A movie exec over at Sony is trying to convince theater owners to sell healthy snacks instead of popcorn, and theater managers have been receptive, but whether patrons will hop concession stand lines to get a bucket of cauliflower is debatable. Honestly though, after working in a movie theater for about a year when I was younger, I only eat items that are packaged in a wrapper. The way the popcorn is prepared is nasty. Keep reading to find out how the theater I worked for prepared — and recycled — the popcorn. Since our popcorn was popped on the premises, patrons thought it was better and fresher, but after I peeped how the popcorn was made and the nastiness of the people popping, I vowed never to eat movie theater popcorn again. First off, we were only allowed to use seltzer water to clean the popper because having Pine-Sol flavored popcorn was thought to be gross and potentially poisonous. As a result, the popper had a thick coat of burned oil and kernel bits on some of the parts that came in contact with the popcorn. Our popper was on full display, so I never understood why customers continued buying the snack. In addition, the “butter” flavoring is actually an orange powder that comes in a carton. I don’t know what it’s made of and I never want to know. The same thing goes for the type of oil we used.
Some people in the food industry are simply gross. They’ll go from handling money and a stranger’s debit card to scooping out your popcorn. I remember this one guy was especially nasty when he was making the popcorn. As you can imagine, popping corn gets your hands messy. He didn’t need to use napkins though. He’d just lick his fingers … or, if you were lucky, he’d wipe them on his never-washed pants … and then use the same hands to fluff the popcorn and scoop it out. Did I mention he was also the one who was on crapper duty when we had patrons that missed the john?
I worked at a really small movie theater that only had one screen, and even though we were part of a NYC chain, we were instructed to recycle the popcorn. I don’t mean we swept the popcorn from the floor and resold it, but we did scoop the unsold popcorn into bags to be used again the next day or until it sold out completely. When it was on display for customers to purchase, it was kept in a popcorn warmer that was just as gross as the popper.
And that stuff that people drown the popcorn in isn’t really butter. I know because we never had to refrigerate it. I never understood how people weren’t repulsed by the horrible stinky feet and ass scent that was emanating from the “butter.” The thought of it turns my stomach.
This is why I don’t and won’t eat anything from a movie theater unless it comes in a wrapper, even if there’s supposed to be a healthier alternative. Besides, most of the time I simply stop at Rite Aid and pick up something for a cheaper price; I refuse to hand over $4 for something I can get for $1.