FYI: Here’s the real reason why we eat popcorn at the movies

All of us associate certain foods with certain experiences, like hot dogs and baseball, county fairs with deep fried… anything, and movie theaters with that mouthwatering, buttery smell of popcorn.

Eating popcorn at the movies is so ingrained in our culture, it’s no surprise we never think twice about ordering a bucket to share (or not, this is a judgement-free zone) at the theater. I’m sure many of us can also remember awkward first dates in high school when you and dreamy dream dude or gal both reach for a handful of popcorn and accidentally graze hands. It’s basically a rite of passage. But how did eating popcorn become a custom at movie theaters?

Craig Benzine and Mental Floss take on the question in the video below. It’s explained that, basically, popcorn became the chosen concession due mostly to price: it’s cheap and easy to make, and it transports well. It was originally sold inside theaters by vendors who paid a daily fee, but when movie theaters started struggling financially, they took on the endeavor themselves and reaped the benefits. According to the video, popcorn sales currently account for 85 percent of theaters’ profits nationally, and 40 percent of their total revenue.

Guys. That’s a TON of popcorn. There’s also some scientific evidence to back up our love for movie popcorn. A study in 2013 suggested eating popcorn at the movies makes us more immune to advertisements. Now that commercials play before the trailers we actually look forward to, we hope popcorn and movies stay together forever.


(Image via iStock)