BY: RACHEL WUMKES
There is an endless list in my mind of things that go together. When you think of one, your brain automatically clicks to the other.
Salt & Pepper
Oil & Vinegar
Mac & Cheese
Peanut Butter & Jelly
See? Your brain is probably on rapid-fire right now listing all the various combinations of things that go together. But what about when I say ‘Movie Theater’ what comes to mind then?
For me, it’s popcorn. Delicious, piping-hot, dripping-in-butter popcorn with just a dash of salt on top. It’s Heavenly, and often the deciding factor in going to the movies.
Saturday, January 18th is the official National Popcorn Day. Well, official might be a bit of a stretch, but according to the National Days calendar, it’s a real thing. So how did it come about that we dine on such an exquisite, tasty snack while we enjoy a cinematic display on the big screen?
Popcorn came about over 8,000 years ago when maize was cultivated from teosinte, a wild grass. It went through a wide array of modifications throughout the years before it made its way to the eastern part of North America. Most people found the act of popping corn wildly entertaining, and by the mid-1800s, the snack food had made its way into entertainment places like circuses and fairs.
Where was popcorn not allowed? In movie theaters.
Back in the day, the movie theater was modeled after the hoity-toity real theaters, with beautiful carpets and highbrow clientele. They didn’t want messy popcorn strewn about the floor or crunched on loudly during the show. However, the addition of sound in the 1920s was a game changer. Suddenly, it wasn’t just the upper class, literate people attending movies. Anyone could attend.
When the Great Depression hit America, people flocked to movie theaters as a cheap diversion from their devastating reality. Popcorn was enjoyed for a mere 5 cents a bag and considered a luxury most people could still afford.
World War II further solidified the marriage between popcorn and movie theaters. Candy and soda suffered from the sugar shortages and thus, popcorn became King. By 1945, over half of the popcorn consumed in America was eaten at the movie theater. That’s unreal!
As Clear Lakers, we are beyond lucky to have the most incredible movie theater right here in town. Many generations have passed through the doors to enjoy the show, to escape real life for just a moment. One thing is for sure… the popcorn is always piping hot and, if its your preference, dripping in delicious melted butter. And if you’ve been to a parade lately, you know Lake Theatre builds one heck of an incredible float!
See you at the Lake!