It’s one of the oldest snack foods known; evidence of it has been found in a New Mexico cave dating to 3,600 B.C.The Indians called it maize and its seeds come in four common varieties—sweet, dent, flint, and the one that, when heated to 180 degrees C, explodes into a crunchy puff.At the 1893 Exposition in Chicago, inventor Charles Cretors introduced a mobile steam engine attached to a peanut cart that cooked the seeds in a mixture of butter and lard—and the result quickly gained popularity… except in movie theatres.Exhibitors wanted to maintain an image of sophistication; they didn’t want the mess and aroma of this low-class snack. But the Great Depression—and sound movies—changed that. Ninety million people a week were going to the cinema. Street vendors set up carts to sell bags of this crunchy treat, right outside theatre doors.Eventually, theatre owners saw the profit potential of cutting out the middleman—and began offering it themselves. World War II, with its sugar rationing, solidified its popularity.Today, for many, it’s unthinkable to enjoy a movie without this crunchy snack we call popcorn. Here, four industry experts tell the rest of the story.Michael Schum (Theatre Sales Manager, Gold Medal Products Co.): I… Read full this story
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