(Roughly) Daily

Extra Large, With Butter…


Movie theater popcorn is a concession stand staple whose scent has spawned marketing ploys and copycat recipes, but movie theaters haven’t always been saturated with the tempting smell of salt and butter. The history of popcorn is vast, and it intersects with movies in the relatively recent past–a symbiosis of taste and place created to save the fledgling movie theater industry from near collapse during the Great Depression…

Read the whole story– which starts 8.000 years ago– in “Why Do We Eat Popcorn at the Movies?

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As we politely suggest that our companions acquire their own buckets, we might recall that it was on this date in 1985 that the first Blockbuster store opened in Dallas, Texas with 8,000 tapes (of 6,500 titles).  The founder, David Cook, was in the oil business; but as his company floundered, he took his wife’s advice and diversified into home entertainment rentals.  Two years (and three more stores) later, he sold part of the business to a group of investors that included Wayne Huizenga, founder of Waste Management, Inc., the world’s biggest garbage disposal company; Huizenga took control and oversaw the company’s rapid expansion.

It’s probably no coincidence that Cook’s success followed closely on the heels of the 1984 introduction of microwave popcorn.  (In fact, Pillsbury had introduced microwave popcorn in 1981– but in a form that required the unpopped bags to be frozen before use.  In 1984, an engineer on that project, James Watkins, who’d left the company, figured out how to make the popcorn and oils shelf stable.  He patented his improvement and marketed it as Act II in 1984.)


Written by (Roughly) Daily

October 19, 2013 at 1:01 am

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