouse nearby.)
posted by kmz at 7:39 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, a wok (with a lid) makes an excellent stove-top popper and keeps a little-used wok seasoned as well.

And popcorn with a dash of soy sauce is surprisingly not bad.
posted by three blind mice at 7:40 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


When I worked in a movie theater, we used to make NUCLEAR popcorn. Four shots of the flavored oil and three times the amount of orange salt. It was SO SALTY and SO GREASY and SO GOOD. You could eat about 11 kernels before you'd need to drink a half-gallon of soda, but it was worth it.
posted by xingcat at 7:46 AM on October 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


Humans: Stop eating inferior product. Cook popcorn the proper way.

Also then you can pop it in olive oil for great yumstice. We use our whirley-pop enough that it may be time to get a new one that's sans dents.

But a world without proper Jiffy Pop in the expanding afro of tin foil would be a sad world, bereft of wonder. You wouldn't want it very often, but sometimes you need to bring the kitchen magic to a wee tot.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:48 AM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, a wok (with a lid) makes an excellent stove-top popper and keeps a little-used wok seasoned as well.

That's how my family made popcorn (we're Chinese, the wok is quite well-used). I used to look at the home appliances like steamers, toasters and popcorn poppers in department stores as a kid and wonder, "Why would anyone buy that when they have a wok?"
posted by Alnedra at 7:50 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


For me, the full theatre or concert experience is incomplete without a pocketful of regular old hard candies - individually wrapped in cellophane.
posted by klarck at 7:50 AM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Popcorn wasn’t widely eaten in homes, mostly due to how difficult it was to make: consumers needed a popper, oil, butter, salt and other ingredients to replicate their favorite movie theater snack at home

This is a very strange statement. Because, first, you can make popcorn in a pan. And second, oil, butter, and salt are kitchen staples. It's not like you have to go to a special store to get them. Most homes probably have them in the kitchen nearly all the time. Maybe not butter these days for people who prefer margarine, but still...the idea that needing salt and oil is an impediment to popcorn-making strikes me as the weakest argument ever.

Also, I refute this thusly: Laura Ingalls Wilder ate popcorn. Also, popcorn balls were a treat described in her books. If it was that hard to do, they would not have been doing it in the Big Woods or in DeSmet, South Dakota. In addition, my grandfather, who died in 1975, had popcorn nearly every day of his life. My grandmother popped it in a pan. QED.
posted by not that girl at 7:52 AM on October 4, 2013 [23 favorites]


For me, the full theatre or concert experience is incomplete without a pocketful of regular old hard candies - individually wrapped in cellophane.

Ahh. So you're That Guy.
posted by bondcliff at 7:56 AM on October 4, 2013 [25 favorites]


JanetLand: And what's "other ingredients"? Besides the popcorn kernels?

My dad ships container loads of popcorn to Japanese movie theaters.

Yes, corn, yes, butter, yes, salt. Also, though, they do flavor additives: the sugar to make it "kettle corn" is quite popular. The manufacturer has tried to offer other flavor powders (e.g., watermelon), some of which were *cough* better than others.

But the reason theater-operators love it is the same reason they (and fast food places and stadiums and and and) sell soda pop: it's very high-margin compared to other concession stand offerings.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:57 AM on October 4, 2013


Another movie theater veteran here.

And what's "other ingredients"? Besides the popcorn kernels?

We had this weird orange salt thing that we dumped in, called "Flavocol". As near as I can figure it was about 60% MSG and 40% Meth, because that shit was addictive. During the slow times, the concession folks could help themselves to the popcorn (because, hell, you could always make more), and at least once a week there was a moment when someone at the concession stand would go off on some rant about how sick they were of the popcorn, all while periodically reaching into the popcorn maker to grab just one more fistfull --

"I hate this stuff." [crunch] "The smell, the fakey taste...." [crunch] "I've had like 200 tubs' worth by now and I've just had it." [crunch]

About halfway through my stint at the local theater the managers switched policy a little - rather than continuously cranking out popcorn fresh at the concession counter all the time, they'd send one guy to a second machine in the back with a whole lot of big plastic garbage bags, and he'd spend the whole time just cranking out popcorn and bagging it until he'd amassed like 20 bags' worth; and in between shows we'd go grab a bag or two from the back and secretly refill the popcorn container in the front. I'm not certain what this was meant to achieve; possibly it kept us from running out of corn if there was a big run on it at the counter (the popcorn maker at the counter was smaller), and it enabled us to hear customers without having to shout over popping corn. Some people hated popcorn duty because you were stuck there all day and it got boring, some people loved it because you could shed bits of your uniform; everyone, though, always emerged just a tiny bit high from the Flavocol fumes.

By far the weirdest thing I saw anyone do with their popcorn at the theater was to also purchase an entire box of Raisinets and dump it into their tub, and mix it all together. And by far the weirdest question I got was once when someone asked me whether the "butter topping" was polyunsaturated fat.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:08 AM on October 4, 2013 [12 favorites]


Oh, and I read somewhere the 100% best way to do stovetop popcorn at home. You will need about 2 tablespoons of oil or fat, a third cup of popcorn kernels, salt, and a 1-2 quart size pot, preferably with a glass lid.

Put the oil in the pot, and salt the oil. Then put three kernels of corn into the pot, and put it on the stove. Wait. When all three kernels have popped, take the pot off the burner, dump in the rest of the kernels, and then wait thirty seconds. Then put the pot back on the heat and let things pop, shaking it a little over the burner as you do.

This method gets you the shortest popping time and the least unpopped kernels. And it also leaves you with a really nice hot surface you can use to melt the butter once you've dumped the popcorn into a bowl - when everything's popped, you can turn off the oven, dump the popcorn into a bowl, and then immediately drop the butter into the empty pot. The residual heat will melt it, and then you can drizzle it over the popcorn.

The salting the oil seems to be the key. It distributes the salt better. Oh - and I've also used rendered bacon fat as the oil, to very good effect.

Speaking of oil - if you're going to add any kind of powdered seasoning to your popcorn once it's popped, you will need to use butter as well, to make it stick. Otherwise whatever powdered seasoning will fall right off.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:15 AM on October 4, 2013 [43 favorites]


Salt the oil. What an excellent idea. Thank you!

I am not supposed to eat popcorn right now because of jaw problems, please do not tell on me.
posted by JanetLand at 8:18 AM on October 4, 2013


Popcorn fills me with murderous rage, it is the devil's tool, it should be banned forever from all of society.

FOREVER
posted by elizardbits at 8:19 AM on October 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


... you can turn off the oven stovetop, dump the popcorn into a bowl,
posted by tilde at 8:20 AM on October 4, 2013


Popcorn is how I floss my teeth

Those little slivers of husk get all in there between the teeth and scrape out the plaque

This is what I tell myself as I struggle to get those little slivers of husk out afterwards
posted by ook at 8:21 AM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Actually that raisinet thing doesn't seem too weird to me: sweet and salty. I'd probably do it with chocolate covered peanuts, but yeah.

I also make my popcorn on the stovetop topped with a spicy butter (tabasco, garlic, cilantro and grated lime peel) for big TV premieres/finales but when I go to see a horror movie in the theatre, I need that giant tub. Something about the whole experience is off if my hands aren't greasy with "butter flavoring."
posted by miss-lapin at 8:23 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh - and I've also used rendered bacon fat as the oil, to very good effect.

OH MY GOD I JUST REALIZED I HAVE ABOUT A PINT OF DUCK FAT IN THE FREEZER HOLY SHIT I'M MAKING DUCK FAT POPCORN TONIGHT!
posted by bondcliff at 8:24 AM on October 4, 2013 [19 favorites]


By far the weirdest thing I saw anyone do with their popcorn at the theater was to also purchase an entire box of Raisinets and dump it into their tub, and mix it all together.

This is my wife. She has a lot of weird habits. I blame her mother, my mother-in-law. Sadly, I see this virus being transmitted to our daughters.

Oh, and I have a hot-air popper and a wok. ( and a cast iron pan ), but I like the air popper because there's no oil involved. Which makes the old-bay not stick so well, but you know... compromises.
posted by mikelieman at 8:24 AM on October 4, 2013


BACON FAT AND POPCORN?! You just made my whole damn weekend.
posted by miss-lapin at 8:25 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


*cough cough* SOME people have had good success with home-made popcorn and THC butter, with a little garlic and Parmesan thrown in.

it's kind of a self-eating snack.
posted by The Whelk at 8:27 AM on October 4, 2013 [17 favorites]


My mom used to tell us how in the early 1940s her and her friends would sneak a knife, a jar of mayo, a package of bologna and a loaf of bread into the theater and just sit there and pound baloney sammich all afternoon. The hell with your overpriced popcorn, WWII edition.

Forty years later, when me and my friends smuggled orange juice, vodka, and grenadine into the last row of an auditorium lecture hall freshman year, I raised my first glass of the morning to Mom.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:27 AM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


- So Why Do We Eat Popcorn At The Movies Anyway?

Before I RTFA, lemme guess: because it's cheap and easy to make delicious?
posted by grubi at 8:29 AM on October 4, 2013


In Paris in the late 1970s, when we were organised enough, we'd bring along bottles of cheap red wine, baguettes, and ripe brie to late night cinema shows. No cups. Drink straight out of the bottle. Oh, and you could smoke Gitanes cigarettes too.
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:36 AM on October 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


Three words: MARK. UP.*

* There is no third word. That's the secret!
posted by blue_beetle at 8:38 AM on October 4, 2013


Hey kids? Here's another fantastic popcorn tip you may or may not know:

CHAMPAGNE OR SPARKLING WINE IS THE BEST ADULT BEVERAGE EVER TO DRINK WITH POPCORN.

Seriously - you will thank me exactly 1,000,000 times for this information.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:45 AM on October 4, 2013 [11 favorites]


My younger cat goes bananas for Smartfood cheese popcorn, which is the only kind I eat, and I like it because it's a cheese-flavor delivery system. I don't care for buttered popcorn, largely because I used to work in a movie theater.

Customers would give us the side-eye, because our popcorn would come downstairs in huge yellow garbage bags rather than being made in a countertop popper at the concession stand. But we had an industrial popper upstairs and made it fresh (mostly. Never order popcorn on a Monday at a four-screen art house with an industrial popper.) The butter substance looked like orange juice coming out of the bottle and into the warmer, and I always thought the stuff smelled (and tasted) vile.

Plus, cleaning out the popper involved about forty-five minutes with a roll of paper towels and a quart of degreaser. It was my absolute least favorite chore, and I had to do it all the time. Making the popcorn was fine - any kernel that bounced off me was fair game, and tasty - but scrubbing that nasty salty yellow oil, ugh.

Now, of course, I live in Austin and go almost exclusively to the Drafthouse, which has a full menu. I can get green chili queso fries, or nachos, or a hamburger. I never, ever get popcorn.
posted by restless_nomad at 8:51 AM on October 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


I love popcorn. I don't get why people are so unimaginative with it, though. It's a blank slate, just begging to be used for experimentation. Cinnamon + Sugar? Yes! Smoked paprika? Good! Curry powder? Great! The already-mentioned duck and bacon fat? Amazing! Just look at your spice rack and go crazy.
posted by ngc4486 at 8:56 AM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Further popcorn toppings: Tabasco sauce. Soy sauce. (Not at the same time.) Parmesan cheese, perhaps mixed with oregano. Nutritional yeast, obviously.

I have not yet tried: tahini.
posted by Casuistry at 8:58 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I should add that I don't know exactly what the serving size on that popcorn method is, because I usually eat it all.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:59 AM on October 4, 2013


When I was little, my sister put cloves on popcorn and tried to get me to eat it. She then called me a bad person for wasting food.
posted by Melismata at 8:59 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


We had this weird orange salt thing that we dumped in, called "Flavocol". As near as I can figure it was about 60% MSG and 40% Meth, because that shit was addictive.

I have good news: you can buy Flavacol on Amazon. (Or, apparently, in restaurant supply stores, but I've never found one that both stocked it and was open to the public)

My go-to, dirt simple popcorn recipe is 1/2 tsp of Flavacol in a batch of popcorn in my Stir-Crazy popper. (Which is basically a motorized version of the Whirley-Pop that people are raving about upthread) A "batch" is about 2/3rds or 3/4ths of a cup of unpopped popcorn. I just dump it into the oil with the unpopped popcorn, and mix it around a bit.
posted by jcreigh at 9:00 AM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Interesting article and I agree with all of the chatter about unsupported observations.

Big fan of popcorn myself and we regularly make microwave popcorn, Jiffy Pop on the stove and the hot air popper as well. I also regularly get the huge bucket at the movies and eat myself sick.

As I read through the comments and discover the Whirleypop?

WHAT DARK SORCERY IS THIS AND WHERE DO I GET ONE?
posted by Gronk at 9:01 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Just look at your spice rack and go crazy.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 9:01 AM on October 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


you can buy Flavacol on Amazon.

OH MY GOD VISUAL FLASHBACK
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:02 AM on October 4, 2013


Try coconut oil - big jars at Costco are relatively inexpensive.

I've never tried salting the oil, but we do something very similar to EmpressCallipygos method: When the popping stops, you're done. Very few unpopped kernels, and no need for butter or salt!
posted by ElGuapo at 9:03 AM on October 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


Damn your eyes jcreigh, I am seriously considering buying a carton along with some of that coconut oil now.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:04 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


no need for butter or salt

There is no point in life where this statement is correct.
posted by elizardbits at 9:05 AM on October 4, 2013 [32 favorites]


Best popcorn-related part of being a movie theater concessionaire (other than NUCLEAR popcorn, as noted above): Dipping popcorn in the nacho cheese-product, plus jalapenos if you like that sort of thing

Worst popcorn-related part of being a movie theater concessionaire : the wretched putrid stank of theater popcorn + soda that emanates from the garbage... it's a completely unique and terrible odor.

As far as making it at home, using a Misto to spray olive oil while you're adding dry toppings works really well to help them stick.
posted by Fig at 9:08 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


WHAT DARK SORCERY IS THIS AND WHERE DO I GET ONE?

Popcornpopper.com, of course. They sell them other places, including Bed Bath and Beyond as well. Spring for the one with metal gears if you can (although I have the cheap one and it is holding up well).
posted by TedW at 9:13 AM on October 4, 2013


You don't even need oil to pop popcorn in a pot. I've done it recently with water, after reading about it in, I believe, the latest Cook's Country. I can put MOAR BUTTER on it for the same amount of calories that way.
posted by telophase at 9:14 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


rather than continuously cranking out popcorn fresh at the concession counter all the time, they'd send one guy to a second machine in the back with a whole lot of big plastic garbage bags, and he'd spend the whole time just cranking out popcorn and bagging it until he'd amassed like 20 bags' worth; and in between shows we'd go grab a bag or two from the back and secretly refill the popcorn container in the front. I'm not certain what this was meant to achieve; possibly it kept us from running out of corn if there was a big run on it at the counter (the popcorn maker at the counter was smaller)
I was that guy when I worked at a General Cinema theater... each usher on the staff could usually count on getting stuck with popcorn duty about once a month. An entire shift running a huge industrial popcorn machine, alternating batches in two big kettles. By the time you finished pouring kernels and oil into one, the other would be just starting to pop, and you'd go back and forth all day long. I think an average shift would yield around 50 great big bags of the stuff, about a weeks' supply. Then you'd spend a miserable hour cleaning the oil, burned kernels and husks out of the thing.

I don't remember the brand name of the oil we used, but it was bright orange. The salt was something other than Flavacol, but equally addictive, and hot out of the kettle that stuff was pretty damn good. Doing quality control was one of the pluses of popcorn duty. That plus being allowed to jam to your own tunes and getting a break from sweeping up after the slobs down in the theaters.
posted by usonian at 9:20 AM on October 4, 2013


Totally agree about the microwave packets being just about the least tasty popcorn application possible. I switched to making it on the stove with a pot a few years back and haven't bought the microwave stuff since. I can make a ginormous bucket of popcorn for... what, 25 cents? Give it a light sprinkle of Tajín and I'm in heaven.

When I go to the movies, I can't do the move theater liquid butter stuff anymore. Makes me nauseous, I can't stand getting my hands greasy and not being able to do anything about it until I'm done with my bucket o' popcorn (inevitably the large, because I'm a popcorn fiend). Even without it, there's always a near-psychedelic amount of salt and dry flavoring already applied.
posted by kryptondog at 9:24 AM on October 4, 2013


For popcorn toppings, 110 answers in this askme here: I want to perk up my popcorn. What toppings that are probably sitting around the house, or are easily found at a typical grocery store, do you all find the yummiest?
posted by inigo2 at 9:25 AM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


I totally came in here to share the trick EmpressCallipygos mentions above. I too preheat my kernels and it works amazingly well. It works EVEN BETTER if you use bacon fat.
posted by Kimberly at 9:28 AM on October 4, 2013


Also: If you're dead-set on microwaving popcorn and want to save some money or control the seasoning, just make your own microwave popcorn bags.
posted by kryptondog at 9:28 AM on October 4, 2013


OH MY GOD VISUAL FLASHBACK

Actually, yes, let's talk about Flavacol packaging, because there's two things I really like about it: (And both these things are visible in the Amazon image BTW)

1. The visual design seems very dated, and it says "Copyright 1993 Gold Medal Products Co", implying that they have not updated the packaging significantly in 20 years, which I find charming, because I dislike change for its own sake. (Although see point 2)

ALTERNATE THEORY: Flavacol has not been manufactured since the early or mid nineties, and they have been selling their existing stock out of a giant warehouse for the past 20 or so years. This almost seems equally likely to me.

2. They give their URL, www.gmpopcorn.com, on the package and then directly below it is the statement "RELIGIOUS DOCUMENT ON WEBSITE". (So, obviously, the package has been tweaked slightly, since I really doubt they had a website in 1993)

At present, there are no obvious religious documents on their website, and archive.org only goes back to 1998 or so, and I just don't see anything along the lines of "EAT POPCORN OR BURN IN HELL", but I am just intensely curious as to what sort of religious document they thought was appropriate on a business website, but then sort of felt like "well, someone might be offended, let's warn them."
posted by jcreigh at 9:30 AM on October 4, 2013 [12 favorites]


* There is no third word. That's the secret!

But I clearly paid for three words!
posted by grubi at 9:30 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am just intensely curious as to what sort of religious document they thought was appropriate on a business website

Kosher info?

The manufacturer has tried to offer other flavor powders (e.g., watermelon), some of which were *cough* better than others.

Hmmm...
posted by Jahaza at 9:36 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love popcorn. I don't get why people are so unimaginative with it, though. It's a blank slate, just begging to be used for experimentation. Cinnamon + Sugar? Yes! Smoked paprika? Good! Curry powder? Great! The already-mentioned duck and bacon fat? Amazing! Just look at your spice rack and go crazy.

I was introduced to Moose Munch a few years ago. It changed my life for the better. And fatter.

I hate movie popcorn, though. Too salty. That's why I have a Giant Mom Purse for smuggling my chosen snacks, bought for much cheaper at the convenience store.
posted by emjaybee at 9:36 AM on October 4, 2013


The salting the oil seems to be the key. It distributes the salt better.

Also you want fine salt. You could buy popcorn salt, or maybe pickling salt. But I just put regular salt in the blender and smash it up but good.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:43 AM on October 4, 2013


For me, the full theatre or concert experience is incomplete without a pocketful of regular old hard candies - individually wrapped in cellophane.

Do not crinkle your food wrappers loudly! Be considerate to others or I will bite your torso and give you a disease!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:46 AM on October 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


Popcorn? At the cinema?
posted by chevyvan at 9:48 AM on October 4, 2013


The visual design seems very dated, and it says "Copyright 1993 Gold Medal Products Co", implying that they have not updated the packaging significantly in 20 years, which I find charming, because I dislike change for its own sake.

I can attest - based on the strength of the Proust's-Madeline moment I had when I saw that picture - that that is the very design the Flavocol packaging used back in 1987, when I was working at Jillson Square Cinemas in Willimantic, CT.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:48 AM on October 4, 2013


Alright suckas. Time to go to school here...
While I too have a WhirlyPop like many others have mentioned upthread and it is amazing, yall are neglecting one crucial element in yr cornz....

Black. Truffle. Oil.

You can get it at Safeway and CostPlus. Its not cheap but a little goes a long way. Pop your corn, drizzle a bit on top, shake it and prepare for Happy.
You're welcome.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 9:51 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nutritional Yeast on salted and buttered popcorn is methcrack.
posted by Annika Cicada at 9:55 AM on October 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


I am just intensely curious as to what sort of religious document they thought was appropriate on a business website, but then sort of felt like "well, someone might be offended, let's warn them."

I could have been the other way around, that they used to have the religious document on the packaging, and when they took it off the package, decided to provide it online for anyone going, "WHY YOU TAKE AWAY RELIGIOUS DOCUMENT HEATHENS?"

Or maybe it was poorly translated from a language where "religious document" and "instruction pamphlet" are synonymous.
posted by RobotHero at 9:55 AM on October 4, 2013


So Why Do We Eat Popcorn At The Movies Anyway?

"We" do not. And "we" wish you-all would stop (eating anything in the cinema).

posted by Rash at 10:03 AM on October 4, 2013


Maybe It Was John 3:16 Like in'n'out.
posted by brujita at 10:03 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


mmmm popcorn. and sno caps. and popcorn. and whoppers.
posted by yoga at 10:07 AM on October 4, 2013


Kosher and halal certificiates are probably the "religious documents".
posted by vogon_poet at 10:14 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


MAN this has stirred up some memories.

We had four sizes of soda and four sizes of popcorn for sale, and the extra-large in both was enormous. Like, they were the size of buckets. Those of us at the concession stand quickly learned that if someone ordered an extra-large in anything, we should grab an empty container and show it to them and say, "this is the extra-large. Are you sure that's what you want?" Most of the time their eyes would grow big from shock and they'd say "wow. Uh, okay, maybe let's try a medium then...." Or, sometimes, if they were in a group, they'd all look at each other, and you could see them all mentally deciding "okay, we'll all go in on one and share."

Once in a blue moon they'd stick with the extra-large; one of my favorite moments was overhearing a group of fourteen-year-old girls all seeing a movie together; they were all totally shocked at the size of the extra-large but, amid much giggling, they agreed to still get that. And a few other things. And the whole time as we were getting their order together, one of them was still giggling and turning to the others and saying "Oh my god, you guys, we be CHOWIN'!"

Then there was the big guy who came every Saturday matinee when the Michael Keaton Batman was in the theater. Picture, like, the Comic Book Guy with a crew cut and glasses. He would always come at 2 pm, alone. He would always order an extra-large popcorn and an extra-large Sprite. He would always ask for extra butter. And always, always, after he had received his food, he would lean over the counter and say to us with a grin - "I've seen this movie already, and I'm going to keep coming back every Saturday to watch it again until the Joker wins!" And we would all laugh politely through gritted teeth until he walked away.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:17 AM on October 4, 2013 [10 favorites]


I am the 100% opposite of birdherder. I rarely go to the movies, but when I do I buy the biggest bucket they have and eat it nonstop until it is gone.

Yeah, I actually have no interest in movies, but occasionally I go see one just to have the opportunity to sit in a smooshy chair and shove an inhuman amount of popcorn into my face in the dark.
posted by threeants at 10:19 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sriracha.
posted by Foosnark at 10:20 AM on October 4, 2013


Movie theater popcorn is probably the food I miss most on my low-carb diet.
posted by Jahaza at 10:21 AM on October 4, 2013


I'm in the [apparently] tiny category of air-popper enthusiasts, but you'll have to pry my Popcorn Pumper™ out of my warm, dry hands before I'll give it up. Mainly, this is because, as a solitary person, it's lovely to be in the mood for a few handfuls of popcorn and have the ability to make just that much, quickly and without a mess.
posted by sonascope at 10:26 AM on October 4, 2013


Furikake on popcorn, anyone?
posted by mlo at 10:31 AM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh, God, and then there was the Projector Guy. This short, gnomelike older guy in his 30's who once every couple weeks would just sort of appear, walking through a door we'd all forgotten was there; he'd lope over with an empty Big Gulp cup in his hand and ask one of us to fill it with Coke. I think he would share smokes with the boys who worked there, because the first time he asked me for soda when I was there I almost refused because who the hell is this guy and one of the boys explained that "no, dummy, he works here". You'd fill up his Big Gulp cup, maybe he'd get some popcorn, and then he'd lope back over to that door and disappear for another couple weeks.

I have no idea when he came to the theater or what he did up there; for all I know he lived up there. He was twice the age of any of the rest of us concession and usher monkeys and he always wore just a t-shirt and jeans and a trucker cap instead of a uniform, so he was very much A Breed Apart. He also was pretty Resistant To Popcorn (sometimes he'd get some, but only rarely).

One of the reasons I dig the webcomic Multiplex so much is because he nails it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:33 AM on October 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


I am just intensely curious as to what sort of religious document they thought was appropriate on a business website

They have both Kosher and Halal certificates on the web site.
posted by Mitheral at 10:34 AM on October 4, 2013


They have both Kosher and Halal certificates on the web site.

That must be it!

Although it's nowhere near as cool as I was imagining, which was a Dr. Bronner's soap type situation.
posted by jcreigh at 10:41 AM on October 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


The butter substance looked like orange juice coming out of the bottle and into the warmer, and I always thought the stuff smelled (and tasted) vile.

Pffft, that's nothigng. A decade ago the Tokyo theaters were doing nachos. Dad shipped them chips, of course, but also multi-gallon bags of yellow lipid that was the cheez topping, along with similar bags of jalapeño-flavored oil. *shudder*

We have enjoyed a lot of food samples from him over the years (like the gallon cartons of frozen yogurt concentrate that we ate like ice cream in the 80s), but Dad wouldn't ever let us open one of those Sacks-O'-Oil.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:47 AM on October 4, 2013


Also: ...no need for butter or salt!

Flagged for offensive content.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:48 AM on October 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


Last thing, I swear: Dad got a little popcorn cart and everyone in the family brings it to school events and stuff. (One of my brothers usually mans it.) Everyone loves having the thing there, cranking out fresh popcorn, as the sound is fun and it smells awesome.

Yay, popcorn!
posted by wenestvedt at 10:56 AM on October 4, 2013


Oh, God, and then there was the Projector Guy. This short, gnomelike older guy in his 30's who once every couple weeks would just sort of appear, walking through a door we'd all forgotten was there; he'd lope over with an empty Big Gulp cup in his hand and ask one of us to fill it with Coke.
We had two projectionists at my theater, the curmudgeonly guy you tried to avoid (although he did have a magnificent handlebar moustache), and the forty-something chain-smoking guy who was really nice and a lot of fun to hang out with. My theater had a really good crew in general; a lot of us got to be good friends outside of work, and have reconnected on Facebook almost 20 years later. Definitely the best menial job I've ever had.
posted by usonian at 10:58 AM on October 4, 2013


But meanwhile, in London, you eat ice cream in the theatre. Not the movie theatre, the theatre theatre.

In London, you eat ice cream everywhere. It's like a religion.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 11:16 AM on October 4, 2013


Heh, in high school I worked at a video store with a huge popcorn popper. We flavored it with these artificial butter/salt sticks that looked like margarine the color of mac and cheese mix. Someone dared me to eat a piece once and it tasted like super salty nuclear death.

The theaters near us use real butter, and the difference is amazing. We also have an air popper at home, and we top ours with real butter (and sometimes cinnamon and brown sugar which is THE BEST) and I just can't eat the fake/microwaved stuff anymore.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:28 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


The most important step of stovetop popping is dumping it all into a brown paper bag.

Cf. Newman's Own: "A good flick arrives on the local screen, and you see ol' Newman scuttling across the lobby with a greasy brown paper bag of this homemade popcorn in one hand and-you guessed it - a machete in the other. Who's who lists a lot of one-armed people in my hometown. They got caught trying to muscle their way into my greasy brown paper bag."

(PS: High heat, corn oil, seven test kernels. I used to shake vigorously thoughout the pop, but am currently testing the validity of that dogma.)
posted by whuppy at 11:39 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Popcorn is just as economically important to the modern movie theater as it was to movie theaters of old. Patrons often complain about the high prices of movie concessions, but there’s an economic basis for this: popcorn, cheap to make and easy to mark-up, is the primary profit maker for movie theaters. Movie theaters make an estimated 85 percent profit off of concession sales, and those sales constitute 46 percent of movie theater’s overall profits.

I worked in movie theatres throughout high school and we popped fresh popcorn. You're not paying for the popcorn, you're paying for the cups. This goes for the drinks, too. When it was time to do monthly inventory all we counted were the cups, and as an employee you could eat as much popcorn as you wanted as long as you didn't use an official popcorn cup. It's that cheap.

(This was ca. 1980 so the difference is that the sizes weren't as disgustingly huge as they are today.)
posted by Room 641-A at 11:42 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Some combinations are just magic. Right this minute- synchronicity at its finest- I am eating popcorn with a healthy sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. If you've never tried it, you are missing out.

Other adventures: peanut butter and bacon sandwiches and cottage cheese with ketchup and garlic salt ( and I hate cottage cheese and ketchup by themselves).
posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:09 PM on October 4, 2013


Further popcorn toppings: Tabasco sauce. Soy sauce. (Not at the same time.) Parmesan cheese, perhaps mixed with oregano. Nutritional yeast, obviously.

We have a local art film house that serves those and more (curry powder in a couple varieties, chili powder).

I have not yet tried: tahini.

Tahini seems a bit gloopy for the job but I can imagine if you used olive oil for the popping (which is delicious in and of itself) toasted sesame seeds mixed with the popcorn and salt would be very good.
posted by aught at 12:15 PM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Whenever I make popcorn in a pot for the generation that grew up on microwaved popcorn it always blows their mind. It takes the same amount of time, it has to be 10-20 times cheaper, and I have NEVER had a burnt kernel from doing it on the pot. Two spoonfuls of oil, a 1/3 of a cup of kernels (after the test kernel pops), and bob's your uncle. It's also how I wow people in a backcountry hut.

The real challenge is managing the steam. You need a lid on the pot to keep the oil and kernels in, but if you don't let the steam escape then the popcorn gets chewy. I use a towel to protect my hands and keep a gap between the lid and the pot, but the idea setup would be a mesh lid or a lid with two dozen pencil sized holes in it.
posted by furtive at 12:26 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


if you used olive oil for the popping

Only as a last resort, it smokes.
posted by furtive at 12:33 PM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Nah, regular not-extra-virgin olive oil works just fine and is yummo.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:35 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Steel bowl or stock pot. Oil, kernels. Foil over the top. Punch a buttload of holes in the foil with a paring knife. Apply heat, shaking the pot/bowl to keep things from burning and keep the kernels on the bottom.

When done, kill heat, vigorously shake for 10-15 seconds to let steam out so kernels don't get chewy. Foil off. Melted butter, kosher salt ground to powder consistency, optionally Parmesan cheese or, if you like awesome things, the aforementioned nutritional yeast.

Five minutes of effort. From the depths of my soul, I implore you, there is no need to clutter your kitchen with unnecessary gadgets or bags of chemical microwave failurecorn.
posted by middleclasstool at 12:39 PM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


I love popcorn; I used to make it in a pot and get all kinds of creative with seasonings and flavors, until I scorched like, two of my roommate's pots, and I just got something like this.

Also, while popcorn at the movies is a staple that I have a life-long conditioning to enjoy, I find that it's lessened some by three key factors:

1. the opening of a Chipotle near at least two of my local theatres
2. a Chipotle burrito (and an order of chips probably) costs less than a bucket of popcorn
3. Cargo pants with ample cargo pockets.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:44 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


4. The theater now smells gross.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:45 PM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


The real challenge is managing the steam. You need a lid on the pot to keep the oil and kernels in, but if you don't let the steam escape then the popcorn gets chewy. I use a towel to protect my hands and keep a gap between the lid and the pot, but the idea setup would be a mesh lid or a lid with two dozen pencil sized holes in it.

Years ago my father found a pot for me in some kind of cut-rate housewares store - a stainless steel 2-quart pot, but with two steaming-rack thingies you could stack on top of it, and a glass lid with a small hole in that. The idea was that you could use it as a soup pot or a steamer or use the steaming racks to strain things, so it was supposed to be a multitasker.

I use it almost exclusively for popcorn now, because the glass lid lets you see when the test kernels have popped and the hole lets JUST enough steam out.

We had two projectionists at my theater, the curmudgeonly guy you tried to avoid (although he did have a magnificent handlebar moustache)

Omigod our projectionist had a huge moustache too!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:45 PM on October 4, 2013


I read on several forums online that yeast--yes, just Fleishmann's yeast--is a really good seasoning for popcorn. Haven't had the opportunity or courage to try that one yet.
posted by zardoz at 2:10 PM on October 4, 2013


I figured out that I can put lemon or lime juice into a hand-pumped food-grade spray bottle (I think they're usually marketed as spray bottles for cooking oil), then you can get a nice even mist of lemon/lime juice on the popcorn. It's delicious.
posted by aniola at 4:35 PM on October 4, 2013


Do many people really like salt and butter? Ewwww
posted by rainy at 6:08 PM on October 4, 2013


Zardoz - you sure it's not nutritional yeast? It's still yeast, but a different....uh, formula? Varietal? I don't know yeast well enough to know; but it's nutritional yeast that I've heard being used for seasoning.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:36 PM on October 4, 2013


Junior Mints on popcorn prevents barnyard breath! At least it did before popcorn started consistently giving me stomachaches.

Damn it.
posted by Space Kitty at 7:30 PM on October 4, 2013


OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:50 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Remember when your mom would send you to the movies with a jar of jam and a spoon?
posted by gursky at 9:22 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


gursky: "Remember when your mom would send you to the movies with a jar of jam and a spoon?"

You're so pretty.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:52 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


117 comments and Ctrl - F finds no reference to dried wasabi powder on popcorn? Shame, shame on Mefi! Also, melted butter with soy sauce mixed in is a GREAT popcorn topping. Omit any further salt, unless desirous of a salt overdose. Always pop with canola oil, adds a certain umami component and it handles high heat wonderfully.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 11:14 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Empress--you may be right, it may be some other form of yeast. Good thing I haven't tried the wrong one!
posted by zardoz at 1:12 AM on October 5, 2013


I'm in the rainforest in Cote d'Ivoire right now, and here at the field station, we've re-discovered the glories of popcorn, and are working to inextricably link it with movie watching for a whole new group of people. On Tuesdays, our local employees come over to watch an action flick dubbed in French (the more action and sexy ladies the better) on someone's laptop. Ivorian food is painfully spicy, so we figured that to enhance it for our field assistants, we should make the popcorn extra spicy as well. Consequently, our recipe for popcorn ("Bon mais") is an oil-filled pot on a stovetop, Dinor Cooking Oil (100% palm!), salt both in the oil and on the popcorn, and LOTS of hot pepper. It is excellent and you should all try it, preferably while watching the French dubbed version of Ong Bak or The Expendables.
posted by ChuraChura at 4:38 AM on October 5, 2013


Thanks to this thread I had whirley-popped kettle corn for breakfast and I regret nothing.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:58 AM on October 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


My current favorite is some quatro formagio powder from a local manufacturer. It's intended for making sauce, but it's quite nice sprinkled on hot popcorn. But I don't bother making it much. It's annoying on an induction stove and a steel pot.
posted by Goofyy at 7:30 AM on October 5, 2013


In the 1970s, microwave ovens become increasingly common in homes, creating another boom for popcorn: now, families can enjoy popcorn in minutes simply by pressing a button.

In my finding, "enjoy" is not the correct verb to go with microwave popcorn. "Tolerate," perhaps, or maybe "endure."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:31 AM on October 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


The thing that kills me about microwave popcorn is that you have to stand there for three minutes to stop it popping at exactly the right moment, and if you're going to be the kitchen anyway, spend 7 minutes making it on the stove, and it'll be way better. I wish I had learned this truth before I was 25.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 7:40 AM on October 5, 2013


Best popcorn-related part of being a movie theater concessionaire (other than NUCLEAR popcorn, as noted above): Dipping popcorn in the nacho cheese-product, plus jalapenos if you like that sort of thing

It was well after my own art-house snack bar working days, but another movie theatre veteran turned me on to the sublime combination of snack food that is popcorn with M&Ms: sweet and salt, crunchy and chewy, warmer and cooler... it is like isometric exercises for one's taste buds.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:39 AM on October 5, 2013


if you used olive oil for the popping

Only as a last resort, it smokes.


Not in my experience. Don't use fancy extra-virgin, though, of course, and you don't have to have the flame turned to the highest setting to pop popcorn. Regular olive oil as popcorn-popping medium is much tastier than other oils, even corn (imho).
posted by aught at 9:18 AM on October 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Foil over the top. Punch a buttload of holes in the foil with a paring knife.

A lid with a vent for the pot will work fine too. (I agree that getting as much of the steam out is crucial for decent popcorn, to avoid the icky chewy problem.)
posted by aught at 9:21 AM on October 5, 2013


Some fancy popcorn recipies from 101cookbooks: Chile Lime Tequila popcorn (delicious), and Herbed Buttermilk popcorn (haven't tried it).
posted by aka burlap at 12:39 PM on October 5, 2013


I gave in. A quart-sized carton of Flavacol is now on its way to my house.

I remembered that I have some coconut oil already (I live near a couple of different cheap food markets in a neighborhood with a strongish Caribbean presence and scored some for tinkering with body scrubs and such), so I may use this as an excuse for a big movie party at my house ("y'all bring your favorite DVDs and I'll supply the popcorn and Goobers").
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:37 AM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I like stale popcorn. Sometimes I make popcorn and don't eat it right away so I can get that stale chewy state just right.
posted by Belle O'Cosity at 10:50 PM on October 7, 2013


I just realized, this was in Smithsonian Magazine? I thought it was some random guy's blog. :(
posted by tilde at 8:04 AM on October 8, 2013


Couldn't sleep last night thinking about the Flavacol. While I'm thrilled to have discovered it, there was something missing in the quest to make the perfect movie popcorn at home. What's the other ingredient? Then I remembered when I worked at a concession stand in college, and used the other essential, missing ingredient!

Now I can make it entirely at home, and my life is complete.

(That whole site is pretty cool, have already wasted lots of time there today...)
posted by Melismata at 8:43 AM on October 8, 2013


vacapinta: "But meanwhile, in London, you eat ice cream in the theatre. Not the movie theatre, the theatre theatre."

Leading to this Monty Python sketch, which seemed completely out of left field when seeing it as a youth.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:16 AM on October 9, 2013


Since I've already told the story of when I was a concessionist, I'll guess in this thread I'll mention the time my sister made some popcorn in our oil popper, but she accidentally grabbed the oil that my mom used and re-used for frying fish. That was not a good batch at all.
posted by radwolf76 at 12:36 AM on October 12, 2013


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