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lincoln
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Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:54 am

Ok, this is probably one of the stupidest questions I've ever asked, but...

At your movie theater do the concession workers put butter on the popcorn (assuming you want it), or do you "do-it-yourself"?

Both of the theaters I frequented while I was living in California (and when visiting my parents) are/were the do-it-yourself variety.

All of the theaters I've been to in Northeast Ohio are the "Do you want butter on that?" variety.

All are under the same ownership (Regal Entertainment Group -- Edwards Theaters in CA, Regal Cinemas in OH)

It pisses me off. Popcorn is essentially a carrier for artery-clogging buttery goodness, and even when I ask for "extra" butter here there's still nowhere near enough especially after the first couple bites.

I'm trying to figure out if there's some legal reason for the difference (health code?) cultural... or what exactly.

Two other rants are (a) Why is a "small" popcorn so frigging large [since I can never eat more than 1/2 of it]] and (b) Why is the popcorn in Ohio so much more awful than popcorn from the same chain in California

Lincoln
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KAUST
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:03 am

What I wonder is, do you get butter put on your Milk Duds? "Swimmm, my pretties!"  Wink
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:36 pm



Quoting Lincoln (Thread starter):
At your movie theater do the concession workers put butter on the popcorn (assuming you want it), or do you "do-it-yourself"?

Around where I live, all of the theaters put the butter on themselves, except the ones owned by AMC. They let you do it yourself. I hardly ever see movies, but when I do I love popcorn covered with butter (which probably means it's terrible for you).
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falstaff
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:56 pm

Here in the Detroit area I have seen only the type where the clerk puts on the butter. I like it that way becaue you can ask them to fill up half the bag with corn and then put butter on it and then put more corn in and put more butter on top. I also visit the St. Louis area a lot and I have seen both types of butter systems there.

Quoting Lincoln (Thread starter):
Why is the popcorn in Ohio so much more awful than popcorn from the same chain in California

I don't know if this is true in your case, but some theaters use popcorn that was prepopped and shipped in a huge bag, inside a box. It is then heated under a light. That corn sucks. The best is when it is freshly popped. A friend of mine was a manager at a theater in St. Louis and they had the bagged corn, he got a lot of complaints and they switched back to fresh corn.
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FlyKev
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:47 pm

Never seen it done on this side of the Atlantic - Doesn't stop customers asking us, then getting annoyed.

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lincoln
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:02 am



Quoting KAUST (Reply 1):
What I wonder is, do you get butter put on your Milk Duds? "Swimmm, my pretties!"

Ummm... wow. That is just disturbing  Wink -- though honestly I'm not a milk duds fan, maybe you're on to something though... Big grin

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 3):
I don't know if this is true in your case, but some theaters use popcorn that was prepopped and shipped in a huge bag, inside a box.

I think one of the theaters I've visited out here does that -- I remember on one of my first visits seeing the guy dragging this giant trash bag full of popcorn across the floor, then grabbing a utitility knife to cut it open and dump it in the display (mmm, mmm, mmm... talk about appetizing!)... I assumed that it had been popped in a back room or something since that concession stand has a really bizarre layout, but now that you mention it, there's no reason it couldn't have been trucked in from somewhere just as easily.

The other theater I frequent has the popcorn machines behind the counter -- but come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen or smelled them actually popping popcorn (but I haven't seen any garbage bags deployed either)

The popcorn at both places tastes the same, though -- lukewarm cardboard...

Quoting FlyKev (Reply 4):
Never seen it done on this side of the Atlantic - Doesn't stop customers asking us, then getting annoyed.

Out of curiosity, what do they ask? Or are they just dense? It's seems like it's the kind of thing that's blatantly ovbious -- either the butter machine is there and positioned for the staff to use it or the butter machine is off to the side and/or positioned for the customer to use it... or am I missing something?
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KAUST
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:51 am



Quoting Lincoln (Reply 5):
Quoting KAUST (Reply 1):
What I wonder is, do you get butter put on your Milk Duds? "Swimmm, my pretties!"

Ummm... wow. That is just disturbing Wink -- though honestly I'm not a milk duds fan, maybe you're on to something though... Big grin

Is actually a Simpson's reference. Gotta love that Homer.  Smile
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jcs17
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:16 am

I don't think I've ever encountered a place where it was "D.I.Y." If it was D.I.Y., those kernels they would've wished they'd never been popped. I'd drench those bitches.

That said, I haven't been to a live movie in probably two years. I'd rather wait for it to come out on Showtime, Cinemax, or HBO. Going to an actual movie is an awfully painful, low-tech, and old-fashioned experience.
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Kunoichi
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:46 am



Quoting Lincoln (Reply 5):
Out of curiosity, what do they ask? Or are they just dense? It's seems like it's the kind of thing that's blatantly ovbious -- either the butter machine is there and positioned for the staff to use it or the butter machine is off to the side and/or positioned for the customer to use it... or am I missing something?

He means we don't do buttered popcorn on this side of the atlantic, period - and people still ask for buttered popcorn.  Silly

And it IS a pain in the bum!  grumpy  I LOVE buttered popcorn, but you can't even get the microwave version (apart from like one brand...), so if you want it, you have to make it yourself... like pop the corn, melt the butter and pour it on. No pre-made stuff available.

Ahh... it's 5:50 AM, and now I want buttered popcorn...  sigh 
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mNeo
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:08 am

On a side note, does anyone actually know how to make such butter?? Or is it just warm butter?
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MCOflyer
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:09 am

I avoid it as the theater butter is too rich and fattning.

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Okie
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:09 pm



Quoting MNeo (Reply 9):
On a side note, does anyone actually know how to make such butter?? Or is it just warm butter?

I suspect it is just cottonseed/canola/soybean oil or a mixture there of, with all the flavor that a chemical engineer can come up with to taste similar to butter.

I would be surprised if it was real butter.

It still tastes good and I always like to get the old cholesterol levels up on occasion just to exercise the system.

Okie
 
lincoln
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:04 pm



Quoting Kunoichi (Reply 8):
And it IS a pain in the bum! I LOVE buttered popcorn, but you can't even get the microwave version (apart from like one brand...),

 Wow! That is just wrong... I wonder why it's unheard of in those parts (and would I be arrested if I smuggled some of my own in?  Smile )

Quoting Okie (Reply 11):
I would be surprised if it was real butter.

It still tastes good and I always like to get the old cholesterol levels up on occasion just to exercise the system.

Most of the signs I've seen refer to it as "Butter-flavored popcorn topping" or something similar so I can pretty much gaurntee that it's not real butter -- but that doesn't stop me from enjoying it.

I have on (rare) occassion taken microwave popcorn, shaved really thin slices of butter off the end of a log and thrown it on top after pulling it out of the microwave -- usually the slices are thin enough and the popcorn is warm enough to melt on the spot without extra persuasion.

Quoting JCS17 (Reply 7):
those kernels they would've wished they'd never been popped. I'd drench those bitches.

I don't think I've ever phrased it quite like that, but exactly! Big grin
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SlamClick
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:14 pm



Quoting Lincoln (Thread starter):
Why is the popcorn in Ohio so much more awful than popcorn from the same chain in California

Because growing corn for human consuption is such a terrible business plan that even after selling the cream of their crop out of state, they cannon afford to buy decent popcorn.

This may be the reason behind the scheme to run their tractors on corn-fed ethanol.
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Kunoichi
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:58 am



Quoting Lincoln (Reply 12):
 Wow!That is just wrong...

I KNOW!  cry 

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 12):
I wonder why it's unheard of in those parts (and would I be arrested if I smuggled some of my own in?  Smile

I really don't know - most people here in Denmark haven't even HEARD of it (and really, I think that's the problem)! You should've seen my parents' faces when I made it the first time.
"Butter? On POPCORN?!"
"Yes..."
"Why?!"
"Uh... it tastes good?"
 rofl 

 Silly I doubt you'd be arrested for taking some with you - in fact, I think you should bring a crapload and pass around a bit so people can get hooked and we have a chance of introducing it to europe! Big grin
I had some in Australia too, but I wonder how widespread buttered popcorn is there... because when I went last year, the one theatre I went to didn't sell it.

Oh... and wtf is up with SUGARED popcorn (no - we don't get that either... it's salted or nawt)?!  crazy 
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TylerDurden
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:46 am



Quoting JCS17 (Reply 7):
I don't think I've ever encountered a place where it was "D.I.Y." If it was D.I.Y., those kernels they would've wished they'd never been popped. I'd drench those bitches

Never been to a theatre chain in Houston where there wasn't an buttered flavored oil stand just next to the concession stand. It can be downright embarrassing--particularly if you run out of the movie to add more.

I eat my popcorn with M&M's. It's like heroin.

I usually head to the gym later that night--fooling myself that I will be able to work it off in one session.
 
L1011
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:37 am

I worked in movie theatres in the Richmond-Petersburg area of Virginia for years, and originally we used butter-flavored oil. Then Cineplex-Odeon bought our theatres and started using real butter. We kept sticks of butter in a small refrigerator under the counter and we floated them in the butter dispenser to melt as needed. The problem was that the butter would separate, and some customers just got the white stuff that came to the top, which was awful. When Cineplex-Odeon sold our theatres, the new owners went back to butter-flavored oil.

By the way, I never saw self-service butter machines until I went to Grauman's Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard a couple of weeks ago. I like the idea.

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iairallie
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:45 am

I am weird I prefer no snacks when movie watching in a theatre. I go to watch the movie not to eat. You don't even taste what you are eating when you are focused on the movie.
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lincoln
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Fri Aug 29, 2008 1:50 am



Quoting IAirAllie (Reply 17):
I am weird I prefer no snacks when movie watching in a theatre.

For what it's worth, that, in a strange way, is why it annoys me that the "small" popcorn is so large -- I've tried going without popcorn and I really can't relax... but I only eat popcorn basically through the trailers and maybe the first 5 or 10 minutes of the feature -- after that it's soda only -- and usually means that about half of my "small" popcorn goes to waste.

Quoting L1011 (Reply 16):

Hmm... never thought of that problem with using real butter in a theater application...sounds disturbing.

I think the self-serve butter is really win-win: Customers are in control of how much (or little) butter they have so people like me aren't complaining about not getting near enough butter while people like my mom aren't complaining about getting too much butter -- and it increases concession effeciency (the folks behind the counter just have to shove popcorn in the bag and push it across the counter rather than popcorn->bag->butter (if you're lucky)->popcorn->bag>butter->more butter please->butter->counter

I'm really kind of suprised it isn't more widespread

(And BTW -- Richmond / Capitol Square is my favorite city to visit / do work in  Smile )

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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:33 am

The Harkins theater out here in Arizona is self-serve. Though the theater back in New Jersey I used to go to did it right. They would fill the bag up about 3/4 of the way. Apply butter and shake the bag, then top it off with popcorn and some additional butter. This way the butter goodness would last throughout the bag and not just at the top.
 
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Sun Aug 31, 2008 10:52 pm

I work at a movie theater in the summers. At the Marcus cinema I work at in WI, we put on the "butter flavoring" (not actual butter of course). Always in the middle and on the top. I couldn't imagine the messes self-serve butter would create. Yikes  eyepopping  As far as sizes go, it is probably just so the price can be higher, as a great amount of ticket revenue goes back to Hollywood, and the majority of the money the cinema makes is in concessions sales.
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don81603
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:25 pm



Quoting Kunoichi (Reply 14):
Oh... and wtf is up with SUGARED popcorn (no - we don't get that either... it's salted or nawt)?!

Don't knock it until you try it. I know it sounds horrible, and I felt the same way until I tried it. While not addicted to it per se, it's not half bad, unless you go overboard with it...
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steeler83
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:19 pm

I know they do it for you at the movie theaters around me... altho I haven't had popcorn or any concession stuff at a movie theater in years...

FIVE BUCKS for a small popcorn or a small soft drink?? Where is the logic in that?  banghead 

What is that, popcorn or caviar? Seriously?!! And I believe it's a soda; not a pinot noir!! AAARGH!!!
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AirframeAS
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:39 am



Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 22):
FIVE BUCKS for a small popcorn or a small soft drink?? Where is the logic in that?  banghead 

Have you been living under a rock lately?! It is much, much, much more than than now... Its like a friggin $12USD for a pansy-assed small popcorn and a small soda! A rip-off. Movie tickets alone are also a killer: $11USD!!
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lincoln
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:47 am



Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 23):
Have you been living under a rock lately?! It is much, much, much more than than now... Its like a friggin $12USD for a pansy-assed small popcorn and a small soda! A rip-off.

One of the plusses to living in Ohio... though prices just went up yes a "Small" popcorn is $5.50, but a large soda is $5.50 (with a "free" refill)... Only $11.00 for the pair!

When I visit my dad in CA though... It's like $60 for the two of us tickets + popcorn + soda... At least the popcorn is worth it, though.
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AirframeAS
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:53 am



Quoting Lincoln (Reply 24):

I forgot to add: At least in Arizona at the Harkins Theaters they do offer one free refill on both popcorn and soda. But the popcorn kinda sucks when it comes to how they butter it. They do it on the top only leaving the rest with no flavor. So to me, that is a rip-off.
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jfktowerfan
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:54 am

The Lowes here (now AMC) was full serve, then self serve, now full serve again. I can only assume it is b/c the self serve was empty 12 times faster than if it was behind the counter. MMMMM...sweet sweet buttered popcorn. The worst part is I usually finish it off before the stupid movie even starts, between the adverts and the trailers they are nearly as long as the movie.
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N801NW
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Fri Sep 05, 2008 1:26 am



Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 22):

FIVE BUCKS for a small popcorn or a small soft drink?? Where is the logic in that? banghead

It's the broken economic model of the theatre business. Opening weekend the distributor gets 90% of the gross of the film and goes down in subsequent weeks. With so many screens now, by the time they are at a 50/50 split prints have already moved to the $1 cinema across town. Jacked up concessions are the are the best chance they have of making money.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Fri Sep 05, 2008 1:38 am



Quoting N801NW (Reply 27):
Jacked up concessions are the are the best chance they have of making money.

Explains why outside food/drink is not permitted.
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steeler83
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Fri Sep 05, 2008 2:00 pm



Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 23):
Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 22):
FIVE BUCKS for a small popcorn or a small soft drink?? Where is the logic in that?

Have you been living under a rock lately?! It is much, much, much more than than now... Its like a friggin $12USD for a pansy-assed small popcorn and a small soda! A rip-off. Movie tickets alone are also a killer: $11USD!!

Nope. I was at the theater just the other day. My fiance and I went to see Mama Mia at the Regal Cinema in Downingtown, PA...

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 28):
Quoting N801NW (Reply 27):
Jacked up concessions are the are the best chance they have of making money.

Explains why outside food/drink is not permitted.

Then I guess I will try and find such a theater as a $1 cinema, or I will just not go to the movies anymore. We have a blockbuster membership anyway. For the price of one movie ticket, we can rent 3 movies...
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PHLBOS
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Fri Sep 05, 2008 3:53 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 23):
Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 22):
FIVE BUCKS for a small popcorn or a small soft drink?? Where is the logic in that?

Have you been living under a rock lately?! It is much, much, much more than than now... Its like a friggin $12USD for a pansy-assed small popcorn and a small soda! A rip-off. Movie tickets alone are also a killer: $11USD!!

AirframeAS, I would reread Steeler83's post again if I were you. He stated that the $5 price was for EITHER popcorn OR a small drink, NOT BOTH. BTW, in my area (Greater Philly), movie prices are still no higher than $9.

Quoting JCS17 (Reply 7):
That said, I haven't been to a live movie in probably two years. I'd rather wait for it to come out on Showtime, Cinemax, or HBO.

Somehow, I don't think that one watching a movie like the Dark Knight, for example, will get the full-effect on a small-screen. There are just some movies that can only be seen on the large screen... the way God indended it (something my mother would always say).

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 29):
Then I guess I will try and find such a theater as a $1 cinema

$1 cinemas. I haven't seen those since my college days in Rhode Island back in the mid-80s.

I don't know about your neck of the woods, but bargain cinemas have been scarce (if not nonexistent) in the Delaware Valley for some time. The Yeadon Theater (which only charged $3), the closest discount movie theater to me, closed down several years ago.

Nowadays, a bargain cinema price is around $5-6.

Back to the original question at hand: in the Greater Philadelphia area, the only theaters that don't have the DIY butter servers are the RITZ cinema chains that tend to show independent and international films or the independent (non-chain) cinemas.

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 3):
I don't know if this is true in your case, but some theaters use popcorn that was prepopped and shipped in a huge bag, inside a box. It is then heated under a light. That corn sucks.

The only time I've seen that done was at a bargain cinema (which is now no longer in service as a bargain cinema) and the price for it was at least half of what it would be at standard theaters.

[Edited 2008-09-05 09:08:42]
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AirframeAS
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:06 pm



Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 30):
AirframeAS, I would reread Steeler83's post again if I were you.

My bad. Apologies to Steeler83. I misread!
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Kunoichi
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:30 pm



Quoting Don81603 (Reply 21):
Don't knock it until you try it. I know it sounds horrible, and I felt the same way until I tried it. While not addicted to it per se, it's not half bad, unless you go overboard with it...

See, I HAVE tried it.  Silly I didn't particularly care for it...

When I went to Australia, they had this shop called Kernels in Sydney which was selling popcorn only, with different flavors/coverings/toppings - butterscotch, butter, sugared, wasabi, etc. - they even had chocolate covered ones, which sounds absolutely yuck, but... dear god, it was SO. GOOD.  drool 
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t1210s
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RE: Stupid Question: Movie Theater Popcorn Butter

Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:44 pm

just a quick note for those who are moaning at the price of popcorn the cinemas make 98% profit and your actually paying for the cardboard
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